Lower back pain is a common problem that severely impacts the quality of your life. It can limit your ability to be active. It can make you to miss work. Many different causes may lead to pain in your lower back.

About the Lumbar Spine

Let’s learn about the structure of the lumbar spine to better understand back pain. Your lumbar spine is your lower back. There are five lumbar vertebrae. Between these vertebrae are discs. They cushion the bones and allow the spine to bend and twist.

Spinal Nerves

The spine protects the spinal nerves. The nerves travel through a space called the “spinal canal.” Branches of spinal nerves exit the spine through spaces on both sides of the spine.

Common Causes of Pain

Back pain can be caused by a muscle or ligament injury. This can happen if you spend a day doing heavy lifting. But if you have back pain that doesn’t go away, even after weeks, you may have a spinal misalignment, a herniated disc or some other problem. These can compress and irritate your spinal nerves.


Symptoms of back pain can vary depending on the cause of your pain and the severity of your injury. You may have trouble bending or twisting your back. You may feel a dull ache or a stabbing pain. The pain may radiate down to one or both legs. It may cause weakness, numbness or tingling.