Causes of Low Back Pain

Low back pain is something that most people experience at some time in their lives. From herniated discs to pulled muscles or pinched nerves, there are many possible sources and types of lower back pain. Most of the time, low back pain can be traced to one of a few causes.

Your lower back must bear the weight of your upper body all of the hours you spend upright, not to mention the stress it endures while sleeping or sitting in certain positions. Over the years, bad habits like poor posture and too much time sitting at a desk can contribute to pressure that builds between the vertebrae.

The discs between vertebrae are meant to act as shock absorbers. They are made of tough but spongy cartilage, that will often wear down or become compressed as you get older. Arthritis is the result of the bones in your spine making contact, and painfully rubbing together.

Consistent pressure or a traumatic injury can cause a disc to bulge in the middle, called a herniated disc. Your spine is constructed to protect the nerves within it, but herniated discs can cause intense, shooting pain when nerves are pinched.

In everyday life, muscles in your lower back can be strained or pulled from activity. Lifting heavy things during a move, shoveling snow, bending with your back instead of your knees – these can all cause the soreness we’re all familiar with. However, while low back pain is a common complaint for many people, it is something that can be remedied by taking the proper steps.

In some cases, back pain goes away on its own with a little rest. Muscles heal, and even nerve pain is usually intermittent. But when the pain lasts for several weeks or longer, the frustration of chronic back pain sets in. Exercises learned in physical therapy can often help relieve or eliminate chronic back pain, as the muscles surrounding the affected area are strengthened. In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to correct back pain.

If you suffer from chronic lower back pain, the orthopedic physicians and physical therapists at Tucson Orthopaedic Institute can help. With expert diagnostic capabilities and experience with the full range of possible back ailments, our spine specialists will help determine the best treatment for your condition. Treatment could be as simple as making minor adjustments to posture, changing sleep position, and a little massage or physical therapy. There are plenty of treatment options available, so you shouldn’t feel resigned to having to choose between pain medication or a surgical procedure. Contact one of our convenient locations in the Tucson, Arizona area for an appointment today, or request one online.