What Causes Back Pain?
Back pain, especially lower back pain, is unfortunately common. Muscle, ligament, nerve, and spine injuries are frequent causes of this pain. Additionally, poor posture, degenerative diseases like arthritis, and regular wear and tear can also cause back pain. At Greater Austin Pain Center, we carefully identify the root causes of every patient’s pain and find personalized solutions.
A medical examination is necessary to identify the cause of your back pain in order to determine the appropriate course of treatment. The majority of people with back pain find relief with non-surgical treatments. However, for a small number of people with low back pain, symptoms persist, and surgery can be an effective treatment.
Many of the common back pain issues encountered stem from the lumbar spine, which is located in your lower back. Curving below your waist, the lumbar spine connects your upper body (head, trunk, and arms) to your lower body. Strong ligaments and muscles connect to your spinal column, providing back stability and movement.
Your spinal cord and spinal nerves at the lumbar level send signals for sensation and movement between your brain and lower body muscles. The spinal cord tapers near the first lumbar vertebra (L1) and forms a group of nerves called the cauda equina. This nerve group is involved with regulating bowel and bladder functions.
Six intervertebral discs are located between the vertebrae in your lumbar spine. The discs are made up of strong connective tissue, with a tough outer layer called the annulus fibrosus. Their gel-like center is called the nucleus pulposus. The discs and two small spinal facet joints connect vertebrae to each other. The discs and joints allow movement, provide stability, and cushion from impact.