Back Pain, Low: Causes of Lumbar - Neck, Back and Leg PainWisconsin River Orthopaedic Institute - Health Library
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Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

Causes of Lumbar (Low Back) PainCausas del dolor lumbar (parte baja de la espalda)

Causes of Lumbar (Low Back) Pain

Low back pain can be caused by problems with any part of the lumbar spine. A disk can herniate (push out) and press on a nerve. Vertebrae can rub against each other or slip out of place. This can irritate facet joints and nerves. It can also lead to stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal or foramen.

Pressure from a Disk

Constant wear and tear on a disk can cause it to weaken and push outward. Part of the disk may then press on nearby nerves. There are two common types of herniated disks:

Contained means the soft nucleus is protruding outward.

Contained herniated disk

Extruded means the firm annulus has torn, letting the soft center squeeze through.

Extruded herniated disk

Pressure from Bone

 An Unstable Spine

With age, a disk may thin and wear out. Vertebrae above and below the disk may  begin to touch. This can put pressure on nerves. It can also cause bone spurs (growths) to form where the bones rub together.

Stenosis

Stenosis results when bone spurs narrow the foramen or spinal canal. This also puts pressure on nerves.

Slipping vertebrae can irritate nerves and joints. They can also worsen stenosis.

Spondylolisthesis

In some cases, vertebrae become unstable and  slip forward. This is called spondylolisthesis.  

Date Last Reviewed: 2007-01-15T00:00:00-07:00

Date Last Modified: 2004-05-03T00:00:00-06:00

Contact Wisconsin River Orthopaedic Institute at 715.424.1881 for your orthopaedic needs. For your convenience, you can fill out our online Request an Appointment form to book your consultation.

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For your orthopedic needs, contact Wisconsin River Orthopaedic Institute at 715.424.1881 . For your convenience, you can fill out our online Request an Appointment form to book your consultation. We...
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