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Lower Back Pain

2110 S 17th St


600 Beaman St
Clinton, NC 28328

116 N Norwood St
Wallace, NC 28466

Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is a common issue that affects a large portion of the population at some point in their lives. It can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain that makes movement difficult. The lower back, or lumbar region, supports much of the body's weight and is prone to injury and strain.

Common Causes of Lower Back Pain:

  1. Muscle or Ligament Strain:

    • Overexertion or improper lifting techniques can strain the muscles and ligaments in the lower back.

    • Sudden movements or falls can also cause strains.

  2. Herniated or Bulging Discs:

    • Discs act as cushions between the vertebrae. When a disc herniates or bulges, it can press on nerves, causing pain.

    • Commonly referred to as a slipped or ruptured disc.

  3. Degenerative Disc Disease:

    • Discs naturally degenerate with age, losing hydration and elasticity, which can lead to pain.

    • May also cause conditions such as spinal stenosis or spondylosis.

  4. Sciatica:

    • Compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back down the legs.

    • Causes sharp, shooting pain, numbness, or tingling in the lower back and legs.

  5. Spinal Stenosis:

    • Narrowing of the spinal canal, which can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.

    • Often due to degenerative changes such as arthritis.

  6. Spondylolisthesis:

    • A condition where a vertebra slips out of place, often due to a stress fracture or degeneration.

    • Can lead to nerve compression and pain.

  7. Arthritis:

    • Osteoarthritis can affect the lower back, leading to pain and stiffness.

    • Inflammatory arthritis such as ankylosing spondylitis can also cause lower back pain.

  8. Other Conditions:

    • Osteoporosis: Weakening of bones, leading to fractures.

    • Fibromyalgia: A chronic condition causing widespread pain and tenderness.

    • Infections: Such as osteomyelitis or discitis, though rare.


  • Pain that can be dull, sharp, or shooting.

  • Stiffness and reduced range of motion.

  • Muscle spasms.

  • Pain that radiates down the legs (sciatica).

  • Numbness or tingling in the lower back, buttocks, or legs.

Common Injuries Associated with Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain can be both a symptom of and a risk factor for various injuries. Common injuries associated with lower back pain include:

  1. Muscle and Ligament Strains:

    • Common in individuals who perform heavy lifting, sudden movements, or have poor posture.

    • Symptoms include localized pain, swelling, and muscle spasms.

  2. Herniated Discs:

    • Caused by improper lifting, twisting motions, or degenerative changes.

    • Symptoms include severe pain, especially when sitting, bending, or lifting, as well as numbness or tingling.

  3. Fractures:

    • Vertebral fractures often result from trauma or conditions like osteoporosis.

    • Symptoms include sudden, intense pain and limited mobility.

  4. Sciatica:

    • Often caused by a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or spondylolisthesis.

    • Symptoms include sharp, burning pain, numbness, and weakness in the lower back and down the leg.

  5. Spinal Stenosis:

    • Resulting from degenerative changes or congenital conditions.

    • Symptoms include pain, cramping, and weakness in the lower back and legs, especially when standing or walking.

  6. Spondylolisthesis:

    • Often due to stress fractures or degenerative changes in the vertebrae.

    • Symptoms include lower back pain, stiffness, and nerve-related symptoms like numbness or weakness.

Prevention and Management

  • Medications: Pain relievers (NSAIDs, acetaminophen), muscle relaxants, and corticosteroid injections for inflammation.

  • Physical Therapy: Exercises to strengthen the core and back muscles, improve flexibility, and promote proper posture.

  • Lifestyle Modifications: Maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, avoiding heavy lifting, and using proper body mechanics.

  • Activity Modification: Avoiding activities that exacerbate pain, incorporating low-impact exercises such as swimming or walking.

  • Heat and Cold Therapy: Applying heat to relax muscles and improve blood flow, and cold to reduce inflammation and numb pain.

  • Alternative Therapies: Chiropractic care, acupuncture, and massage therapy.

  • Surgical Options: In severe cases, procedures such as discectomy, laminectomy, or spinal fusion may be considered.

Effective management of lower back pain involves a combination of medical treatment, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes to reduce symptoms, improve mobility, and prevent further injury.

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