Lumbago is another term used to describe lower back pain. The cause of lumbago may be due to a wear and tear injury of the soft tissues of the back, congenital disease, or metabolic. Though nearly half of all people over the age of 30 have spinal alignment issues or bulging of one or more discs, most do not feel the symptoms of back pain. Though hardly any of us have perfect backs in terms of structural alignment, how come some of us feel pain and others don't. This is a hard question to answer, though nearly all people with back pain can be successfully treated.

Lumbago (low back pain) is a musculoskeletal disorder that affects people at least once in their life. A patient's back pain may be classified as acute, subacute, or chronic according to the duration of symptoms. Usually, the symptoms of pain and nerve sensations will gradually lessen over the first weeks, with or without intervention. A patient's back pain will be classified as acute if it lasts less than 1 month and chronic if symptoms continue for more than 3 months.

The majority of the time back pain is not due to metabolic disease, abnormal growths, disease, or autoimmune disorders. The majority of the time patients will not need to undergo extensive rehabilitation or surgery to treat their problem. In fact, patients usually recover on their own, without intervention. Usually, the cause of lumbago (back pain) is sprain or strain of soft tissues responsible for movement and protection of the lower back. Soft tissues of the lower back include the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints. Sprain and strain injuries usually involve the muscles and ligaments of the back. Causes of sprain and strain injuries are when patients over bend or over twist their body around the lower back, or overload their muscles while lifting or carrying objects. Sprain and strain injuries are the cause of more than 95% of the cases of lumbago.

Causes of lumbago may be mechanical, inflammatory, neoplastic, metabolic, psychosomatic, disease, emotional distress, or a secondary symptom of another serious health issue.

Mechanical causes of low back pain include changes to some of the structures of the vertebral bones and soft tissues of the back that create mal-alignments of the spine and pressures of the nerves traveling from the spine throughout the body. These mechanical abnormalities may cause the vertebral bones to rub up against each other, causing a wearing down of them and bone spurs that may irritate the nerve roots or crowd into the spinal canal (spinal stenosis). Other mechanical causes of lumbago could be congenital, such as restricted hip motion.

Treatment for lumbago will include lifestyle corrections (how we work and play), exercises to improve strength and flexibility of the soft tissues of the back, and changing the way we respond emotionally to pain. Though the cause of back pain is not psychosomatic ("it's all in your head") the way that we respond emotionally to it may affect how we treat it and our pain threshold. People's emotions may affect their general health as well as how they react to pain. Some mind-body therapies that people may use to recover from back pain include relaxation therapy techniques.