FAST FACTS: Low Back Pain


The lower back region consists of five bones called vertebrae. This area of the back (spine) is the source of most movement and flexibility and is the support for much of a person’s body weight.

There are many possible causes of Low Back Pain. The spine ages along with the rest of the body and can result in shrinking of the discs (shock-absorbing structures), which allows vertebrae to rub against each other, causing pain.

Low Back Pain
  • Possible Causes of Low Back Pain
    • Strain/sprain of back muscles and soft tissue
    • Increased movement of the vertebrae
    • Degenerative disc disease
    • Spinal Stenosis: pressure on the spinal nerves
    • Sciatica-pain in the right or left sciatic nerves
    • Scoliosis: “S” curve of the spine can be mild to severe
    • Osteoarthritis-breakdown of the cartilage that cushions the joints
    • Rheumatoid Arthritis: disease that causes inflammation of the tissues
    • Herniated disc: tear in the spine that allows bulging of the disc
    • Vertebral fracture: common in older adults, especially older women

  • What Medical Professionals Assess
    • Characteristics of the pain such as when it started, the location of the pain, the effect of position change, etc.
    • What may have caused the pain and factors that impact the pain

  • What Caregivers can do to help their loved one with Low Back Pain
    • Encourage routine assessment and following of pain treatment plan, this can relieve associated symptoms and improve overall quality of life.
    • Write down and share information about your loved one’s pain with provider.
    • Use a Pain Diary to note important information useful to the provider.


Revised 4/2019

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