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Lower Back (The Lumbar Spine)
The lumbar spine is well built structurally by interconnecting several bones, joints, nerves, ligaments, and other muscles. They all work together to provide support, strength, and flexibility in the body movement. In spite of being very versatile and functional , low back is sensitive to injury .

The lower back(lumbar spine) bears most of the weight of your body while performing everyday motions like bending and twisting. The muscles located in your lower back is responsible for supporting your spinal column and the hip while walking. In the same way, the nerves in your lower back are responsible for transmitting sensation to the brain. The lumbar spine also provides strength to the muscles located in the pelvis, legs, and feet.

Studies say that nearly 90% of adults are experiencing mild to severe pain lower back pain at some point in their life. It is one of the most common problems facing many people doing a job. The back pain ranges from a dull constant ache to a sudden sharp, or severe pain sometimes leaves a person disabled. Men and women, both are equally at risk of affecting from this lower back pain problem. Usually, lower back pain might last from 4 to 12 weeks.

Symptoms Of Lower Back Pain:

Symptoms of back pain vary from person to person ranges from mild discomfort to a stabbing like sensation in the back. Severe pain might make it difficult to move or sit or stand upright. Sometimes, the pain might even spread down to the legs from the buttocks. Acute back mostly appears after an injury or due to lifting heavy objects. If the pain persists for more than three months, it is considered as chronic back pain. In Rare conditons like Cauda equina syndrome, patient may present with the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Swelling in back
  • Uncontrolled bowel movements
  • Numbness around the genitals and anus
  • Numbness near lower hip or buttocks
  • Urinary incontinence or difficulty while urinating
  • Pain that worsens with prolonged sitting
  • Pain radiating down to buttocks, knees, or feet
  • Severe pain in the abdomen

Causes Of Lower Back Pain:

As we discussed, human back is a structure made of muscles, discs, ligaments, tendons and bones. If any damage occurs to these parts, it can cause back pain. The exact cause of lower back pain may remain unclear in some peculiar cases. The pain might be due to strain, medical conditions, structural problems, posture and even some times could be due to stress realted.
Back Pain Due to Excess Strain or Improper Posture

Back pain might be a result of some everyday activities or poor posture, which include:

  • When your job involved in prolonged sitting for a long time in an improper posture might result in back pain.
  • Lifting, pulling heavy objects can twist your spine, which leads to back pain.
  • Carrying heavy backpacks or briefcases.
  • Improper posture while sitting and using a computer or laptops etc.
  • Muscle tension & Muscle spasm
  • Injuries, fractures, or falls to your back can lead to severe back pain.
  • Strained muscles and damaged disks of the lumbar spine
  • Over-stretching of your back while exercising and workouts along with poor technique of lifting weights
  • Bending awkwardly or bending for a long time
  • Straining your neck while driving or using a computer for a long time
  • Bad sleeping postures or sleeplessness

Structural Problems Causing Back Pain

Arthritis: Arthritis problems like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis , Ankylosing spodylitis which causes joint problems in the hip, the lower back can lead to back pain.

Osteoporosis: It is a progressive bone disease that decreases bone density and makes the bones brittle and porous. The weak bones are more susceptible to severe fractures of the vertebrae.

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Herniated Disc or Slipped Disc: Your vertebral body is surrounded by a gel-like substances on either side to protect it. If the substance gets damaged due to ageing or injuries can cause back pain. A weak disc in the vertebrae may be compressed or herniated (bulge), due to pressure can also cause lower back pain. As a protective reflex , Muscle spasm can co exist with disc rupture or injury to the back.

Spinal Stenosis: In this condition, the spinal column becomes narrow and creates added pressure on your spinal cord and nerves. This can result in pain or numbness in the lower back and over time causes weakness in your legs, sensory loss, etc.

Sciatica: Compression or pressure on the sciatic nerve (the largest nerve extends from the back to the foot through the buttocks) can cause shock-like or burning sensation in the lower back associated with pain from the buttocks down to the legs.

Some other structural problems include spondylosis and spondylolisthesis etc. can also result in lower back pain.

Back Pain Due To Medical Conditions

Some medical conditions causing lower back pain, which include:

Cauda Equina Syndrome: It is a rare and severe condition of a ruptured disc. When the disc is forcefully driven into the spinal canal compressing the nerve roots can cause uncontrollable bladder and bowel movements. Improper treatment of this condition might cause permanent neurological damage.

Tumours: Tumors rarely cause back pain. More often, they are resulted due to cancer that spread from other parts of the body.

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Sleeping Disorders: People having sleeping disorders are more likely to effect from back pain problems compared to healthy people.

Spine Infections: Infections rarely causes back pain. However, some diseases like osteomyelitis, discitis sacroiliitis might cause lower back pain.

Other infections: Other infections like PID – Pelvic inflammatory disease, shingles and some bladder infections may also cause lower back pain problems.

Many more underlying medical conditions like endometriosis, abdominal Aortic Aneurysms, fibromyalgia, prostatitis, uterine prolapse, obesity, ectopic pregnancy, abortions and can also lead to lower back pain.

Risk Factors Associated With Back Pain

Increasing Age: With increasing age, people lose muscle elasticity, bone density leading to fragility fractures. Typically, People aged between 30 and 50 are commonly affected by lower back pain.

Fitness levels: Lack of fitness levels is also a common cause of back pain. Your back might not support the spine properly if you are not physically fit.

Pregnancy: Pregnancy is another common reversible cause of low back pain due to pressure on the pelvis and changes in weight.

Weight gain: Sudden weight gain, obesity puts extra pressure on your back which might result in back pain.

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Genetic Factors: Studies say that genetic factors can also result in lower back pain, i.e., ankylosing spondylitis (a form of arthritis) have a genetic component associated with back pain.

Mental Health Factors: Improper mental health conditions like anxiety and depression can also trigger back pain.

Backpack with school books carrying by children can also cause back pain due to more pressure on their lower back and also causes muscle fatigue. Lower back pain is more prevalent in women than in men due to some hormonal factors. Some other factors, like stress, tension, and mood changes, can also trigger back pain.

If you suffer from any back pain or any issues regarding the spine and want more detailed information, then don’t hesitate to make an appointment to consult Dr. Surya Prakash, one of the best spine surgeons in Hyderabad.

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