Lower back pain can occur because of a number of different causes, with a great deal of variation depending on how old you are. That being said, there is a great deal of overlap as injuries and muscle strain can affect anyone regardless of age.

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Muscle Strain

Perhaps the most common reasons for lower back pain is a ligament or muscle strain, particularly in those who are under 60 years old. This type of strain can occur from twisting, sudden movements, or lifting heavy objects.

Lumbar Herniated Disc

Back pain is also frequently due to sciatica. This term is used to describe symptoms and pain that occur if a nerve root within your lower spine becomes compressed. This can lead to numbness as well as pain in the large sciatic nerve, which runs along the legs, feet, and buttocks. Sciatica can be due to a range of things, such as lumbar herniated discs, isthmic spondylolisthesis, and degenerative disc disease.

Degenerative Disc Disease

In the case of lower back pain that is chronic and gets worse with certain movements, this is typically caused by lumbar degenerative disc disease. It can affect patients who are just 20 years old and occurs when lumbar discs found between vertebrae start breaking down. The damaged disc in this situation may cause lower back instability and inflammation which in turn leads to pain along with muscle spasms and sciatica.

Isthmic Spondylolisthesis

This condition can cause a deep ache within the lower back which feels worse when you walk or stand. It is when a vertebrae within your lower back slides forward onto the disc space right below it.

Sacroiliac Joint Disease

This disease occurs when the sacroiliac joint, which connects the sacrum and hips, has too little or too much movement. It can also lead to buttock or grain pain in addition to back pain.

Facet Joint Osteoarthritis

There are various types of osteoarthritis, including facet joint. This is also known as degenerative arthritis and gradually develops over time. Cartilage breaks down between the spine’s facet joints and this leads to pain. The lower back pain will typically be intermittent before becoming more consistent.

Spinal Compression Fracture

Most doctors will consider this as a potential cause of lower back pain with a sudden onset for those over 50 years old. Those with osteoporosis are at a particularly high risk.

Other Possible Causes

Just some of the other possible causes of lower back pain include lumbar spinal stenosis, coccydynia, ankylosing spondylitis, fibromyalgia, a spinal tumor, infection, and piriformis syndrome.


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