The first step to addressing chronic lower back pain is to understand the cause. Many underlying conditions can lead to back pain, making pinpointing the reason for the pain even more critical.
More Common Causes of Lower Back Pain
You may be surprised to see just how many conditions could lead to chronic back pain. Narrowing down the list of possibilities is sometimes straightforward. Other times, diagnostic imaging and other tools may be needed to reach a proper diagnosis.
- Osteoarthritis: this type of arthritis is caused by normal wear and tear, making it a common cause of back pain in older adults.
- Compression Fracture: these fractures are caused by weak bones that crack under pressure over time or by injury.
- Herniated Disc: the discs between the vertebrae have two layers – when the soft inner portion breaks through the tougher outer layer, the herniation can lead to pain and discomfort.
- Degenerative Disc Disease: this disease leads to widespread breakdown of the discs between the vertebrae.
- Deformity: a malformation of the spine, such as scoliosis or kyphosis, can lead to other conditions like herniated discs, stenosis and joint dysfunction.
- Joint Dysfunction: facet or sacroiliac joint dysfunction can cause a wide range of other symptoms and conditions depending on the severity.
- Spinal Stenosis: this is a narrowing of the spaces within the vertebrae where nerves travel, putting pressure on the nerves and causing pain.
- Spondylolisthesis: this refers to a condition in which the vertebrae of your spine are unstable and may move in ways they aren’t designed.
Treating Lower Back Injury
An injury to the lower back can result in several conditions simultaneously. Properly treating the back injury requires understanding those conditions and how the injury occurred. For example, after a car accident or slip and fall.
Rare Causes of Chronic Back Pain
Other causes of chronic lower back pain are less common. They include autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, as well as infection or a tumor. While these are rare, your medical provider can rule them out with diagnostic imaging and other tools. Be sure to let them know of any family history of such medical problems.
If you are experiencing lower back pain, there may be a solution. Schedule an appointment with a back pain specialist at Caliber Pain today.