Acute low back pain is mostly mechanical in nature, meaning that there is a disruption in the spine, muscle, intervertebral discs, and nerves that fit together and move. Some examples of mechanical causes of low back pain include:
Sprains and strains can occur from twisting or lifting something improperly, lifting something too heavy, or overstretching that may also trigger painful spasms in back muscles.
Intervertebral disc degeneration occurs when the usually elastic discs lose integrity as a normal process of aging.
Herniated or ruptured discs can occur when the intervertebral discs become compressed and bulge outward or rupture, causing low back pain.
Radiculopathy is a condition caused by compression, inflammation or injury to a spinal nerve root. Pressure on the nerve root results in pain, numbness, or a tingling sensation that travels to other areas of the body by that nerve as it is seen in sciatica.
Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which a vertebra of the lower spine slips out of place, pinching the nerves exiting the spinal column.
A traumatic injury, such as from playing sports, car accidents, or a fall can injure tendons, ligaments or muscle resulting in low back pain.
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal column that puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves that can cause pain or numbness with walking and over time leads to leg weakness and sensory loss.