What are Some Causes of Lumbago?

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  • Written By: Garry Crystal
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 19 October 2019
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Lumbago is a term used to describe mild to severe pain in the lower back or lumbar area. It can appear at any age, and people who do heavy physical work are commonly affected. The elderly are also very susceptible to such pain.

There are signs to look out for that may indicate the onset of lumbago, including involuntary bowel movements and loss of bladder control. The sufferer may also begin to feel a numbness or unfamiliar tingling in the lower back, buttocks, or the lungs. Another warning sign can include slight aches and pains in one or both of the legs. The pain may be accompanied by weakness, and the muscles may seem to be deteriorating.

The major symptom of lumbago is acute or chronic pain felt across the lower back, sometimes as far down as the thigh area. It may also be felt in the regions in-between, such as the buttocks or groin.

Another symptom for some people is spasms in the back. The condition affects the muscles around the spine area, although the spasms may also happen in the neck area, and sufferers often experience a stiffening of the neck. The pain and spasms can cause a change in the person's posture, as he or she leans to one side in order to ease the pain. Leaning forward and backward frequently is also common.


Lumbago can have an adverse affect on the sufferer's life if it is chronic. Chronic pain can last for more than three months, and if this condition is diagnosed by a medical professional, then a number of treatments can be discussed. Massage, swimming exercises, and physiotherapy may help with this type of pain. Some people, however, cannot be helped, and the pain will continue.

If treatment for the lower back pain is started early enough, then the symptoms can usually be treated effectively. People who have weak back or stomach muscles may find that lower back pain occurs throughout their life. Exercise is one of the best preventative measures for such pain.


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Post 11

@titans62 - Sometimes the best fixes are the simplest. I had similar complaints several years back, and I found two things that were causing it.

First off, if your car has a lumbar support feature, play with it a while and see what happens. I once had a rental car where the support was all the way out. My back started killing me after 30 minutes or so, and I had to keep shifting around. I finally realized there was a switch to control it, and it instantly solved the problem.

If you are a man who carries a wallet or anything else in your back pocket, try taking some things out. After I started complaining about my back, my wife suggested that I might have too much stuff in my wallet. I decided she was right, because I favored one side over the other when I would sit down without it. Now I just carry the bare necessities.

Post 10

I always feel like I have a little bit of back pain. I don't know if it would fall under lumbago or not. Maybe it's a minor case, but definitely not as bad as what some people have described.

Basically, whenever I am sitting down there is a dull pain in my lower back. I particularly notice it when I have been driving for a while. I think it probably has something to do with my feet being in different positions, because one is always outstretched to hit the gas pedal.

I wouldn't say that it has negatively affected my life yet, but I don't want it to get any worse. Are there any good suggestions besides exercising, which I already do?

Post 9

@anon272354 - I wasn't as young as you when it started, but I had regular back pain for a couple of years. The desks you're forced to sit in all day at school are definitely not conducive to good posture or comfort, so it's understandable.

What finally cured me was that I started college and didn't have to sit in those hard plastic chairs anymore. What you may want to try in the meantime is doing some back exercises to strengthen those muscles. Just do a few searches online, and you should be able to find lots of them.

Something else you can do for things like the long car rides is get a back support pillow or something. I have seen them sold in lots of stores. That will give you more support and should help.

Post 8

@anon117808 - My father had something very similar. He had a job where he was standing and walking on concrete every day, and apparently hard surfaces like that cause a lot of back problems. He also saw a few doctors with less than satisfactory diagnoses. I am curious if you might have anything similar.

It turns out that he had a pinched nerve from the whole thing. Standing on the concrete caused his main back muscles to tire, which meant other muscles had to take over. He eventually had to see a physical therapist to get everything back on track.

It may take a few months to get your back muscles back to the proper strength, but after that you should start an exercise regiment to make sure you don't have a repeat problem. I would at least bring up this possibility to your doctor and see what he thinks.

Post 7

I'm only 16 and have had lumbago on and off for two or three years, but the past few months have been really bad, especially when I sit, and I have to sit down for hours now due to exams and car journeys. The pain gets so intense and it's becomes hard to concentrate. Any help?

Post 6

I have had a lumbago coming and going away for half a year now. It's terrible and I don't know what to do! I'm 27 and I do quite a lot of jogging. I wouldn't think this is the reason of my lumbago it should be healthy but what is it then?? Please help! --Justi

Post 4

i have had this pain for about two years now. It keeps coming and going all the time. i even know now when it's coming as my legs get all shaky the day before, and then i have the back pain the next day.

I have had x-rays and mri scans but everyone keeps sending me back to my doctor which is now getting annoying. The last time i was in pain for two weeks and for 24 hours could not even walk. i still have some trouble lifting my left leg in the air when I'm lying down.

I'm posting anonymously for the time being but if someone can really help then i will register and will keep coming back to this site to check it.

Post 2

if bent over cannot get up again without great difficulty or pain or any movement sideways

Post 1

A relative of my was immobilized completely 4 days back. He could be removed to the hospital on a stretcher. He could not make any movement at all. This happened all of a sudden.

Doctors gave him medicines. For next 36 hours there was no improvement.

I suggested to him a treatment without any medicine. He was back on his feet in 6 hours. Still as a precaution he was advised to rest for the next 42 hours.

After 48 hours he had the best even bowel movements and he was advised complete movement.

I went to see his doctor. The doctor asked for movements. He touched the floor without bending his knees and doc said that even he can not do that.

Any takers out there.

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