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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

Understanding Back Pain -- Prevention

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is key to helping prevent back pain. Excess weight puts a strain on the back, so maintaining a healthy weight is important. Regular exercise, especially core work, keeps the abdominal and back muscles firm. Smoking ages the spine, so avoid smoking and inhaling secondhand smoke. Practicing good posture is another way to help prevent back pain. First, analyze your posture by standing with your heels against a wall. Your calves, buttocks, shoulders, and the back of your...

Read the Understanding Back Pain -- Prevention article > >

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    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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