Lower Back Pain Causes

It is often difficult to determine the direct causes of lower back pain, as there are many possible contributing factors. Diagnosis might require the patient speak with a doctor if the cause cannot be determined based on previous conditions or specific actions.


Probably the most common of the many possible causes of lower back pain is overuse of the muscles, tendons or joints. This can mean that the muscle is simply exercised more than it is used to or that the muscle has been pushed or strained by erratic movements, poor posture or strenuous activities. Overuse can cause pain to develop in ligaments, muscles, facet joints and sacroiliac joints. Sudden pressure, improper lifting and other forms of overuse can also cause a condition known as a herniated disc, which can also contribute to serious back in the lower back.

Medical Problems with the Spine

Lower Back Pain CausesSpinal problems also represent one of the common causes of lower back pain. If the joints of the spine are damaged or degenerated due to a medical condition, the result can be painful movements or actions. Osteoarthritis or a degeneration of the spine’s joint tissue can cause lower back pain. Defects of the spinal joints such as spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis can cause the spine to slide out of place during activity, resulting in pain. If the spine becomes narrowed, as occurs with a condition known as spinal stenosis, pain becomes a major symptom. Deformities of the spine, from scoliosis or kyphosis could be other causes of pain in the back.


Accidents are also listed as common causes of lower back pain. Fractures, compressions, extensions and blunt force trauma can significantly damage the spine or muscles of the lower back, resulting in pain. Deep tissue damage that often results from other forms of injuries, such as chemical and topical burns, punctures, tears and frostbite can also be rather painful to the patient.

Diseases and Infections

Other possible causes of lower back pain can be diseases and infections. Bacterial infections can cause inflammation of the joints and tissues of the spine. Tumors and abnormal bone growths, such as those that occur with Paget’s disease or Scheuermann’s disease can also create painful sensations in the lower region of the back. Any form of disease or infection that alters the formation of the spine or creates abnormal tissues within the tendons, ligaments, muscles or discs of the back will most likely result in pain.

Sudden Versus Chronic Pain

Typically, lower back pain is characterized as either sudden or chronic (or severe). Pain that develops suddenly is probably caused by an accident or overuse due to exercise or repetitive movements. Determining the cause of chronic (or severe) lower back pain can be more difficult because it may be due to a number of possible causes. Diseases, infections, spinal problems and other medical conditions can all lead the development of severe lower back pain. In certain cases it is possible for a patient to experience both sudden and chronic pain in the lower back.

Determining the cause of lower back pain will most likely require the help of a medical professional, especially if the pain is chronic or severe.

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