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Lower back pain

Medically reviewed by Maushmi Sheth
Medically reviewed by Maushmi Sheth

Usually, people of working, elderly and senile age suffer from low backache. The human spine bears almost the entire body weight. It consists of 33-34 vertebrae connected by intervertebral discs. Due to this connection, the vertebrae can move relative to each other. The sacrum and tailbone are special parts of the spine. The sacrum is formed by five fused vertebrae, and the coccyx is a rudimentary part of the spine that does not perform a supporting function.

Sudden lower back pain can develop in one or all three parts of the spine. Most often, it occurs in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine. It can be caused by disease and injuries of the discs, as protrusion of the disc, herniated disc, and intervertebral joints, as arthrosis of the facet joints or other causes.

The number of people with back hurt has increased dramatically in recent years and decades, making this the most common complaint in the world. 

Low back pain can manifest itself in different ways. So, experts distinguish 4 main types of pain. So below, you will find out more about types, causes, intensity, and diagnostics of low back pain.

Types of Low Back Pain

Types of Low Back Pain

The types of pain are distinguished depending on the origin. The main ones are:

  1. Specific low back pain. This type of pain is one of the most common (31% of all cases). You can find out the cause of this type of pain using standard examination methods, since it is associated with a specific disease. These can be tumors, compression fractures of the spine, diseases of the pelvic organs, etc.
  2. Radicular pain. This type of pain is the second most frequent (up to 27%). If the spinal root is pinched or inflamed, this type of pain can develop. Symptoms of radicular pain include increased back pain when coughing, exercising, sneezing, and other activities.
  3. Dysfunctional pain. This type of pain syndrome can be caused by psychological problems and chronic stress.
  4. Non-specific low back pain. This type of low back pain can be acute, and the cause is difficult to determine. Most often, such pain can occur after dystrophic changes in the bones, cartilage tissue of the spine, and the muscles and ligaments that make up the supporting apparatus of the back. Such dorsalgia – a special section for the definition of a syndrome, in the international classification of diseases – accounts up to 85% of all cases. It is mainly associated with a disruption in the normal functioning of individual structures of the spine, and any can become a source of pain impulses.

This pain can be of two types:

  • compression – from squeezing the nerve roots;
  • reflex – from all other tissues, including spasmodic muscles.

Causes of Low Back Pain

Causes of Low Back Pain

The main reason that triggers low back pain is a disturbance in the muscle mass that supports the spine. The symptoms are:

  • weakness;
  • asymmetry, due to which there is uneven support of the spinal column, and it causes pain.

The muscles of the back create a kind of corset that supports the spine. If they lose their stamina, they get tired faster than usual, and, as a result, the spinal column feels an increased load. At the same time, its intervertebral discs, joints, and ligaments suffer.

When there is back pain, the muscles develop asymmetrically; some muscles are permanently tense while others are relaxed and do not load enough. The consequences are following: 

  • violation of posture (curvature of the back);
  • pathology of individual vertebrae;
  • disorders of the intervertebral discs.

Asking why the back hurts in the lumbar section, sacrum, or between the shoulder blades, you should remember about factors that can significantly aggravate pathological changes in the spinal muscles:

  • endocrine disruptions;
  • a chronic focus of infection in the body;
  • condition after back injuries;
  • severe operations suffered in the recent past;
  • past and current complex somatic diseases, for example, ischemic heart disease.

Low back pain can occur with diseases and pathological conditions:

  • radicular syndrome – inflammation of the nerve branches that pass through the intervertebral foramen;
  • intervertebral hernia – displacement of the nucleus pulposus (central part) of the intervertebral disc, which occurs with rupture of the annulus fibrosus located around the nucleus;
  • protrusion of intervertebral discs – partial displacement of the nucleus pulposus;
  • ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory lesion of the spine’s joints and many others.

Diseases of Internal Organs and Pelvic organs. Pain Intensity, and Diagnostics

Diseases of Internal Organs and Pelvic organs. Pain Intensity, and Diagnostics

Diseases of internal and pelvic organs

Low back pain can be caused by diseases of the internal organs, for example:

  • Urolithiasis.
  • Diseases of the pelvic organs; most often in women, but men suffer too (pathology of the uterus, prostate, etc.).
  • Pancreatitis; inflammation of the pancreas caused by damage to the organ by its enzymes.
  • Peptic ulcer and 12 duodenal ulcer.
  • Cholecystitis; inflammation of the gallbladder wall.

Low back pain intensity

In case of acute and intense abdominal pains radiating to the lumbar spine, it is always necessary to exclude surgical pathology that requires urgent surgical intervention (gastrointestinal bleeding, appendicitis, peritonitis, etc.).

  • The intense pain in the lumbar spine

It can be a reflex spasm – a muscle spasm caused by irritation of receptors in the paravertebral muscles. It hurts a person while coughing, sneezing, and there are painful sensations while moving. When the nerve root is compressed (disc protrusion, disc herniation), the sudden lower back pain spreads to the lower extremities – often from one side.

It is caused by irritation of hurt receptors in muscles and fascia. There is the formation of triggers (hurt nodes) in the muscles- hurt syndrome is chronic, often recurrent.

Any trauma to soft tissues or bone structures is also accompanied by intense pain.

Low back pain diagnostics

For back pain, the following diagnostics are carried out:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging of the lumbar spine.
  • CT (X-ray computed tomography).
  • Blood and urine tests.
  • Ultrasound of the kidneys, pelvic organs, and prostate gland (for men).


  • How to understand that the sciatic nerve hurts?

The main symptom of a pinched sciatic nerve is severe pain. It can have a different nature (sharp, stabbing, aching, or pulling), spread from the lumbosacral spine, and pass through the buttock along the entire back of the leg to the very feet.

  • What happens if the sciatic nerve pain is left untreated?

It can lead to various complications: stiffness of movement when walking, impaired gait, or inability to perform certain activities with the toes or feet.

  • Can the sciatic nerve be massaged?

Massage, when the sciatic nerve is pinched, is used quite often. With its help, it is possible to relieve spasms and swelling of muscle tissue, and eliminate tendon hypertonicity. In addition, massage improves the general condition of a patient, speeds up metabolism, and increases muscle tone.

  • How is the sciatic nerve treated?

The course of treatment depends on the stage of the disease. In most cases, conservative treatment is carried out, including taking medications and carrying out physiotherapy procedures, gymnastics, massage, and manual therapy.

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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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