Mid and lower back

Sciatica: pressure from surrounding bones, cartilage, or muscles disrupts the normal function of a nerve root

  • Symptoms: numbness and tingling through back and legs, pain may be made worse by coughing, sneezing, or sitting for a long period of time, possible muscle weakness in legs
  • Causes: anything that causes compression on the sciatic nerve such as slipped disc, spinal stenosis, spinal tumor, etc.

Ankylosing spondylitis: inflammation of the spine, a form of arthritis

  • Symptoms: back stiffness that improves with exercise but not with rest, pain and swelling in areas like the hips, knees, and ribs, extreme fatigue, long-developing symptoms
  • Causes: inflammation of an area of the spine, can cause fusion of bones in that area

Spinal stenosis: the spinal canal, which contains nerve roots and the spinal cord, is compressed by bone, cartilage, or muscles

  • Symptoms: increased pain in the legs with walking, decreased pain with rest, pain comes and goes, tingling, numbness, or weakness in the lower back and legs
  • Causes: aging, compression of nerve roots in the lower back

Spondylolisthesis: a bone from the lower spine slips out of position

  • Symptoms: lower back pain that is worse with standing and activity andalleviated when lying down, tight hamstrings, excessive curvature of the back
  • Causes: age-related wear on the back, arthritis, fracture due to an injury or sudden weight on the spine

Muscle spasm: muscles in the neck or back suddenly contract, giving a cramping feeling

  • Symptoms: sudden sharp pain in a muscle, usually resolves within a few minutes
  • Causes: dehydration, lack of stretching, electrolyte imbalance