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Low Back Pain - Cause

The most common causes of low back pain are:

  • Injury or overuse. This can include sprains or strains of soft tissues such as ligaments and muscles, fractures or compression fractures of bones, or injuries to the small joints between the bones of the spine.
  • Pressure on nerve roots from conditions such as a herniated disc or spinal stenosis.
  • OsteoarthritisOsteoarthritis, which is usually caused by getting older.
    • When osteoarthritis affects the small joints in the spine, it can lead to back pain by making the joints themselves stiff and sore and also by creating pressure on the nerve roots.
    • Osteoarthritis in other joints, such as the hips, can cause you to limp or to change the way you walk. This can also lead to back pain.

Less common spinal conditions that can cause low back pain include:

Recommended Related to Back Pain

What Kind of Back Problem Do You Have?

Unless you are totally immobilized from a back injury, your doctor probably will examine your range of motion and nerve function and touch your body to locate the area of discomfort. Blood and urine tests may be done to determine if the pain is caused by an infection or other systemic problem.   X-rays are useful in pinpointing broken bones or other skeletal defects. They can sometimes help locate problems in connective tissue. To analyze soft-tissue or disc damage, computed tomography (CT) or...

Read the What Kind of Back Problem Do You Have? article > >

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 16, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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