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Low back pain

Lumbar problems cause pain symptoms that can occur in different places and with varying levels of pain. Mechanical pain occurs during physical activity and eases after rest or in particular positions (like back pain from running). Inflammatory pain is present during rest, worsens with movement (herniation) and is not eased by a change in body position.

One of the most frequent spinal conditions, often referred to as, "putting your back out," is characterized by painful contractions of the lower back muscles from undue strain or awkward movement. This may set off a "domino effect," where the muscle contractions bring on pain, which in turn, cause further contractions. In osteoarthritis, the opposite occurs; pain is felt with the first few movements but decreases gradually as movement and exertion continues.

Various spinal disorders also cause pain. In scoliosis or other types of spinal malformation, symptoms can range from soreness or stiffness to sharp pain whether a person is at rest or active. Bone tumors in the lumbar region are extremely painful. With a herniated disc, lumbar pain is often not the most important symptom, but accompanies extreme sensitivity or restricted movement of the lower limbs. Typically, people with disc herniation cannot find any one position that is comfortable and ease their pain. Early stages of rheumatic disease may also affect the back with symptoms hard to pin down.

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