The Cause of Lower Back Pain Symptoms is Never Found in 85% of the Patients…Don’t Be One of the 85%!


A recent study indicated that approximately 85% of patients who seek treatment for back pain never find out the cause of their pain! In this section, we’re going to discuss some of the common causes of back pain, along with some of the common lower back pain symptoms. This is vitally important because the better you understand what causes back pain, the more likely you are to be able to eliminate it.

Lower Back Pain SymptomsTo understand back pain, you have to understand there are a number of things that can cause lower back pain symptoms. For that reason, you cannot treat everyone who has back pain with the same program. Additionally, one must realize that low back pain is usually a symptom of some other problem. Consequently, you have to treat what is causing the pain in the first place…not the pain itself.

Let’s discuss a few of the most common causes of back pain, along with some of the lower back pain symptoms they cause.


Mechanical Low Back Pain


This is by far the most common cause of lower back pain. It usually presents as follows:

  • Achiness or stiffness across the low back
  • Usually affects muscles on both sides of the spine
  • Usually better in the morning and worsens as the day goes on
  • Can be constant or periodic, but is usually relieved by changes in position or rest
  • Usually stays localized in the back and does not cause referred pain (i.e. burning, tingling, or numbness down the legs)


Low Back Strain or Sprain


A strain means that you have injured the muscles in the back; whereas a sprain means you have injured the ligaments in or around the spine. These injuries usually present as follows:

  • Usually felt after a specific incident
  • Usually felt on one side more than the other
  • Can cause pain with certain motions in the spine, while other motions remain pain free
  • Usually better in the morning and worsens as the day goes on
  • Do not usually cause radiating pain


Bulging Disc


It seems almost everyone has heard horror stories about someone with a bulging disc. Though they can be incredibly painful and scary, the good news is that most bulging discs can be treated conservatively.


Here are some of the classic lower back pain symptoms caused by a bulging disc.

  • Can occur from one specific injury, or from an activity that increases pressure on the disc repeatedly over time
  • Usually irritated by one specific event
  • Pain that progresses for 24-48 hours after the initial onset
  • Usually causes severe difficulty with trying to get out of bed the morning after the initial injury
  • Usually a sharp pain that starts in the back and radiates into one leg
  • Lower back pain symptoms are usually increased with coughing, sneezing, sitting, and forward bending
  • Can cause numbness, burning, or tingling in one or both of the legs


Facet Impingement


The facets are the joints between each vertebra. They connect each vertebra to the one above and below it in the spinal column. They also provide your spine increased stability and allow it to move. Facet impingements occur when one of the facet joints gets locked up. These injuries are characterized by the following lower back pain symptoms:

  • Usually caused from one specific incident
  • Pain is usually felt immediately
  • Pain and muscle tightness is mostly one-sided
  • Limitation in a few spinal motions, while others are full and pain free
  • Do not usually cause radiating pain


Spondylolisthesis [spon-dl-oh-lis-thee-sis]


This is a condition caused when the joints of the spine have begun to degenerate and the affected vertebra has started to slip forward on the one above and below it. It usually causes:

  • Usually characterized by an ache in the low back and/or buttocks
  • Back pain that usually worsens with activities such as walking (especially down a hill, down stairs, or while wearing high heels)
  • Pain with backward bending
  • Muscle spasms in the low back and/or hamstrings
  • Can cause shooting pain, tingling, or numbness in the legs


Remember, lower back pain is caused by a number of things. It is imperative you understand the cause of your lower back pain symptoms so you have a better chance of knowing how to eliminate them.