Startup Guides > 8 Root Causes of Your Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is an incredibly prevalent issue, with about 65 million Americans reporting episodes of back pain annually. When this pain becomes persistent, it can significantly impact your ability to work, exercise, and enjoy time with family. Many individuals opt for over-the-counter solutions without delving into the root causes of their discomfort. Identifying the culprits behind your symptoms is crucial, especially when it comes to lower back pain. Here are the most common causes you should be aware of:

1. Sedentary lifestyle
A sedentary lifestyle often leads to weakened muscles, poor posture, and limited mobility, all contributing factors to lower back pain. The muscles in your back, glutes, hips, and core play a vital role in supporting your spine. Without proper strength in these areas, your spine may lose alignment, exacerbating back problems. If your job requires prolonged sitting, it can lead to postural issues, affecting your shoulders, lower back, and neck. Taking breaks from extended sitting and incorporating regular exercise can help mitigate these issues.

2. Stretching or tearing of muscle fibers
Muscle strain is a common cause of lower back pain, resulting from overstretching, frequent bending, twisting, heavy lifting, or engaging in contact sports. Prolonged sitting in the same position increases the risk of muscle strain. Regular breaks, ergonomic chairs, and proper lifting techniques can significantly reduce the likelihood of muscle strain. When lifting heavy objects, use your legs and maintain a straight back to avoid strain.

3. Herniated discs
The spine's structure involves discs between the vertebrae, providing cushioning and facilitating movement. One of these discs tears or leaks as a result of damage or aging, and this condition is known as a herniated disc. This illness may result in excruciating pains in the thighs or calves in addition to lower back discomfort. Loss of sensation and weakness are also common. Getting medical attention is essential for an accurate diagnosis and course of therapy.

4. Injury
Lower back pain can result from sports injuries, vehicle accidents, or falls, often due to blunt-force trauma. While some traumatic incidents may cause temporary pain, persistent pain requires immediate medical attention. Delaying treatment can worsen the situation, emphasizing the importance of consulting a doctor for persistent pain resulting from injuries.

5. Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis, the most prevalent kind of arthritis, is caused by the degeneration of joint cartilage and generates back pain. Swelling, stiffness, and restricted range of motion in joints such as the hands, hips, or knees are some of the symptoms. While medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen may provide relief, occupational and physical therapy are often more effective solutions. In severe cases, doctors may prescribe cortisol or steroid injections.

6. Poor sleep habits
Inadequate or poor-quality sleep can contribute to lower back pain. When your body doesn't get sufficient rest, it may affect muscle recovery and tissue repair, leading to increased susceptibility to pain. Ensure you maintain a comfortable sleep environment and prioritize good sleep hygiene to support overall spinal health.

7. Psychological factors
Stress, anxiety, and depression can manifest physically, contributing to lower back pain. Emotional well-being is closely connected to physical health. Addressing psychological factors through stress management, counseling, or mindfulness practices can positively impact your lower back pain.

8. Dehydration
Inadequate hydration can affect the spinal discs, leading to reduced cushioning and flexibility. The discs in your spine require proper hydration to maintain their shock-absorbing properties. Ensure you stay adequately hydrated to support the health and functionality of your spinal discs, reducing the risk of lower back pain.

The bottom line
Understanding these common causes of lower back pain empowers you to take proactive steps toward relief. If your pain persists, seeking professional medical advice is crucial for accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment. Addressing the root causes ensures a more comprehensive and lasting solution to your lower back pain concerns.

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8 Root Causes of Your Lower Back Pain