Common Reasons for Lower Back Pain

This blog is all about some of the more common reasons why people develop lower back pain. Now first things first, if you are experiencing back pain right now then be reassured you are not alone! Back pain is the most common medical complaint in the world! Research shows that 8 out of 10 people in the UK will experience some level of lower back pain in their lifetime. That is a lot of people! In fact, it is the leading cause of long-term disability in the UK!

So what is lower back pain caused by?

Well as you would expect a huge amount of time and money has gone into trying to answer this very question. However, I would be lying if I said all this research over decades and decades has got us any closer into finding out the answer. The short answer to what causes lower back pain is – we often don’t know! It is predicted that over 60% of lower back pain could be categorised as non-specific lower back pain. This subcategory is diagnosed when there is no specific cause to one’s back pain.

Here at the back and body clinic we don’t like to diagnose people with non-specific lower back pain. We do a thorough assessment to not only find were the pain is coming from but what caused it in the first place. It would take me a whole book to try and explain all the potential reasons people have lower back pain. So, in an effort to be concise here are the two most common reasons that I see in clinic:

  1. Muscular Imbalance – In my opinion this is the most common cause of lower back pain. This is where the muscles in your back are working too hard to cope with the stresses that are being asked of them. Whether that be through your work or sport. Therefore, they get tight to protect your back. These types of muscular lower back pain are easy to treat and get better quite quickly (3-6 weeks) however to correct the underlying cause of the issue takes far longer. Often the underlying cause is due to muscles in your buttocks or abdominals not being strong enough which puts more strain on your back muscles. Your physio will be able to confirm this during an assessment.
  1. Sclerosis / Osteoarthritis – Just like everywhere in your body, your back can go through osteoarthritic changes. This causes your lower back to become stiff which can be painful in itself. In addition, it can also cause the muscles around that area to work harder thus causing muscular pain as well. We can help improve the movement in your lower back and help you get back to enjoying the things you love!

There are 100’s of other explanations as to why you could be experiencing back pain, this is just an insight into the two most common explanations. If you are experiencing back pain and you want some answers as to why, don’t leave it until tomorrow to book into see someone. We can help today!

I will finish this blog by explaining that the most accurate predictor of how long your back pain will last, is how long you have had it for. The longer you have had your back pain the longer it will take for it to go away. So, what have you got to lose!

Tommy Pearson- Physiotherapist

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