Question:

Is lower back pain common?

Conditions that Cause Lower Back Pain

Most everyone suffers from lower back pain at some point in life—lower back pain can be caused by lifting something heavy in an improper manner. There are certain conditions that will cause lower back pain, and that back pain may be chronic, unless the cause can be found and repaired.

Herniated disc: When discs start to degenerate or weaken, whether from a condition or because of lifting something improperly, the cartilage bulges and can be pushed into the space with the spinal cord or a nerve root. The pressure of the bulging disc pressing on the spine or the nerve root causes the pain. A herniated disc may also be referred to as a bulging disc, protruding disc or ruptured disc.

Sciatica: This is a condition caused by a herniated disc pressing on the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the nerve that runs down the spinal column to the pelvis. It carries nerve fibers to the leg. The pain associated with sciatica is shock-like or burning lower back pain. The pain can radiate down through the buttocks and down the leg into and below the knee.

Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is a bone disease. It causes a progressive decrease in bone density and strength. The bones become brittle and porous. They break easily in a fall, especially the bones in the spine and the hips.

Other back problems that can cause lower back pain include scoliosis (spine curves to the side), kyphosis (upper curve of the back is severely rounded), lordosis (abnormally accentuated arch in the lower back), back extension (spine bends backward) and flexion (spine bends forward).

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