What Does Lower Back Pain Mean?

What Does Lower Back Pain Mean?

Almost everyone will have back pain of some sort at one time or another. And one of the most common places to experience back pain is in the lower back. If you're experiencing this, you may want be curious as to why. So, what does lower back pain mean, really? Well, it can mean a lot of things.

Herniated Disc


Herniated discs are a very common medical problem, and can cause quite a bit of lower back pain. This is a problem that affects the rubbery discs between the spinal column. Quite often, it can be accompanied by either foot or hand numbness. If you suspect a herniated disc, you should see a physician.

Muscle Strain


Another very common cause of lower back pain is a muscle strain. This comes from stretching or tearing muscle or connective tissue, causing pain, along with muscle spasms and possibly cramps. For very mild cases, you can probably treat it at home with rest, alternating ice and heat, and over the counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen.



Does the lower back pain get worse with the weather? Then you might have osteoarthritis. This is a type of arthritis that is caused by the flexible tissue at the end of the bones wearing down. It can be accompanied by pain caused by weather, as well as noticeable joint deformity. Speak to a physician about treatment.



Arthritis is simply inflammation of one or more joints. This can cause not only pain, but stiffness and an inability to move much, as well. This is a condition that can worsen with age. There are a lot of treatments available for those suffering from arthritis; speak to your physician about the right one for you.

Degenerative Disc Disease


Degenerative disc disease is osteoarthritis of the spine. This can be found in both the neck and the lower back. It's a common problem, and can cause pain on not only the lower back, but the legs, thighs, and buttocks. This pain may become worse with standing. You may also notice stiffness. A doctor can help you find the right treatment.

Uterine Cramps


For some women, the cramps they experience while menstruating can be telegraphed to the lower back. While painful, this is a very easy cause to treat. Take an anti-inflammatory pain reliever, and use a heating pad or hot water bottle on your lower back, to ease the pain. If it becomes significantly worse, see a professional straight away.

Kidney Infection


One of the first signs of a kidney infection is lower back pain. This is usually felt as a “deeper” pain than something like a muscle strain. You can treat the pain with anti-inflammatories, but should see a doctor for antibiotics to treat the underlying cause:  A kidney infection.

Lower back pain is a very common problem throughout the world. No matter what causes it, it's uncomfortable and can interfere with your daily life. However, many of the causes are highly treatable. So, learning what lower back pain means is half the battle!

Related articles