What Could Be Causing My Lower Back Pain?

In this article we will explore some of the different causes of you lower back pain.

Lower back pain is defined as pain in the vertebrae designated L1 through L5 — these comprise the part of the spine that curves inward at the base of you back.  In medical term it’s called lumbar lordosis.

Whether you experience it as a sharp, searing pain or a dull ache, lower back pain can be serious business. Four out of five adults experience it at one point or another.

A common reason your back may hurt is from bad posture while seated.  Sitting in a slouched or hunched over position can put strain on the discs — the fluid-filled cushions that protect the vertebrae from rubbing together.  There are also certain injuries like strains that can lead to lower back pain.

This may be worsened by an underlying medical condition. Let’s explore the possible causes of back pain you feel.



1. Posture

Posture while either sitting or standing can contribute to lower back pain. Slouching forward too much or leaning too far back can lead to pain.  Even if your back pain isn’t caused by poor posture, it can be made worse by it.


2. Muscle strain

Muscle strain in the lower back is also called a lumbar strain. It occurs when you overstretch or twist your back too much, also due to bad posture.  The result is an injury to the muscle tissue of the lower back.


3. Spinal stenosis

The bones in the spine each have a hole in the middle that form a tube through which the spinal cord runs. This connects the nerves throughout your body to your brain.  When that tube isn’t wide enough, the cord gets squeezed and can cause pain, weakness, or numbness. This is called spinal stenosis.  Spinal stenosis can be the result of an injury, arthritis, a tumor, or an infection.  Some people are born with a narrow spinal canal.


4. Degenerative disc disease

When the discs between the bones in the lower spine are damaged, it’s called lumbar or degenerative disc disease.  Discs degenerate in as we age, and injuries can cause part of the disc (annulus fibrosis) to tear.  The annulus fibrosis is what holds the nucleus pulpous, the soft center of each disc, in place.

When this part of the disc tears, the disc can’t heal itself because it doesn’t have much blood supply. The soft material in the center may then leave its normal confines.  It could protrude backward and compress a nerve root, resulting in pain that radiates down into the limbs.  Although some people who have degenerative disc disease don’t have symptoms at all, the pain can be quite severe in the lower back, buttocks, and thighs, and it may get worse when you bend or sit.

5. Herniated disc

Pain in your lower back is one of the first things you may experience if you have a herniated disc. Pressure on your disc has caused it to push out of its normal shape.  This puts strain on the spinal cord and nerves in the area, causing pain and even numbness that could also be felt in the hip or legs.

Older people often get a herniated disc as a natural part of the aging process. It can also happen as the result of a fall, lifting something the wrong way, or a repetitive motion injury.


If you feel like your back pain may be contributed by one of these injuries, our Physiotherapists would be able to assess and provide pain relieving strategies to help you live a pain free life.  Contact one of our clinics today for more information.

Why Choose Panther Sports Medicine

Panther Sports Medicine has been serving Calgary for over 30 years!  We offer comprehensive physiotherapy and professional rehabilitation services. Our staff is highly trained in the latest and most effective treatment options. With a wide variety of services and skills, we will get you back to your normal life as soon as possible.
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Panther Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Centres are a network of ten clinics, physiotherapist operated, serving Calgary and surrounding areas. Our team offers a wide range of services including physiotherapy, massage therapy, and sports injury rehabilitation to help our clients reduce pain and recover from injuries. Panther Sports Medicine has been proudly serving our community for over 30 years.
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