Other Causes of Low Back Pain

While it is not always necessary to determine low back pain’s cause to successfully treat it, some symptoms do point to certain causes:

  • Pain along the sides of the spine or in the very low back, that improves with rest and worsens with activity, may indicate low back strain
  • Significant stiffness with decreased ability to move the back may be due to degenerative conditions like degenerative disk disease, generalized wear-and-tear, or other kinds of arthritis, or vertebral compression fractures
  • The combination of back and one-sided leg pain and/or weakness (sciatica) may be due to disk herniation, non-spinal problems or arthritis
  • The combination of back and both-sided leg pain in an older person showing trouble walking/stooped gait may be spinal stenosis, often due to severe arthritis
  • Back pain accompanying internal medical issues may reflect non-mechanical sources of low back pain
  • Significant fever, chills and night sweats may signal infection, such as disk infection
  • Unrelenting night pain requires specialist evaluation