Why Does My Lower Back Hurt When I Bend Over?

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: July 22, 2019

Bent Over Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common pain conditions that Americans deal with on a regular basis, and of the types of back pain, lower back pain is the most common type. Lower back pain can develop for a number of different reasons, but one of the most common actions that results in the onset of lower back pain is when you bend or twist. Below, we take a closer look at what might be going on in your lumbar spine if back pain develops when bending.

Back Pain When Bending

It’s not all that hard to understand why the lower back can hurt when we bend, because the action shifts stress to this area of the body. When stress or pressure in an area increases, injuries are much more likely. But what types of injuries can occur when bending? Some of the more common lower back injuries that can develop because of bending and twisting motions include:

  • Strains – A lower back strain occurs when muscles and ligaments in the area are excessively stretched due to repetitive or forceful movement, which can happen when bending. A strain can also trigger an inflammatory response by the body, and this can lead to muscle spasms and discomfort in the area. Strains can typically be treated with rest and anti-inflammatory medications, along with strength training when the soft tissues have healed to prevent recurrence.
  • Bulging or Herniated Disc – Bending puts a lot of stress on your spinal discs, and this can cause them to bulge or herniate. Alongside lower back pain, bulging or herniated discs can cause numbness or muscle weakness in your legs. Rest, anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy can all help treat shifted spinal discs, but in some cases, surgery may be necessary to get it back in the correct position.
  • Sciatica or Nerve Compression – Bending can also lead to the compression of nerves that traverse through your spine. This can cause localized pain in your lower back or radiating pain in the arms and legs. Nerve issues may also inhibit your range of motion. Sciatica and nerve compression conditions often resolve with rest, physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications, but in rare instances, a decompression operation is required.
  • Spondylolysis – Spondylolysis is a condition that occurs when a stress fracture develops in a spinal vertebra, which is common in athletes or manual laborers who may be bending, twisting and lifting heavy objects. This injury also tends to get worse with activity. Many stable fractures heal with rest, over-the-counter pain relievers, physical therapy and back bracing to provide additional support during movement.
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis – Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic inflammatory condition that can affect the spine and the joints in the hips and pelvis. Because of this, pain, stiffness and discomfort can develop when a person’s bends over. Anti-inflammatory medications can sometimes keep the condition at bay, and many people also find physical therapy helpful. Severe cases require more hands-on treatment.

So if you are dealing with pain symptoms when bending or twisting, and one or more of the above conditions is sounding a little too familiar, do yourself a favor and reach out to Dr. Sinicropi and his team today.


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