What Causes Back Pain?

The top 3 causes of Lower Back pain are:

  1. Arthritis, Stenosis, Disc Degeneration
  2. Herniated Disc
  3. SI joint and Pelvis

In this blog I will cover Arthritis, Stenosis, and Disc Degeneration.

What is it?

What is Arthritis? It literally means "joint inflammation".

What is stenosis? It is the narrowing of the canals or tunnels in the bones where the nerves travel.

What is Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD)? This is when the space between the bones in the spine decreases.

Rarely will a person have DDD which does not cause stenosis and lead to arthritis. The 3 are closely linked and generally cause the same symptoms.

How It Works

In a healthy spine, there is plenty of space between the bones (also known as vertebrae). As you age, or have injuries, this space closes down. This is Degenerative Disc Disease.

As the space closes down, the hole narrows where the nerve branches off of the spinal cord. This is stenosis.

As the space decreases and the area becomes inflamed, arthritis forms in the joint.


First, realize that most people over the age of 50 have Degenerative Disc Disease, stenosis, or arthritis on an x-ray or MRI.

Second, people suffering from back pain caused by DDD, stenosis, or arthritis have difficulty standing or walking for long periods of time. They usually find relief sitting or bending forward. Often you will see them leaning on a shopping cart when walking through the grocery store.

If you have Arthritis, DDD, or Stenosis, will your condition get worse?

No, if you do something about it.

Yes, it will get worse if you do nothing.

There are successful treatments for arthritis, DDD, and stenosis. Most people can completely or greatly reduce the pain. Some proven treatments are spinal traction, hands on treatment, and specific exercises.