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What are causes for lower back pain?

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Quick Answer

According to WebMD, the top causes of chronic lower back pain are degenerative disk disease, herniated disks and osteoporosis. The likelihood of developing these conditions is determined partially by genetics. The lower back has nociceptive fibers, which are responsible for sending pain signals to the brain. Some people have more nociceptive fibers than others, resulting in varying amounts of back pain despite leading similar lifestyles.

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What are causes for lower back pain?
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According to WebMD, degenerative disk disease develops when the cartilage disks between the vertebrae wear away with age. These disks act as a cushion and shock absorber for the spine. Over time, as these disks erode, more pressure is placed on the jelly-like center. A herniated disk occurs when a sudden jolt or shock results in that center bulging out and pressing on the nociceptive fibers, sending a sharp pain signal to the brain. A herniated disk can also place pressure on the nerves that run down the spinal column, hurting the area from the buttocks to the leg.

WebMD describes osteoporisis as the root cause of many conditions that lead to lower back pain. As the bones become more brittle, they can form vertebral fractures that cause chronic pain. Osteoporosis can also cause bone spurs to develop, narrowing the space around the spinal cord and putting pressure on the nerves.

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