7 Very Common Causes of Lower Back Pain and Pressure
Lower back pain and pressure are common in adults but what the cause is of that pain often goes undiagnosed. In this article, our team of back experts discusses common causes of lower back pressure and pain and how a chiropractor may be able to help.
Keyword(s): lower back pain and pressure
Thirty-one million Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives.
Back pain affects your ability to work, play, and enjoy your life. Even simple movements cause severe pain. Before getting treatment, it can help to identify what is causing your pain.
Read below to discover seven very common causes of lower back pain and pressure.
1. Lumbar Herniated Disc
A Lumbar herniated disc is when the disc breaks through its outer layer. This irritates the nearby nerves. Inflammation occurs when the disc's proteins reach a nerve root. The inflammation leads to nerve pain, which causes lower back pain.
A herniated disc is most often caused by normal wear and tear. You can increase your odds of a herniated disc if you lift something heavy and add stress to your discs. This is one of the widespread causes of lower back pain and occurs in people age 35 to 50.
While this problem can be painful, it is short lived. Most people report no pain after six weeks. Lumbar herniated discs can resolve themselves. But it's best to consult an expert to help manage the pain.
2. Spinal Stenosis
Spinal Stenosis occurs when the spinal canal narrows. The narrowing can be at one level or several levels in the lower back.
Aging is the most common reason behind Spinal Stenosis. Degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis or degenerative spondylolisthesis can also cause Spinal Stenosis.
Along with lower back pain, you'll experience pain in your legs. This pain can become severe, especially when walking. Spinal Stenosis is recognizable through achieving immediate pain relief when sitting down.
Most often, the symptoms with Spinal Stenosis develop over a long period of time. This condition is most common in patients over 50. Almost 400,000 Americans suffer from pain associated with Spinal Stenosis.
A CT scan or MRI will give a conclusive diagnosis of Spinal Stenosis.
Frequent wear and tear of your disc and facet joints lead to Osteoarthritis. This is one of the most common causes of lower back pain. Osteoarthritis most often occurs in people over the age of 50.
Along with lower back pain, Osteoarthritis also causes inflammation, instability, and stenosis. The pain can also occur in your hands, knees, and hips. This issue occurs slowly over time and increases in pain.
Treatment relieves pain and prevents further damage. Consider the following treatments:
- Physical therapy with a personalized exercise program.
- Occupational therapy to help you prevent pain with your daily tasks.
- Medication to help relieve the pain.
- Weight loss and exercise to maintain a healthy weight.
- Surgical procedures for severe cases.
Osteoarthritis is also called Spondylosis or Degenerative Joint Disease. Obesity, genetics, and physical labor increase your risk of developing Osteoarthritis.
Lower back pain and pressure is often times caused by trauma. This can include everything from a sports injury to a vehicle accident.
Fractures, sprains, or dislocations can occur in your spine and lead to severe pain. Trauma injuries are serious and need immediate medical treatment.
Whiplash is a common side-effect that comes with back trauma. Whiplash occurs when your head jerks back fast or you're struck from the side. Systems include stiffness, headaches, spasms, and tingling in your arms.
Treat trauma injuries and whiplash with care. Receive an x-ray to rule out a fracture. An expert can provide you with stretches to help with pain and your recovery.
5. Compression Fracture
A compression fracture occurs in the cylindrical vertebra. The bone caves in on itself, causing severe pain in our lower back pain.
Compression fractures are most often caused by weak bones. Aging and osteoporosis are often contributing factors. Around 750,000 people have a compression fracture each year.
These are also called wedge fractures, vertebral fractures, or osteoporotic fractures.
Other types of fractures do exist, including:
- Burst fracture involves both the front and back walls of the vertebrae. These are unstable and can cause deformities or neurologic compromise.
- Crush fracture is when the entire bone breaks, instead of just the front of the vertebrae.
Compression fractures are treatable without surgery. But you should consult medical attention to prevent further injury.
6. Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative Disk Disease occurs with age. The disease happens when your disc starts to lose water. Without water, it can't withstand the same amount of force it once could. This happens to almost everyone as they age, but not everyone will experience pain.
This pain will come and go. You will notice that walking can help relieve the pain. Bending, lifting, and twisting can cause the pain to return.
This damage isn't reversible. Your best bet is to find ways to ease the pain and prevent future damage. Physical therapy is a common solution but surgery is also a possibility.
Sciatica is inflammation of your sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve and can cause severe pain and movement issues.
The most common symptoms are tingling and numbness. The pain and weakness will start in your lower back and travel down your legs.
If your pain is mild, use a home treatment. A few methods include:
- Find a comfortable position and rest.
- Use lumbar support to ease muscle spasms.
- Ice your lower back for 20 minutes every hour.
Most often, the presence of Sciatica is due to an underlying medical condition. Meet with your chiropractor to make sure you don't have a serious medical condition. Spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease are possible underlying conditions.
Treating Lower Back Pain and Pressure
If you often find yourself asking, 'why does my back hurt?' it's time to consult a chiropractor.
Chiropractic care can provide fast relief of your lower back pain and pressure. You will also experience increased performance and strength.
When choosing your chiropractor, keep the following things in mind:
- Good testimonials from previous clients.
- An education and background in the field.
- Affiliations with chiropractic organizations.
- Experience in different treatments.
Contact us for the best chiropractic care in Saratoga Springs and Malta. The doctors at Smith Chiropractic will work to understand your pain and needs. We sit down with our patients and explain your condition before you agree to any treatment.