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  • Writer's pictureAdam Whatley

What are the causes of lumbar spine pain? Dynamic Osteopaths, Solihull

There are many structures in the lumbar spine that can cause pain - any irritation to the nerve roots that exit the spine, joint problems, the discs themselves, the bones, ligaments and the muscles - can all be a source of pain. Many lumbar spine conditions are interrelated. For example, joint instability can lead to disc degeneration, which in turn can put pressure on the nerve roots, etc. Below are common causes of lower back pain: Muscular Back Pain

A common cause of lower back pain is muscle strain or other muscle problems. This can happen due to heavy lifting, bending, or other repetitive use can be quite painful, but muscle strains usually heal within a few days or weeks due to high level of blood supply.

Degenerated Discs

Intervertebral discs act as shock absorbers between each of the lumbar spine's vertebrae. Disc degeneration is a very common cause of pain in the disc space. Often this is age related, dictated by life trauma. This condition can be referred to with many different terms - on this site it is consistently termed "degenerative disc disease." Or ‘spondylosis’ Lumbar Disc Herniation

Herniated discs are most common in the lumbar spine and seen daily within our practice here at Dynamic Osteopaths in Solihull and Birmingham. A herniated disc may happen suddenly due to injury or heavy lifting or happen slowly as a part of A degenerative, general wear and tear on the spine. Leg pain (sciatica) is the most common symptom of a herniated disc. 

Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction or irritation

The sacroiliac (SI) joint, which connects with the bottom of the lumbar spine and the pelvis, is a common of cause lower back pain and/or sciatica pain if there is any type of dysfunction in the joint that allows too much movement or restricts normal movement. 


Spondylolisthesis occurs when one vertebra slips forward over the one below it. The slip most commonly occurs in the lower lumbar vertebrae (e.g. L4 –L5 or L5 – S1). If the slipped vertebra compresses the nerve root at that level, it can result in leg pain and possibly foot pain. 


Osteoarthritis in the lower back is again very common and cross links with a degenerative condition called spondylosis which is degeneration of the joints of the spine which lead to arthritis (inflammation).. Aging and wear and tear can cause the cartilage covering the facet joints within the spine to become worn and frayed. Excess friction on the joints due to reduction of disc height can produce bone spurs and joint swelling that cause tenderness, pressure to the nerve, and limited range of motion. 

Lumbar Stenosis

Narrowing of the spinal canal or nerve root canals (gaps where the nerve endings pass through as they exit the spinal column) can cause the nerve endings to be squeezed, resulting in leg pain, tingling, numbness, and even difficulty walking. This narrowing is often the result of bone spurs and joint swelling from osteoarthritis. 

Find out more on common causes of lower back pain and how these can be treated by contacting us at: 

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