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Lower back pain, or lumbago, is a very common ailment and the leading reason for emergency room visits in the United States. Almost 80% of Americans will have suffer from lumbar back pain at some point. While uncomfortable, lower back pain is not typically a serious ailment. Lumbago can affect anyone and is more prevalent in the middle aged and elderly. There are several causes of lower back pain:
While one of the least common causes of back pain, bacterial infections pose a large threat. An infection can enter the spine through the bloodstream if there is an infection present somewhere else in the body. Injury to the spine can also lead to a bacterial infection. People who use recreational intravenous drugs are at risk for bacterial infections. Patients recovering from surgical procedures and those who are undergoing injection therapy are also at risk for contracting a bacterial infection.
The most common cause of lumbago is strain, which can occur with overuse or hyperextension of muscles or ligaments. Lifting heavy objects is the number one cause for back strain. Other causes of back pain include lifting improperly, sudden movement and muscle spasm.
Between the bones of the spine are disc-shaped cushions that protect the vertebra by absorbing shock. Normal changes due to aging or unexpected trauma can cause these discs to bulge or even rupture. Herniated and ruptured discs do not usually cause any discomfort until pressure is placed on the nerves.
When the cartilage between vertebrae wears down over time, pain and inflammation can occur. This can create a situation in which a nerve is impinged, causing pain.
Abnormal curvatures of the spine can cause pressure on the nerves of the lower back. Scoliosis, kyphosis and lordosis are all spinal deformities that can cause lower back pain.
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal that normally happens with age. This can cause nerves to become trapped as pressure is placed upon them.
This is a condition in which one of the vertebrae slips out of place and puts pressure on the vertebra below it, potentially pinching a nerve in between.
Trauma, such as an auto accident or a fall can create a crack in one of the spinal bones.
Tumors along the spine can put pressure on nerves.
Compression fractures in the vertebra are usually caused by trauma and involve at least two vertebra. The shift of vertebrae is a serious injury and typically leaves the spinal cord at risk.
This form of arthritis can cause the bones of the spine to fuse together. Pain and inflammation occurs chronically.
If you believe you need back surgery, give Georgia Spine and Neurosurgery a call today.