Loading... Please wait...
Join Ergonomics Insider News

Low Back Pain & Its Many Causes

Low Back Pain & Its Many Causes

Low Back Pain & Its Many Causes

Low back pain, usually referred to as Lumbago, is a symptom of musculoskeletal disorders and problems involving the lumbar vertebrae. Low back pain occurs due to numerous mechanical, inflammatory, neoplastic, and metabolic reasons. 



Low back pain is also related to aging of the disk. At times, a disk protrudes or collapses putting pressure on the nerve root. Excessive stress to the back, arthritis of the spine, problems with tendons or ligaments in the spine region and  faulty positioning of vertebrae can also cause low back pain. Lower back pain caused due to acute stress on the lumbar region of the spine is the most common form of back pain. Back pain can be sometimes due to atrophy of the muscles, which is the partial or complete destruction of muscles. Muscle atrophy can occur as a result of various conditions like diseases of motor nerves or pathological conditions of the muscle tissues.

Low back pain while sitting or only in sleep can make the situation worse and can even cause back pain.  Any activity that does not support the knees causes severe stress to the lower back. A sitting or sleeping position that allows the natural curves of the spine to be supported firmly is helpful in back pain relief.

Treatment for lower back pain

Treatment for low back pain is usually based on the clinical diagnosis of the underlying cause. Treatments include Analgesics such as NSAIDs or acetaminophen, Arch support , The Alexander Technique, Spinal manipulation, Muscle relaxantsAntidepressants and Behavioral therapy. Massage therapy, application of ice and heat do have a positive effect.

Low back pain due to severe Degenerative disc disease , Spinal stenosis, Spondylolisthesis, Scoliosis, Compression fracture, spinal instability, spinal trauma, spinal malignancy and spinal hematoma requires surgical attention. Microdiscectomy, discectomy, laminectomy, foraminotomy, and spinal fusion are the most common types of low back surgery.

To summarize low back pain can be caused by a protruding, herniated, or ruptured disc, Cauda Equina syndrome, where the disc is pushed into the spinal canal, Sciatica where a herniated or ruptured disc presses on the sciatic nerve, spinal degeneration, spinal stenosis and other conditions. Regular moderate exercise or physical activity, correct sitting and sleep postures, wearing low-heeled shoes, sleeping on the side with minimal spinal curve strain, good diet and clean life style gives good pain relief.