Low back pain is one of the most common physical problems that affects healthy individuals. Many people mistakenly believe that low back pain is a physical ailment that cannot be treated effectively or for which no definitive cause can be found. Yet, low back pain is always caused by something. There are, indeed, a number of different causes of low back pain. And when the cause of low back pain is diagnosed, this information can go a long way in tailoring the most effective treatment plan.
The cause of low back pain originates in a part of the back, which may be injured, inflamed or irritated. The following are the most common causes of low back pain.
Muscle spasm or injury
The muscles of the lower back support your body and allow your body to move. Muscles of the lower back can become stiff or may contract or spasm, producing low back pain than may improve with exercise or with muscle relaxants. Sometimes, a muscle injury can cause a muscle to tear or even to become displaced. Muscle injury causes severe pain that requires months to heal. If the injury is severe, surgical repair may be necessary.
Joint pain and arthritis
The joints are structures in the body that hold the musculoskeletal body parts together. Joints are composed of muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and fluid. Joints may become inflamed due to overuse or due to medical conditions such as arthritis. Joints may also become injured when one or more of the components is torn, stretched or moved out of place.
Any of these conditions cause joint pain, which can translate into persistent low back pain. When low back pain is caused by a joint injury, the treatment includes rest and medication and possibly a splint or a cast to help the pain and to ensure that the structures are properly aligned while they heal. Sometimes, surgical repair is necessary. When joint pain is caused by arthritis or another type of inflammation, anti-inflammatory medicine is often useful to help relieve the inflammation and reduce the pain.