Lower back pain can be caused by various issues and conditions, and can range from a mild, irritating, to a severe and unbearable pain that interferes with your mobility and daily living activities. There are several causes of lower back pain, such as referred pain when the pain you are feeling in your lower back is caused by other organs in the body not located near your back, such as the kidneys or gall bladder. In young adults and children, the most common causes of lower back pain are strains and sprains of the back. Strains are generally muscle injuries near the spine, and sprains are ligament injuries. Strain and sprain symptoms usually develop right away or within a day or two. They usually are gone within a short perood of time, usually a week to about a month or so. The symptoms of lower back pain caused by sprains or strains include pain from tearing or stretching of the soft tissue, stiffness, or back spasms.
Even with today’s advanced technology, there are many cases in which the exact cause of lower back pain are not known. Many times it is just a symptom caused by many different problems, such as degeneration of the vertebrae. The effect of aging or stress on the ligaments and muscles that support the spine can often caused this, as well. Other reasons include:
- Injury or trauma
- Poor muscle tone
- Muscle or ligament tears
- Overuse or strenuous activity
- Fractures (incl. compression fractures)
- Abnormal growths (e.g., bone spurs or tumor)
- Congenital abnormalities of the bones and vertebrae
There are several ways to help prevent some types of lower back pain. These include:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Reduce emotional stress in your daily life
- Participate in regular stretching and exercise programs
- Using proper lifting techniques (e.g., bending from the knees)
- Practice proper posture techniques (e.g., when sleeping, standing, sitting, or walking)
Treatment for lower back pain caused by a strain or sprain often involves a rest of no more than three days, icing the injury, combined with a natural pain reliever and anti-inflammatory supplements to help relieve the spasms. You should gradually work your way back to exercising on a regular basis, since activities that help you get you physically moving are a critical part of the recovery process. Performing strengthening and stretching routines for your abs, leg, neck and back muscles as well as learning about proper posture, lifting, and relaxation techniques will help you avoid lower back pain in the future. If your lower back pain becomes more severe or does not seem to be getting any better, you should consult a medical professional.