Causes of Low Back Pain: Can Exercise Help?

If you regularly experience pain in your lower back, you are certainly not alone. A large percentage of people experience low back pain and its onset has a tendency to greatly increase with age. There are two types of low back pain: acute and chronic. Acute low back pain is often associated with strenuous exercise or physical activity, overexertion, incorrect body stance or faulty posture. This type of low back pain comes on quickly and is profound but usually presents for a short period of time. Chronic low back pain, on the other hand, continues in a repetitive manner. Any sort of motion can activate the pain and it stays relentlessly.

Understanding Low Back Pain

The lower back is the most mobile region of the spine allowing movements such as turning, twisting, or bending. It also plays a critical role during standing, walking, jumping, and lifting. The lower back is a complex structure of bones, ligaments, and muscles with major nerves and joints. It connects the upper body (chest and arms) to the lower body (pelvis and legs) and is primarily comprised of vertebrae (bones of the spine) and intervertebral discs (cushions that sit between vertebrae) that bear much of the body’s weight. As such, the soundness of these structures and proper functioning of the lower back is necessary for almost all activities of daily living.

lower back structureUnfortunately, many will experience some sort of low back pain in their lifetime because if the lower back is misused in any way, it can fail. Disks can be ruptured, ligaments can sprain, and muscles can be strained. Oftentimes such injuries are caused by accidents or sports related incidents, however, at times, routine and simple movements can result in low back pain.

Some of the major causes of chronic low back pain include: excess body fat, spinal fracture (broken back), rupturing or bulging discs along the spine, degenerative arthritis, hip problems, kidney disease, inflamed muscles or joints, tumors, or aneurysms (click here to learn more about the major conditions associated with low back pain).