The lower back is an intricate structure of interconnected and overlapping elements:
An irritation or problem with any of these structures can cause lower back pain and/or pain that radiates or is referred to other parts of the body. Pain from resultant lower back muscle spasms can be severe, and pain from a number of syndromes can become chronic.
While lower back pain is extremely common, the symptoms and severity of lower back pain vary greatly. A simple lower back muscle strain might be excruciating enough to necessitate an emergency room visit, while a degenerating disc might cause only mild, intermittent discomfort.
Identifying the symptoms, along with an accurate diagnosis of the underlying cause of the pain, is the first step in obtaining effective pain relief.
Certain causes of lower back pain have a tendency to occur more often in younger individuals versus older adults:
Most cases of low back pain do not require urgent care, but patients should seek a doctor immediately if they experience low back pain as a result of severe trauma, or if low back pain is accompanied by any of the following:
In cases where immediate treatment is required, physicians will investigate possible serious causes of the pain, including infection, tumor or fracture.