Common Causes of Lower Back Pain?

Lower back pain affects people of all ages and fitness levels across South Florida, from Deerfield Beach to Boca Raton. Because the lumbar spine is put under an enormous amount of stress (it supports the upper body and helps stabilize the lower body), it's very prone to injury and degeneration.

Herniated discs are a common cause of lower back pain. The discs are made of spongy cartilage that cushions the spinal vertebrae and keeps them from grinding against each other. When a disc herniates, the softer inside portion pops out through a tear or hole in the cartilage and can irritate nearby nerves. This condition is very common and occurs as we age and during the course of physical activity or trauma such as car accidents or falls. Herniated discs can cause pain in the back and legs, numbness or tingling, and muscle spasms or weakness.

Another common cause of lower back pain is stress on the muscles and ligaments that support the lumbar spine. Even minor strains and tears can cause intense pain and place stress on the spine soft tissues in the area. Usually, these types of injuries happen during intense physical activity like sports competitions, especially ones that involve a lot of twisting motions like golf and tennis but trauma can also cause a strain or tear. Strains and tears cause sudden, intense pain centered around the site of the injury. The injury is often tender to the touch and hurts worse during movement.

Degenerative disc disease can also cause lower back pain. As you age, the cartilage in your spine naturally dries out and hardens, which can cause the bones to rub together or lead to the development of bone spurs, osteoarthritis, or spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spinal canal). Degenerative disc disease is common in people who do repeated heavy lifting and bending. The pain is often dull and achy, but may be sharp and localized if the vertebrae touch or irritate the nerves in the back.

Pain management specialist Dr. Silverman of Silver Lining Medical Con.sultants in Boca Raton is available for consultations regarding lower back pain and treatment options as well as expert witness on the topic of lower back pain. Email Dr. Silverman at