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What Causes Low Back Pain?

Although the vertebra (bones of the spine) are the largest and strongest in the low back, it is a very unstable part of the body. Since your body is meant to flex in every direction at the waist and almost every direction at the hips there are thousands of ways to injure yourself during your lifetime. In most cases the muscles surrounding the low back can become inflamed and tight from stress, poor posture, or exercise, and can pull the vertebrae out of alignment, causing painful muscle spasms and pinched nerves. The low back and pelvis also hold the job of carrying around most of the body’s weight, and therefore are susceptible to disc problems (discs are the gelatinous pads that act as shock absorbers between the bones of the spine). Disc bulges and herniations can cause pain not only in the low back, but in the pelvis and legs as well.


Because the low back is a complex network of muscles that supports most of the body’s movements, there are many symptoms that may crop up with a low back injury. While this list does not encompass every type of experience that may come from a low back injury, here are the most common symptoms seen:

  • Pain in the low back (from the bottom of the ribs to the hips)
  • Pain in the hips
  • Pain in the tailbone area
  • Numbness and tingling in the feet
  • Pain in the legs
  • Stiffness
  • Loss of mobility in the waist
  • Muscle weakness in the legs or low back


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