Lower back pain is a common condition experienced by many people. In fact, lower back pain is a condition from which anyone can suffer. Most Americans are highly susceptible to lower back pain. Lower back pain can be debilitating and if ignored, can cause a person to become disabled. In the United States, lower back pain is believed to be the top reason many Americans become disabled at work. It is also the number one reason Americans are unable to go to work as well as the top reason for doctor visits.
The search for the cause of lower back pain is ongoing. In fact, it is reported that more than $50 billion is spent each year on research and other efforts to find the cause of lower back pain. There is no one cause of lower back pain; there are in fact many causes. However, a lot of research must still be done in order to identify other possible causes.
“Lumbago” is a term you are likely to hear often whenever the topic is about lower back pain. Lumbago is actually another term for lower back pain. Lower back pain is a condition that does not discriminate. It can occur anytime and affect anyone regardless of age, sex or background. Lower back pain is caused by a number of things, many of which are known and some are still to be discovered. However, muscle strain is said to be the leading cause of lower back pain among most people. You can experience muscle strain after lifting, pushing or pulling a heavy object. You can also strain your back muscle after doing some quick movements. Muscle pain after a fall can also be a cause of lower back pain.
A herniated disc is another cause of lower back pain. The spine is made up of solid, bony blocks. Between these blocks are discs that function as shock absorbers. If one of the discs in your lower back slips, you may experience lower back pain. The pain may get worse after standing or sitting for long periods.
Another cause of lower back pain is degenerative disc disease. Think of this disease as an arthritis of the cartilages in your discs. In this condition, the cartilages are slowly breaking down (degenerating). People with degenerative disc disease often experience lower back pain in the morning and evening.
Other causes of lower back pain include obesity, stress or improper sleeping position. Even an uncomfortable bed can be a cause of lower back pain. Smoking is also believed to be a cause of lower back pain because smoking lowers the amount of blood that flows to the lower spine. Leading a sedentary lifestyle — little or no exercise — is also believed to be a cause of lower pack pain.