ZocdocAnswersWhat is causing my lower back pain?

Question

What is causing my lower back pain?

Is something wrong with my kidneys or my muscles? There is an aching feeling in my lower back and I don't know why. I've just been taking ibuprofen to deal with the pain.

Answer

Low back pain like this is one of the most common medical problems. If the pain is persistent, I would go see your primary care doctor for help figuring out what is going on. The kidneys do reside in the space of the low back on both sides of the spine. Kidney stones or a kidney infection can be a cause of low back pain but when this happens there are usually other symptoms, like fever, pain with urination, blood in the urine, or pain that radiates down the legs. Therefore, I think it is more likely that your pain is related to a low back injury. The most common kind of low back injury, typically caused by poor posture, heavy lifting or, even, 'sleeping funny' is spasm of the muscles on the sides of the spine, called paraspinal muscles spasm. Your doctor will be able to confirm the diagnosis on physical examination and suggest treatments, including anti inflammatory medications, stretching exercises, and physical therapy. They will also be able to make sure there are no signs of a worse injury causing a pinched nerve; to help them out, make sure you mention whether you have noticed any numbness, tingling, or weakness in the legs.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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