Severe Lower Back Pain

Severe Lower Back PainSevere lower back pain can be the result of serious spinal or medical conditions.  While there are many common causes for lower back pain, such as muscle strain and overuse of the muscles, this article focuses on the severe causes of lower back pain.  These severe lower back pain causes can be divided into two main categories – spinal and medical.

Spinal Conditions

Bacterial Infection

Bacteria is generally carried to the spine through your bloodstream from an infection that is located somewhere else in your body or through IV drug use.  It can also enter your spine directly through surgery or injection treatments or from injury.  You may begin to experience lower back pain if the bones in your spinal discs or spinal cord become infected with bacteria.

Ankylosing Spondylitis

This is a form of arthritis or joint inflammation that affects the spine.  It can cause inflammation in your spinal joints or vertebrae that can result in chronic and severe lower back pain.  In many cases that are advanced, new bone can begin to form on the spine, which can cause your spine to fuse into a fixed and immobile position.

Paget’s Disease

This disease causes your bones to grow abnormally.  It also causes your bones to be brittle, enlarged, and not as dense.  Your bones are more prone to breakage with this disease.  It not only affects your spine, but it can also affect your pelvis, chest, legs, and skull.


This occurs when a herniated or ruptured disc presses on your sciatic nerve.  It can cause a shock-like or burning lower back pain combined with pain through the buttocks and down one leg to just below the knee.  It can even reach down to the foot.

Spinal Degeneration

This is generally caused from age and wear and tear.  It can lead to a narrowing of your spinal canal, which can lead to stiffness in your back or pain after walking and standing for long periods of time.


This is a metabolic bone disease that is progressive.  It decreases your bone density and strength.  It can cause brittle, porous bones in your spine and hips when your body is not able to produce new bone.

More Spinal Conditions causing Severe Lower Back Pain

  • Failed Back Surgery Syndrome – This type of severe lower back pain is caused when a surgery does not work to relieve the pain.
  • Spinal Tumors – These are growths that develop on the bones and ligaments of your spine, your spinal cord, or on the nerve roots.
  • Scheuermann’s Disease – This disease causes one or more of the bones of your spine to develop wedge-shaped deformities, which can cause your spine to curve.
  • Ruptured Disc – When a disc degenerates and weakens, cartilage can bulge or push into your spinal cord or nerve root, which can cause severe pain.
  • Spinal Stenosis – This is a narrowing of your spinal canal, which can cause the nerves to pinch causing severe lower back pain.
  • Fibromyalgia – This is a chronic disorder that causes musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and tender points throughout the entire body.

Medical Conditions

Lower back pain causes do not have to be the result of spinal conditions.  There are other medical conditions that can cause you to have pain in your lower back.  These include, but are not limited to the following:  pelvic inflammatory disease, peptic ulcers, gallbladder disease, pancreatitis, aortic aneurysm, prostate disease, kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and other urinary disorders.

It is absolutely critical that you contact a doctor if you are experiencing severe lower back pain to find out the exact causes before you attempt to relieve the pain yourself.   You could cause more damage if you are not aware of the best methods to treat a particular condition.

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  1. I have osteoperosis,an spinous processes in 2an 3view of my neck bone density showed osteoperosis in my spine I’ve been having severe pain in my mid to lower back its non stop

  2. I have server lower back pain an it makes my stomach feel like someone has beat it .also have bad pelvic pain more on right side. My back feels like its on fire.i have fibromyalgia an degenerated disc dease

  3. in 2003, I was at work putting up an order (truck) that had came in.As I was working, bending, lifting and twisting, i heard a loud snap. I thought nothing of it because i felt no pain. However several days late, I was at home and I couldn’t even sit up in the couch.. I was told, that I had a lower back strain. I was off of work, for a week and the returned but I was on light duty for a week. But even to this day I still have problems, they’ve just gotten worst. And I doing the same type of work to day. A few days ago, I started to have severe pain, to the point where it’s difficult for me to even sit up, much less get up and try to walk That will take at least 10-15 minutes just to stand up. When I do attempt to walk, there are times where both of my legs feel as though they’re about to give out on me, and I feel like I’m about to drop to the floor. I’m taking 3-4 (500mg) ibuprofen per day, but it’s doing no good. I’ve had pain in the past, to where there were times, I couldn’t even bend over to put a clean bag in the trash can at home. and after mowing the yard, my back would hurt for at least a week. I’ve had pain before but never like this. And it’s excruciating after waking up..
    Don’t know what’s wrong, but I’m thinking it’s very serious.
    =============CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHAT’S WRONG WITH MY BACK=============
    =============AND WHY AM I HAVING SO MUCH PAIN===========================
    I’m having difficulty just sitting here, typing this now!
    ============CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME AND MY BACK?==========

    • Snow man, did you report it to work? That sounds like a problem I encountered. I’d say you have a herniated disc. Have you went to see the doctor? I’d say you need a MRI done so they can see for sure.

  4. I have have had extreme power left side back pain for over sux months and no pain pill works that the doctor has prescribed including flexeral..i have no kidney infection and my spine is good.Sleeping is almost impossible as well as bending and lifting…but not mowing or vacuming..what can cause this

  5. I have had pain in my upper back for months now with I guess you would call muscle spasms. My whole back tightens up and I get knots, sometimes the size of golf balls. About a week ago my lower back joined in on the pain party. Today it is pretty severe. I am having trouble standing and walking at work and when I tried to sit the pain got worse. It’s constant hurt with shooting pains hitting when I move certain ways. I am at a loss of what to do. The last time I went to the doctor, she recommended I just get a massage. It did nothing! I don’t have insurance and am apprehensive about going to another doctor for nothing but at the same time, I don’t know how much longer I can endure this pain. I should also add that I usually have pretty thick skin when it comes to pain. This is some of the worst pain I have ever felt. What could this be?

  6. Snowman,
    I had similar problems. Found they were related to an old car accident injury and prolonged driving for years after. Something “clicked” and like you, I was in excruciating pain. Xrays showed a pinched nerve at sciatica. Tiny little movement of one disc has me walking like a 90yr old for 8weeks! PT had me on traction for 6 weeks. Best thing I could have donated to myself. Started slow, traction machine would start to pull and deep breaths until discs would decompress and let go of nerve. trust me, initial pain at first sign of pulling pressure was scary – but I could understand the process so I pushed thorugh the initial pain and found so long as I got passed that and once again as I stood up after and all recompressed, I could start to feel improvement. Most will use heat after, i wamted ice, which worked better for me. Ay 4th week was on traction at 80% weight. I trusted myself and the PT working with me> All knew I was determined to work through this and I did. So if you have the coverage for PT – and xrays show pinched nerve, before I’d go for the needles/shots, that’s what I’d reach out to! Good luck!!!