When people tell others, or their doctor, they have back pain, they are usually referring to problems with the lower back. In fact, this is quite common among the world’s population, so common in fact that medical professionals find that about 80 percent of people will have this problem at some point in their lives. There’s a reason for this that hasn’t been too difficult to find.

The lower back will experience a lot of strain and stress, even in “normal” life. The eight of the upper body puts a constant weight load on the area of the back just above the waist. That’s one, primary cause for this condition. But the mechanical issues of bending, lifting, twisting etc. can create more serious problems than the more general pain many experience.

Sharp Pain

People will suffer from a consistent ache in the lower back, usually from overuse, sometimes from poor posture. But they may not have the more serious problem of a herniated disc or other “mechanical” problem. For those who have a serious physical issue such as disc problems, it can bring everyday life to a complete stop. Some describe the feeling as, a knife or ice pick stuck into the bae of the spine.

Studies and medical records show that a significant percentage of people who have pain in the lower back will develop chronic pain, as diagnosed by a medical professional. This can be non-specific, which means there is no primary cause to be determined. But, at times, a doctor will find a degenerative disc or a herniated disc that produces the sharp pain just mentioned.

Discs work as shock absorbers in the spine, separating each of the small bones called vertebrae to keep those bones from grinding against each other. If the cushion provided by the discs wears away with age and certain actions can produce pain. If the disc bulges or “slips” it can put pressure on nerves, sending a message to the brain. This can produce that same sharp pain.

Find the Cause

There are other causes of back pain, including muscle weakness and muscle strain. These less-serious issues may disappear after a few days, especially with rest and basic treatment such as massage. However, if the spine is not properly supported by those muscles or if there is a fracture in the vertebrae itself, it is best to consult with a medical professional and take some corrective action.

If the ache or consistent, low-level pain is not in the lower back, but occurs higher on the spine, you should also talk with your doctor. Abnormal curvature of the spine (scoliosis) and brittle bones (osteoporosis) may be causing your condition. You may also want to discuss medical conditions such as a pinched nerve as a possible source of the problem. This may be symptomized by fever or chills, even sweating at night.

If you have any of these issues, you don’t have to “just live with it.” Talk to your medical professional about making the journey without pain.