What is the cause (or causes) of lower back pain?
Can you pinpoint the exact cause of your pain, so that you can treat it and get rid of the pain immediately? Sometimes you can. Though you need to be careful as back problems and symptoms have different causes.
The Treatment Paradox
Many people on the internet offer information on exact causes to help sell you a cure, and no doubt some of them even work. However, the concept of “cause” can be a tricky one – even to a doctor or other medical professional. Very often your acute (or short term) pain will disappear naturally. In fact, most people have back pain during their life. It is a normal occurrence. And many times the pain goes away on its own without any type of treatment.
If you are using some type of treatment and your pain symptoms disappear, you might attribute the disappearance to whatever treatment you were receiving, when – in fact – the pain simply disappeared on it’s own – the way a fever, cold, or a bad mood might simply go away on its own.
Likewise, human beings are complicated. We have unique lifestyles, beliefs and experiences. Consider the popular medical idea that bone strength, muscle elasticity and muscle tone decrease with age. And that as we age the “discs” in the spine begin to lose flexibility and their ability to cushion and protect the vertebrae. That may be true. But does it cause the pain in your lower back? Not necessarily.
A person’s bone density will decrease with age and perhaps even the disks in parts of their spine. But some people have damage in their lower disks and they have no pain. Your experience needs to be considered.
Here are some purported cause of back pain, especially pain in the lower areas of your back.. But keep in mind, many people also have the symptoms or conditions below but NO PAIN.
Injury or trauma to the back
Degenerative conditions such as Arthritis
Osteoporosis or other bone disease
Irritation to joints or discs
Spine abnormalities that a person is born with
Let’s not forget so-called life-style factors such smoking, obesity, weight gain from pregnancy, stress, general bad posture, and bad posture in certain tasks such as when lifting heavy objects. There are also factors such as a pinched or compressed nerve.
So when all is said and done, it is important to not use a treatment for your pain that is expensive or irreversible. For example, surgery for back pain is almost never recommended. Why? Because the symptoms may go away on their own or may go away with some type of gentle treatment such as massage, exercise, Feldenkrais sessions or other non-invasive (and cheaper) treatment.