What Causes Low Back Pain?
Everyone experiences lower back pain at some point in life, and for a lot of people, the pain goes
away quickly. Lower back pain is not always severe and often gets better on its own. However, for
some people, lower back pain can be chronic. So what causes low back pain?
The Common Causes of Lower Back Pain
Studies show that when it comes to the effect of weight and height on spinal load, weight had a
stronger effect than height in most cases. Obesity brings with it a greater risk of back pain,
specifically in the lower back, for one-third of the population. Studies show the risk of developing
lower back pain is directly correlated with a person’s body weight. Carrying excess weight in the
abdomen and pelvis is very problematic because it shifts the pelvis forward, placing excess strain
on the lower back. It can be prevented with a maintainable weight loss and exercise regimen.
Acute Onset Low Back Pain
Acute onset low back pain (also commonly known as lumbago), is a very strong, piercing pain that
appears in the area of the lumbar spine. Because of this shooting pain, movement is initially
restricted or not possible at all. This low back pain is usually triggered by everyday stresses on the
spine and the back during exercise and general daily activities. Due to the severity of the back pain,
a herniated disc is often assumed as the cause, although this is rarely the cause. Lumbago is
mainly caused by a blockage of an intervertebral joint or by cramping back muscles. Mechanical
stress and overexertion are the most common causes.
Sprains & Strains
Muscle sprains and strains are the most frequent cause of back pain. The most common are those
that affect the lumbar muscle, caused by stretching and bending in abnormal ways that make the
ligaments stretch or tear. The pain can be acute or build up over time and become debilitating.
Doctors no longer recommend bed rest for most lower back pain. Lying in bed actually increases
muscle stiffness. Over time, this can can lead to muscle loss.
The jelly-doughnut-looking cushions between our vertebrae are subject to injury and overall wear
and tear. As we age, they dehydrate, become stiff, and sometimes irritate neighboring nerve roots.
Traumatic accidents and sudden movements can also put too much pressure on a disc and cause it
to rupture, protrude, and create pain. While herniated disc symptoms vary, people can experience
shooting pain down their legs.
Arthritis of the Spine
Arthritis of the spine leads to severe pain and inflammation and can make it difficult to stand, sit or
walk. Spinal joints withstand a large amount of pressure, making them prone to developing
arthritis. Facet joints, which act in the movement of the spine that allows you to bend, twist and
stretch experience cartilage breakdown.
A traumatic spinal cord injury may happen because of a sudden blow or cut to the spine. A spinal
cord injury often causes permanent loss of strength, sensation, and function below the site of the
injury. Frequent causes of spinal cord injuries are trauma (car accident, gunshot, falls, etc.) or
disease (polio, spina bifida, Friedreich’s ataxia, etc.). Treatments include drugs to reduce symptoms
and surgery to stabilize the spine.
Spondylolisthesis is a spinal disorder in which a bone (vertebra) slips forward onto the bone below
it. Spondylolisthesis risk factors include sports that put stress on the bones in the lower back.
Genetics may put some people at increased risk. If the vertebra slips too far, it may press on nerves
and cause severe back pain or nerve crowding that produces leg pain or numbness. Initial
treatment may include rest and medication. In severe cases spondylolisthesis may require surgery.
Proven Benefits of Chiropractic Care on Low Back Pain
A 2018 study enrolled 750 active-duty military personnel who complained of back pain. Half were
randomly assigned to receive usual care (including medications, self-care, and physical therapy)
while the other half received usual care plus up to 12 chiropractic treatments.
After six weeks of treatment, those who assigned to receive chiropractic care:
•reported less pain intensity
•experienced less disability and more improvement in function
•reported higher satisfaction with their treatment
•needed less pain medicine.
If you would like to learn more about chiropractic care and how we can help you, give us a call today!
For questions or comments contact:
Dr. Fred Dietzen
Evoke Spinal Care
140 Gregory Lane, Suite 195
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
Take advantage of all the benefits cold laser therapy has to offer today!
$65 a Session or $450 for a 10 Pack Series
Not sure if you need one or more laser treatment? Talk to Dr. Fred for more information.
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