Lower back pain is one of the most common ailments that many people suffer from and deal with on a daily basis. It can be caused by a variety of factors, making it sometimes difficult to pinpoint the cause. Lower back pain can range from mild to severe and knowing what causes lower back pain can help you better understand how to treat it and prevent it from returning. In this blog post, we’ll explore and outline the three most common causes of lower back pain and what you can do to prevent the issue from arising.
One of the most common causes of lower back pain is muscle strain. This occurs when the muscles in your lower back become overworked or strained due to an activity or exercise that you’ve done. Muscle strain can be caused by lifting heavy objects, bending over for long periods of time, or engaging in activities that require repetitive motions such as running or swimming. Symptoms of muscle strain include soreness, stiffness, and difficulty moving around. It’s important to make sure before you engage in physical activity that you stretch properly so you can prevent a lower back injury from occurring.
One of the biggest contributing factors to low back pain is sitting incorrectly. A lot of us …… or should I say “all of us” are guilty of this — and we don’t even realize it. Poor posture can put extra stress on the discs in your spine and can also strain the muscles, leading to mild to severe pain and discomfort. This is a huge problem here in the United States because of our lifestyles that include way too much sitting. We sit for our meals, sit to drive to school/work, sit at work/school/at home and then at the end of the day, we are exhausted so we sit and watch TV. Sitting improperly for long periods of time will weaken our discs then cause our backs to go out unexpectedly when we do something simple like bending over to pick up a pencil brush our teeth.
Other symptoms that are commonly associated with poor posture, alongside lower back pain, are neck/upper back pain, headaches, shoulder stiffness and pain into the arms.
Sitting correctly is NOT uncomfortable like most people believe. Most people think good posture means to sit up straight with shoulders back. I refer to this type of posture as “proper,” in the eyes of the world, but this does NOT mean it is “good” posture – i.e. good for your back. In fact, this “proper” posture is what is causing so many disc related back problems.
Spine PT has worked with hundreds of people in various offices in utah and other states to learn how to sit correctly so they are not only comfortable doing their jobs, but are actually protecting their backs and necks from muscle strains and disc issues.
The third common cause of lower back pain is when you’ve suffered an injury. Injury to the spine or muscles in your lower back can cause severe pain and discomfort that may require medical attention. Common injuries that lead to lower back pain include car accidents, sports injuries, falls, and lifting heavy objects incorrectly. If you are doing dead lifts in your workouts, I highly recommend you ditch this and do squats instead. We see lots of people injured from doing dead lifts – including the world dead lift record holder. Symptoms associated with injury-related lower back pain may include swelling, bruising, difficulty moving around normally, pain down into one or both legs, and numbness and tingling in the affected area.
To wrap it all up, lower back pain is a very common ailment that affects many people every day. The good news is that Spine PT can help! Physical therapy is one of the best routes to recovery when it comes to lower back pain. We work with you closely to find the root cause of your problem, correct the issue, and reduce pain so you can get back to living a healthy, normal lifestyle without lower back pain. Understanding the three most common causes can help you take steps towards preventing them from occurring in the future so you don’t have to suffer from painful episodes again!
And if you’re interested in learning more about how we can help YOU reduce your lower back pain, be sure to contact us today for more information! We’d love to hear from you!