Less Common Causes of Low Back Pain

Lumbar scoliosis:  an excess sideways curvature of the lumbar spine, which usually reverses mid-back, creating an S-shaped spine.


Anterolisthesis/ retrolisthesis:  slippage of one vertebrae relative to the one below it due to instability of the facet joints.  The unstable vertebrae slides forward in a shearing fashion during spinal movement, irritating soft tissues and nerves.


Congenital defects (developed during embryonic development) in the lumbopelvic region.  A common example is when the L5 vertebrae fuses to the sacrum on one side, restricting normal movement and causing the opposite side to compensate.  It can cause pain/ discomfort on the fused side and/or the opposite side.


Chronic Sacroiliac Joint Sprain:  if your pain is at the sacral level on one or both sides, you might have a sacroiliac joint sprain.  This is caused by trauma to the joint, such as a hard fall on the butt or sports injury.

sij strain

These four, special cases of low back pain require more complex treatment by a specialist.   The self-treatment methods to follow are primarily for low back pain that doesn’t involve any of the four special cases.

NEXT:   The Main Approach to Self-Treating Low Back Pain

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