Lower back pain is an extremely common complaint. Sources state that about 80% of people are affected at some time in their lives by lower back pain. It is usually experienced in the area between the lower ribs and the hips and can be dull and achy or sharp. It can present in a small, specific location or in a larger, more diffuse area, and can also radiate up the back, forward into the abdomen or groin, and into one or both legs. Symptoms such as tingling, numbness or weakness may also be associated with low back pain.
There are many causes of low back pain. Common culprits include the following:
Traumatic injury, such as falling off a ladder or motor vehicle accident
Sprains and/or strains from heavy and/or repetitive lifting, twisting, pushing, pulling, etc.
Postural strain, often due to compromised posture used over time during a variety of activities
Degeneration of the spine and/or discs (also referred to as stenosis, degenerative disc or joint disease, herniated disc, etc.)
Often the pain is attributed to a strain of the muscles and ligaments around the spine, a compression of a nerve within the spinal canal or as it leaves the spine, and degeneration of the bones and discs that make up the spine. However, there are also other structures that can cause symptoms such as pain in this area.