Mechanical Disorders of the Lower Spine

Mechanical disorders of the lower spine (mechanical disorders of the back) refer to physical causes of back pain that relate to degenerative changes to the structures of the back. Other categories of disorders of the lower spine (back) include diseases such as arthritis. A separate category of spinal disorders may be classified as other, and may include disorders such as osteoporosis, Kyphosis, and Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hypertosis (DISH).

Ok, back to mechanical disorders of the spine. Most of these disorders are either related to the aging process, or short term back pain as a result of strain or injury.

The most common cause of back pain is degenerative disc disease. Degenerative disc disease is actually a part of the normal aging process of the spine, and people who have it do not necessarily have to experience a back pain or a loss of mobility. Degenerative disc disease occurs when the discs what separate and cushion the vertebral bones of the spine become smaller, because they are not able to stay hydrated the same way they were when we were younger. Some people may experience pain when these degenerative changes take place, and some don't. For those that aren't able to make it through this process, you may be more likely to experience back pain symptoms when performing a strenuous activity that you're not in shape to do. Degenerative disc disease is probably the most common mechanical cause of back pain, but there are many others. Here are come of the more common ones.



Sprains: Sprains are one of the most common causes of sudden back pain, and may often be the result of injury. Back sprains refer to torn or strained ligaments of the back, such as the anterior and posterior longitudinal ligaments that run the length of the spine, and other supportive ligements such as the Interspinous Ligament and the Supraspinous Ligament. The resulting pain as a result from one of these ligaments may range from mild to quite severe, depending on the location of injury and degree of rupture to the ligament(s).

Herniated or ruptured discs: The discs of your back are such an amazing structure because of their ability to change their shape to move the spine as needed or take on added pressures when we lift things or sit up and stand. The outer layer of the discs though is tough and fibrous, and prevents the semi solid/liquid materials from oozing out and destroying the structural integrity. But if some condition causes the disc to weaken, the hard outer covering can rupture in one or more places, allowing the gelatinous center to leak out and compromising the nerves. The resultant added pressure on the nerves and nerve roots may cause us to experience pain.

Facet Syndrome: The stack of vertebral bones is able to maintain a flexible but strong and stable structure because of its network of supportive spinal ligaments, intervertebral discs, and facet joints that connect the vertebral bones together like perfect puzzle pieces. The facet joints connect the bones together like puzzle pieces, while at the same time providing slippery connecting pieces on their ends to prevent friction. Facet syndrome is inflammation of one or more of the facet joints where the vertebrae connect to each other.