Six Common Causes of Lower Back Pain

What Causes Lower Back Pain?

Lower back pain can have many different causes, and it’s not unusual for this type of pain to be misdiagnosed. It can arise from a sudden injury, or it can come on slowly and linger for years.

At our Pembroke Pines practice, we’ve treated hundreds of patients with lower back pain. Here are some of the most common things that can go wrong with your spine and surrounding soft tissues and cause this kind of pain.


1. Sprains and Strains

Pulled muscles, strains and sprains are among the most common causes of low back pain. It’s a common misconception that these only arise suddenly as a result of a single injury; in many cases, strains and sprains can happen slowly over time due to stress caused by repetitive movement.

A strain is an over-stretched or pulled muscle; a sprain is the same thing, but involving the ligaments, or connective tissue between bones. Common causes of strains and sprains include:

  • Twisting the spine too far
  • Lifting something that’s too heavy
  • Sitting with poor posture for long periods
  • Forceful impact from a sports injury or car accident

2. Herniated Discs

Built into the structure of your spine are soft discs that cushion the vertebrae and give your spine mobility. When a disc slips out of alignment and bulges outside of your vertebral column, it can compress and irritate nearby nerves—causing intense pain.

Sometimes this is caused by a single injury. But it can also be caused by degeneration over time. As people age, these discs can wear down, leading to a herniated disc.

3. Spinal Stenosis

Nerves travel up the spinal column through a passageway in the center called the spinal canal. The entire spinal column is built to protect these nerves. However, sometimes that passage can narrow and put pressure on those nerves.

This narrowing can be caused by a variety of factors, including wear, tear, and bone overgrowth from osteoarthritis; spinal tumors; thickened ligaments; and spinal fractures and dislocations.


4. Joint Dysfunction 

In addition to cushiony discs, the structure of the spine includes facet and sacroiliac joints that serve as shock absorbers and provide mobility. These can become inflamed, often as part of a cascading effect caused by herniated discs or other injuries.

5. Spondylolisthesis

This refers to a condition where a lower back vertebra slips forward over the vertebra beneath it. The most common underlying causes involve facet joint fractures or degeneration, leading to instability and painful nerve compression throughout the spinal structure.

6. Spinal Osteoarthritis

This condition usually happens slowly as a person ages, and can cause a cascade of effects including stenosis, facet joint problems, inflammation, instability of the spinal column, and herniated discs.

Dealing with Lower Back Pain? An Expert Chiropractor Can Help.

We’ve helped hundreds of patients dealing with acute and chronic lower back pain to recover, restore mobility, and resume a normal, pain-free life. We can help you, too.

Give us a call now at 954-432-5006 to schedule your consultation at our Pembroke Pines office.

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