5 Common Causes of Lower Back Pain

Your back is a complex hub of muscles, joints, and nerves that rely on proper movements and a healthy structure to function. Aging body parts, weak muscles, injuries, illness, and simply twisting the wrong way can put your back out of commission. Most often it’s temporary, and your pain goes away after a few weeks when the underlying problem resolves. When it doesn’t, it’s time to seek professional care.

Dr. Wade McKenna at McKenna Orthopedics & Biologics specializes in diagnosing back problems and helping you find the right treatment to relieve your pain and restore your mobility. 

Lower back pain is one of the chief complaints that bring patients to see Dr. McKenna, which makes sense when you realize how many conditions can cause it. Here are the top five sources of lower back pain.

1. Soft tissue injuries

One of the most common types of low back pain comes from sprained ligaments and strained muscles. It’s so common because it can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any age. Although those with weaker muscles are at higher risk, even professional athletes can suffer from low back injuries and spasms. Lifting heavy objects or lifting any object incorrectly can put too much stress on your spine and cause damage to your muscles and tendons. 

2. Disc problems

Your spine is made up of 33 bony vertebrae, protected by cushiony discs in between, and surrounded by lots of nerves and blood vessels. If your discs become damaged due to injury or illness, it can cause acute pain. Here are some ways discs contribute to low back pain:

3. Osteoarthritis

Your lower back contains five facet joints, and each is susceptible to deterioration and damage. When this occurs (as it inevitably does if you live past the age of 50), inflammation is the body’s natural response, and inflammation of the joints is the definition of arthritis. This inflammation causes pressure on surrounding tissues and nerves, which equals pain. In a cruel cycle, your back muscles may spasm in response to the pain, causing — you guessed it — more pain. 

4. Spinal stenosis

While spinal osteoarthritis itself is painful, it can also lead to another condition called spinal stenosis. This occurs when your spinal column narrows and begins to put pressure on the spinal nerves. 

But osteoarthritis isn’t the only culprit that causes spinal stenosis. It could also be the result of thickening ligaments or bone spurs on your vertebrae that narrow the space inside the spinal column. In addition to pain, spinal stenosis has been known to cause weakness and numbness.

5. Sciatica

The longest nerve in your body is called the sciatic nerve; it begins in your low back (between the L4 and L5 vertebrae) and one branch travels down each leg. When something pinches your sciatic nerve, you can feel the symptoms at any point along the nerve, and you have what’s called sciatica. Sciatica can stem from a few different causes:

Treating lower back pain

Depending on your unique set of symptoms, cause of your low back pain, and overall health, Dr. McKenna may recommend stem cell therapy to treat your condition. As a leading authority in this emerging medical field, Dr. McKenna performs this treatment with unparalleled expertise and helps many patients overcome their orthopedic pain by tapping into the power of their own body’s healing properties.

He draws a small sample of your own bone marrow and combines it with a bit of allograft tissue from a donor to create a treatment that boosts your ability to heal more quickly and completely. 

Stem cells are not yet assigned a body part, so they are blank and ready to morph into whatever type of cell you need to heal a certain injury or degenerated tissue. If you need to repair a torn disc or heal muscles or ligaments, stems cells can do that. Coupled with the growth factors and prostaglandins contained in the treatment, these elements prompt your body to go into hyper healing mode. 

Not all lower back pain and not all patients are good candidates for stem cell therapy, and if you need more traditional treatments, Dr. McKenna can develop a custom protocol just for you.

If you have chronic lower back pain and want to learn more about finally getting relief, give us a call at either of our locations or request an appointment online today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

What's Included in Sports Medicine?

Is sports medicine just for athletes? If not, what does it entail? If you’ve been wondering about this medical specialty and how you may benefit from it, here’s what you need to know.

Will My ACL Injury Heal on its Own?

The plant, pivot, and pop is the dreaded progression of events leading to an ACL injury. It’s every athlete’s worst nightmare, because recovery can be long and painful, and surgery is a probability. Or is it?

How Regenerative Medicine Helps Relieve Arthritis Pain

Over time, your joints begin to stiffen, ache, and creak. That’s arthritis setting in — deteriorating the cartilage and causing painful inflammation. You can either treat the pain with drugs, or heal the tissues with regenerative medicine.

Do I Need Surgery for My Shoulder Pain?

If you have shoulder pain, you shouldn’t be surprised. The shoulder is a complex joint with lots of moving parts. Surgery may help, but it shouldn’t be your first course of action. Find out when and why you might need shoulder surgery.