Pain in the low back can be a result of conditions affecting the bony lumbar spine, discs between the vertebrae, ligaments around the spine and discs, spinal cord and nerves, muscles of the low back, internal organs of the pelvis and abdomen, and the skin covering the lumbar area.
Back pain often happens because something is off in the way your spinal joints, muscles, discs, and nerves fit together and move. Your doctor can check to see if you have:
Herniated or slipped discs: If your doctor mentions this, the soft tissue in the discs between your joints has come out. It’s usually caused by wear and tear. Herniated discs can cause pain in your lower back or hip because the nerves there are pressed.
Bulging discs: These protrude, or “bulge,” but not as much as with a herniated disc. You don’t usually have symptoms with this. You'll feel it if it pushes on a nerve root, though.
Degenerative disc disease: The discs, or “shock absorbers” between your spine’s vertebrae, shrink or tear. That causes the bones to rub together. This may happen as you get older.
Inflammation and wear of the sacroiliac joint: This lies where your spine and pelvis come together. It doesn’t move much, but it’s important because it moves the load of the upper body to the lower body. Swelling and wearing away of the joint cartilage can happen after an injury, because of arthritis, infection, or even pregnancy.
Spinal stenosis : If you have this, your spinal canal has narrowed. That adds pressure on your spine and nerves. As a result, your legs and shoulders probably feel numb. This happens to many people older than 60.
Cervical radiculopathy : This is a pinched nerve. It’s usually caused by a bone spur or a herniated disc.
Spondylolisthesis: A bone in the spine slips forward and out of place, typically in the lower back. The degenerative form of this condition is arthritis, which weakens the joints and ligaments keeping the spine aligned. It can cause a disc to move forward over a vertebra.