Lower back pain comes in various forms including continuous aches and perpetual or intermittent discomfort. In some cases, individuals may experience severe pain when they straighten their backs, rise up from a chair, sit down or bend forward. If you are currently experiencing lower back pain, below are several causes:


Sacrum is the lower part of the spine. While rare, cancer or tumors (e.g., plasmacytoma and giant cell tumor) in this area can cause pain while a person tries to stand up or sit down. The most common type of tumor that affects the sacrum is sacral chondrosarcoma. Because the symptoms of this condition are typically vague, individuals face delayed diagnosis. If the tumor’s size increases, loss of bladder and bowel functions, urinary tract infections, or sciatica (radiating nerve pain in one or both legs) may occur.


Pain or soreness in the tailbone may be caused by trauma. These issues can become debilitating and chronic if left untreated. Some individuals experience severe pain when standing up from a seated posture, sitting on hard surfaces, or leaning slightly backward while sitting. Because coccydynia pain subsides almost instantly after standing up, patients prefer to sit while leaning onto one buttock or slightly forward. This may indicate a herniated disc in the lumbar region.


Axial back pain, which can be chronic or acute, causes one or more of the following symptoms:

  • An ache that persists in the lower back
  • Pain occurs when external pressure is applied to the lower back area
  • Severe back pain when patient makes slight movements

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction, degenerated facet joints, herniated discs, and degenerated discs are some of the most common mechanical pain generators. In addition to the abovementioned causes, the weakening of spinal muscles and spinal canal and lumbar vertebrae ligaments have caused axial back pain as well.


Some patients experience chronic back pain when their trunk muscles are over-activated. This may happen if they perform tasks such as:

  • Walking up a staircase
  • Sitting down and/or standing up
  • Bending forward to put down or pick up an object

In these cases, pain occurs or worsens because of how the muscles “move” to guard the spine. Additionally, certain muscle groups may be activated more than others, which leads to pain during movement.


If you experience moderate or severe pain while performing any functional movement, you should seek medical attention when the symptoms cannot be alleviated through medication or self-care. Qualified doctors will help diagnose and treat the underlying causes of your pain. They will also rule out serious conditions such as spinal infections, fractures or tumors.

Patients who are diagnosed with non-specific back pain may consider nonsurgical treatment options such as massage therapy, physical therapy, injections, and over the counter (OTC) or prescription medication. If you are interested in utilizing orthopedic rehabilitation services to treat your back pain, enjoy complete peace of mind knowing that Excel Physical Therapy will help alleviate your pain. Make an appointment with us today to learn more.