Low Back Pain

Woman holding her back in pain.

If you’re living with low back pain, you’re not alone. Lower back pain is one of the most common reasons for having to miss work – second only to the common cold – and 80% of people experience the pain at some point in their lives.

Unfortunately, the fact that it’s common doesn’t make living with low back pain any easier and the pain can range from acute, yet quickly over, to extreme and long-term. There are also many misunderstanding when it comes to this type of pain.

That’s why we’ve put together the answers to the most common questions about low back pain, from its causes and underlying health conditions that can make it worse, to options for treatment to help get you out of pain and back to living.

The Anatomy of the Lumbar Spine

The reason that low back pain is so common is the fact that despite the amazing feat of engineering that goes into making up your spine, your lower back is required to support the majority of your body’s weight.

Your low back is made up of five lumbar vertebra, along with five spaces in between known as discs that work as shock absorbers, taking in the forces as you walk, run, stand, bend, and more, and cushioning your bones during the movement.

Additionally, your lumbar spine is made up of ligaments, tendons and five pairs of spinal nerves, which must all work in perfect synchrony.

Picturing this makes it easy to understand just why so many people experience low back pain.

Causes of Low Back Pain

During your younger years to middle-age, back pain often results from musculoskeletal injuries. These can occur during strenuous sports, like football, baseball, and running. They can also happen thanks to a sudden motion, like twisting or falling or even due to car accidents or work-related injuries.

As you age, low back pain can even creep up caused by degenerative changes and inflammatory conditions.

Common causes of low back pain include:

Sprains and strains – lifting, twisting, or bending improperly can irritate soft tissue

Overuse – repetitive work or physical activity can lead to overuse injuries

Herniated disc – a compression and bulging of your disc

Sciatica – a compression of your sciatic nerve

Spinal stenosis – a narrowing of the spinal column

Degenerative disc disease – when your discs deteriorate

Your age, weight, and genetic factors can play in to make your low back pain more severe.

Underlying health conditions

Your health also plays a role in whether or not you develop low back pain. Underlying conditions that may go hand-in-hand with low back pain are:

  • Osteoporosis – A decrease in bone density raises your risk of fractures
  • Endometriosis - Uterine tissue that develops outside of the uterus often leads to low back pain.
  • Fibromyalgia – This chronic pain syndrome can manifest in your low back.
  • Arthritis – Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can cause pain and swelling in your low back joints.

Treatment for Low Back Pain

While some patients get relief from their low back pain through self-care, medications, or physical therapy, others suffer chronic pain that keeps them from enjoying their life to the fullest.

In these cases, pain management options can help achieve lasting relief and a return to physical activity.

At Cahaba Pain and Spine Care, our Board Certified Pain Physicians specialize in the following procedures for low back pain:

These procedures are designed to address the source of your pain and get you back on your feet, with minimal downtime.

Schedule an Appointment Today

If you or someone you know is suffering from low back pain, call Cahaba Pain and Spine Care and schedule an appointment today.