What Are the Common Causes of Lower Back Pain?

What Are the Common Causes of Lower Back Pain?

Lower back pain is one of the country’s leading medical problems. Nearly 65 million Americans report an episode of back pain to their doctors. That’s larger than the populations of California and Florida combined. 

One reason why it is so common is that there are many common causes of lower back pain. The lower back contains many muscles, nerves, and ligaments. A number of back pain causes can impact any of these issues. 

What is a strain or sprain? What are the conditions of the spine and nerves that create discomfort? What are the different types of back pain? 

Answer these questions and you can determine why your back hurts. Here is your quick guide. 

Muscle Strains and Sprains 

Muscle strains and sprains are the leading causes of lower back pain. They can occur as a result of many different activities. 

You may sprain a muscle by moving too quickly. You may lift an object without stretching, causing your muscle to tear. Poor posture can put stress on your back, inducing back pain

Strains and sprains are not significant. They produce a tearing or searing pain, and they limit mobility for the time being.

But they do not cause serious complications. Rest your muscles for a few days and you will recover. 


Osteoarthritis is an age-related condition. The ends of bones contain cartilage that forms joints. As time goes on, this cartilage can wear down, inducing pain. 

Osteoarthritis can occur anywhere in the body, including in the back. The cartilage in the spine wears down, though hip pain can radiate outward. The pain can feel like stiffness or weakness. 

The condition requires doctor intervention. You may need physical therapy or injections of steroids.  

Spinal Stenosis 

Spinal stenosis involves the narrowing of the spinal canal. The spine normally contains spaces that allow nerves to spread out. When the spine narrows down, it can impact the nerves and cause pain. 

Pain can occur in the lower back or the neck. Some people may experience tingling in addition to stabbing pain. The pain gets worse as they get older. 

Taking medications can help reduce discomfort. Physical therapy can restore mobility and build muscle strength. If your pain is severe, you can receive a decompression procedure that widens your spinal column. 


The sciatic nerve is one of the leading nerves in the body. It runs down from the spinal cord through the lower back and into each leg. If your nerve becomes irritated, you can experience sciatica. 

It can create moderate to severe pain throughout the lower body. The pain may feel like pins and needles are pricking the skin. A person may encounter weakness, being unable to move. 

Medication and physical therapy can help with mild cases. If a person experiences sciatica due to trauma, they should go to a doctor. 

The Common Causes of Lower Back Pain 

Many people ask, “Why does my back hurt?” When you learn about the most common causes of lower back pain, you can answer that question. 

Muscle strains and sprains occur when muscles tear due to overwork. Rest is enough to treat most strains. 

Osteoarthritis occurs when joints wear down. Spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal canal impacts nerves. Both of these require a doctor to treat. 

Sciatica creates severe pain in the lower back. Medication and physical therapy are the best treatments. 

You don’t have to suffer through an illness. Follow our coverage for medical and pain management guides. 







Trevor Anderson wrote this article on behalf of FreeUp. FreeUp is the fastest-growing freelance marketplace in the US. FreeUp only accepts the top 1% of freelance applicants. Click here to get access to the top freelancers in the world.  





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