Lower Back Pain

Specific lower back pain

Back Muscle Strain

Two of the most common causes of acute lower back pain are back muscle strain or ligament strain. These conditions can be brought on by lifting heavy objects, sudden movement and or twisting. All of this action can cause muscles or ligaments to stretch causing microscopic tears.


The severity of pain with lower back pain can vary from mild discomfort to extreme pain which can be disabling. However, this is dependent upon the extent of the strain and injury.


Back strains commonly heal by themselves and can be treated easily at home with a combination of rest, ice/ heat application, anti-inflammatory medications, gradual and gentle stretching and lower back exercises.


Alternatively, you can seek out the help of a physiotherapist who can treat the condition with a combination of exercises.



Another type of lower back pain condition is sciatica, which is caused by a compressed spinal nerve root in the lower back.  This is commonly due to degeneration of an intervertebral disc.


The symptoms of sciatica are quite varied, but generally include any combination of the following:

  • General ongoing pain, rather than pain than tends to flare up for a few days or weeks and then eases off.
  • Pain is worse in the leg and foot area rather than in the lower back.
  • Generally, it is felt on one side of the buttock or leg.
  • Pain that tends to worsen after you stand still or sit for long periods of time, but then relieves after walking or mobile.
  • Intense burning, tingling rather than dull or aching pain.
  • Might feel weakness, numbness or have difficulty moving the leg or foot.

Frequent causes of sciatica

  • Lumbar herniated disc

Sciatica can be caused when a nerve root in the lower spine is compressed, which then results in pain and numbness that travels along the large sciatic nerve that serves the buttocks, legs and feet.

Sciatica can be caused by a wide range of conditions, but most commonly in younger patients it is brought on by a lumbar herniated disc. However, other causes are degenerative disc disease, isthmic and spondylolisthesis.


Lower back pain that is chronic, worsening by positions and movements.


Another form of lower back pain can be chronic lower back pain that seems to get worse when you change positions, or move into a certain position.

The symptoms of lower back pain

lower back pain
  • A low level of constant back pain that includes episodes of severe pain.
  • Muscle spasms that can last from a  few days to a number of months.
  • Chronic pain that ranges from niggling to severe Back pain  that gets worse when sitting. 
  • Pain tends to subside when walking or running. Changing your position frequently relieves pain.

Causes of chronic lower back pain

Degenerative disc disease

A cause of chronic lower back pain is often lumbar degenerative disc disease which can affect patients that are as young as 20.


Lumbar degenerative disc disease arises when the lumbar discs between the vertebrae start to break down.


The disc that is damaged can cause inflammation and slight instability in the lower back region, which then results in pain, muscle spasms, and on occasions sciatica. 


This condition is very common, more so in younger patients, but is usually treated effectively.


Ache in the lower back region, worsening when standing or walking.


This type of lower back condition can cause great discomfort to patients that are affected, but generally symptoms can include any combination of the following:

  • Pain that radiates into the buttocks and back of the thigh, this is called sciatica or radicular pain.
  • Pain that gets worse when bending backwards
  • Pain that eases off when sitting, more so when sitting in a reclining position.
  • A feeling of tiredness in the legs
  • Numbness in the legs or tingling, especially after you have walked
  • Tight hamstrings, that makes it difficult to bed down and touch the toes 

Possible causes of aches in the lower back


Isthmic spondylolisthesis

This condition is sometimes caused by isthmic spondylolisthesis. This tends to arise when a vertebra in the low back slips forward and onto the disc space that is below it. It is largely widespread at the L5, S1 level and can cause low back pain from instability and nerve root pain that is due to compression of the nerve root.


This is a fracture that occurs in childhood; however, it is atypical because it normally does not create a lot of pain until a patient is in young adulthood.


A 5-minute treatment using the Ultrasonic Pain Relief device can result in effective, ongoing pain relief within 24 hours.