Why Does My Lower Back Hurt?

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Low back pain is an all-too-common condition from which millions of men and women suffer. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), four out of five adults will experience it at some point during their life. When pain begins to manifest in your lower back, it can make otherwise simple tasks like getting out of bed and walking to the mailbox a painfully difficult chore. The first step to eliminating low pain back and getting back on your feet is to understand what’s causing it.

 

Pulled Muscle

One of the most common causes of low back pain is a pulled muscle. There are three major types of muscles in the back: the spinalis, longissimus and iliocostalis muscles. Like all other muscles in your body, they are prone to injury when physically stressed. If you overuse or over-stress a muscle in your back, it can lead to pain and inflammation. Known as a pulled muscle or muscle sprain, this occurs when fibers of the affected muscle are torn. The symptoms of a pulled muscle usually reside on their own, though it’s important to rest and avoid engaging the affected muscle until you’ve fully recovered.

 

Vertebral Infection

An infection of your vertebrae can also cause low back pain. This isn’t as common as a pulled muscle, but it’s still something you should consider if you suffer from low back pain. Infection can occur within the intervetebral discs or the sacroiliac joints. If left untreated, an infection here can lead to low back pain. Children, the elderly and people with a weakened immune system are most susceptible to vertebral infections. Vertebral infections are typically treated using prescription antibiotics or anti-fungal drugs. The former is used for bacterial infections, whereas the latter is used for fungal infections.

 

Slipped Disk

Also known as a herniated disc, a slipped disc is a condition in which the soft and spongy material within the intervertebral discs begins to push out of its shell. While many cases of a slipped disc cause no visible symptoms, it can cause numbness, pins and needles sensations, tingling and pain in the lower back. Slipped disc is a relatively uncommon condition, with statistics showing that bout 0.2% to 2.2% of the adult population will experience it at some point during their life. Risk factors of a slipped disc include prolonged sitting and overuse of back muscles.

 

 

Spinal Misalignment

Some cases of back pain are attributed to a misaligned spine. The spine is responsible for supporting and distributing your body’s weight so that you remain balanced. There are times, however, when the spine can become misaligned, resulting in the uneven distribution of your body’s weight. As your body’s weight shifts, it stresses the muscles and joints in your back, thereby causing pain. The good news is that a professional chiropractor can easily treat a misaligned spine. Spinal manipulation is a chiropractic service that involves manually manipulating the spine and its supporting structures back into their original position. Once your spine is properly aligned, the pain will subside and you’ll be back on your feet.

 

Kidney Stones

As they pass through your bladder and urinary tract, kidney stones can create sharp pain in your lower back. Also known as urolithiasis, a kidney stone is hardened ball of minerals that forms in the urinary tract. Our bodies do a pretty good at flushing waste, but high levels of minerals can cause kidney stones to form. If you consume too much calcium, for example, it may form a ball that’s not easily passed through your urinary tract. If the kidney stone is larger than 0.2 inches, it will likely cause pain as your body attempts to expel it. Kidney stones are common, with statistics showing that between 1% and 15% of the global population will develop them. And while most kidney stones cause pain in the stomach and pelvis, some can cause pain in the lower back. Kidney stones typically pass on their own with time, though you should talk to your physician about any pain or other symptoms you are experiencing.

 

Arthritis

Finally, arthritis can occur in any joint of your body, and the spine is no exception. Spinal osteoarthritis specifically refers to degenerative arthritis of the spine’s joints. It’s a chronic disease that becomes worse over time. Like other forms of osteoarthritis, spinal osteoarthritis causes the break down and degradation of cartilage within the spine’s joints. As this cartilage breaks down, the bones to which the joint are connected rub together, resulting in pain. Although there’s no cure for spinal osteoarthritis, there are drugs and treatment options that can alleviate the pain and other symptoms. Furthermore, something as simple as staying active can lower your spinal osteoarthritis pain. Performing low-impact exercises, for instance, build smuscle so that your back is able to better support the weight of your body.

 

If you suffer from low back pain, contact us today to learn more about our spinal manipulation therapy and other professional chiropractic services.

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