Low back pain is one of the top reasons why people visit the doctor, and due to its debilitating effects, it’s also one of the top reasons why employees collect job-related disability. It’s estimated that eight out of 10 people will experience pain in their lower back.
The lower portion of your back is known as the lumbosacral area, and it’s comprised of your spine and several muscles. The spine is made up of discs and vertebrae, and these components work like shock absorbers and keep your spine flexible. If you’re experiencing pain in your lower back, there is a good chance that it’s related to these components, and it’s useful to understand some of the common causes of low back pain.
Ligament and Muscle Injuries
Your lower back is packed with many ligaments and muscles, and they serve as important support structures for your body. When these components get injured, you’ll experience pain in your back. It’s quite common for pain to be caused by spasms within these muscles. Depending on the exact cause, the pain might move down into your buttocks or legs.
Another common cause of pain in the lower back is sciatica, which is used to describe a specific set of painful symptoms. When pressure is placed on your lumbar nerve roots, you’ll feel pain, and the pain can radiate throughout your sciatic nerve. Some common problems that can place unnecessary pressure on your sciatic nerve are degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, herniated discs or vertebrae abnormalities.
A lot of people call this problem a slipped disc, but it’s actually called a herniated disc. If you have severe back pain, then there is a chance that you have a herniated disc. This problem develops when your lumbar area becomes herniated and ruptures. Over time, the disc degenerates, and the gel inside of the disc begins to push outward.
Low back pain is commonly caused by disc degeneration, and as the disc in your back begins to crack, it will deflate and cause spinal stenosis. If you’re dealing with disc degeneration, you might experience severe pain, stiffness and limited mobility.
Facet Joint Dysfunction
Your lumbar spine contains two facet joints behind every disc, and there is cartilage between the bones. If these joints begin to malfunction, it can result in chronic low back pain. Facet joint dysfunction is a common cause of pain in the lower back.
The joints within your spine can fall victim to osteoarthritis, and in most cases, this condition is caused by the natural aging process. However, it can also be caused by excessive wear and tear, herniated discs, fractures and prior surgeries. Osteoarthritis destroys the cartilage within the joints, and your spinal discs will become much more brittle.
If you’re dealing with any of these problems, you should know that there are several treatments available at Innovative Spine in San Antonio that can bring you relief. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to learn more.