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Understanding the Common Causes of Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is a common issue in the UK, affecting a significant portion of the population. According to data from the NHS and other sources, it's estimated that around 8 in 10 people in the UK experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. This makes it one of the most common reasons for seeking medical advice and taking time off work.

In the UK, lower back pain is a prevalent issue, and several factors can contribute to its occurrence. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Poor Posture: Sitting or standing with incorrect posture for extended periods can strain the muscles and ligaments in the lower back, leading to pain.

  • Muscle Strain: Overuse, sudden movements, or lifting heavy objects incorrectly can cause strains or sprains in the muscles or ligaments of the lower back.

  • Age-related Changes: As people age, the spine undergoes natural degenerative changes, such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or osteoarthritis, which can result in lower back pain.

  • Sedentary Lifestyle: Lack of regular exercise and physical activity can weaken the muscles supporting the spine, making individuals more prone to lower back pain.

  • Obesity: Excess weight can put additional stress on the spine and lower back muscles, leading to pain and discomfort.

  • Occupational Factors: Jobs that involve heavy lifting, repetitive motions, or prolonged sitting can contribute to lower back pain.

  • Stress and Mental Health: Stress and anxiety can manifest physically, leading to muscle tension and increased perception of pain in the lower back.

  • Trauma or Injury: Accidents, falls, or sports injuries can cause trauma to the muscles, bones, or soft tissues of the lower back, resulting in pain.

  • Poor Sleeping Habits: Sleeping on an unsupportive mattress or in an uncomfortable position can strain the muscles and exacerbate lower back pain.

  • Underlying Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as sciatica, kidney infections, or endometriosis, can cause referred pain to the lower back region.

Addressing these factors through lifestyle modifications, proper ergonomics, regular exercise, and seeking medical attention when necessary can help alleviate and prevent lower back pain in the UK.


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