• Dorsalgia (lat.Dorsum- the back, Greek Algos- the pain)
  • Lumbalgia / Lumbago (Latin lumbar loin, German also lumbago), when the lumbar-sacral region is affected

English: chronic back pain, lower back pain


Back pain has become a common disease. They are the most common reason to visit a doctor in addition to infectious diseases. As diverse as the causes may be, treatment is usually a mystery. In most cases, patients are affected with back pain in the lumbar spine


Back pain is a pain condition that can occur in different parts of the back.
According to their prevailing frequency they can be divided into different degrees.
Acute back pain occurs either first time, suddenly on or after a break of at least six months again. You should not last more than three months.
On the other hand, chronic, persistent back pain takes up most of everyday life and persists for more than three months. The complaints can recur or even be temporary.
Furthermore, one can differentiate back pain according to its quality into a radicular and pseudoradicular pain.
The radicular pain (radicula - the root) is based on a compression of the nerve root, as is the case with a herniated disk of the lumbar spine. The pseudoradicular pain (apparently more radicular) is caused by changes in the small joints of the spine.


Approximately 60-80% of all women and in about 65-70% of all men at least partially suffer from back pain.
More than half of them are related to their job. Over 75% of complaints can be located in the lumbar area. The lumbar spine with its five vertebrae joins the sacrum, which is articulated to the pelvis.
Are the pain of this joint, it is called "low back pain" (iliosacral complaints) or after the Latin name of the joint - sacroiliac joint - also "iliosacral (ISG) syndrome".
In 25% of patients, back pain originates from the neck and neck region. The distribution of disc herniations follows the frequency of localization of pain. In the loin area, they are therefore increasingly found.
Spa and disability claims in Germany are made in over 60% of cases due to back pain and generate costs of about 49 billion euros.

pain locations


Often, back pain in the lumbar spine area occurs only on one side, for example right.

There are a variety of possible causes for this, which are harmless in most cases and can be improved by regular strengthening exercises. Because often the back pain on the right side is muscle tension or entrapment of a nerve. In the latter case, there is often pain, which pull into the right leg, because from the lumbar spine many nerves that run down into the leg.

Even a so-called spinal stenosis can lead to these symptoms. This is a narrowing of the spinal canal, which occurs mainly in the lumbar spine. Local inflammation or, for example, an abscess, ie a cavity filled with pus, are also a possible cause of back pain on the right side.

For severe pain over a long period of time, a lateral herniated disc or protrusion of the disc should also be considered. Right kidney disease, such as pyelonephritis, can also cause back pain on the right side of the lumbar spine. This often causes other symptoms, such as fever or bloody urine on.


Back pain in the lumbar spine is often unilateral and many people complain of pain in the lower left back. For this purpose, various causes come into question. This also includes tension or strains of the muscles that can arise during sports, for example. Frequently, the strongest hip flexor, the so-called ilipsoas, is strained, which compresses the surrounding nerves. This creates a radiation of pain in the left leg. Depending on the severity of this nerve compression, this pain can also get worse and better depending on running.

Spondylolisthesis, ie spondylolisthesis in spinal instability, is common in the lumbar spine and can lead to unilateral pain on the left side. A common cause is also the herniated disc or the protrusion of the intervertebral disc, which, depending on severity, can only cause pain mainly on the left. In some cases, left kidney disease can also cause back pain at the level of the lumbar spine. In case of suspicion, other symptoms, such as fever and blood in the urine, should be taken into account. Also the intestine can lead to back pain of the LWS on the left side with strong digestive problems.

both sides

Back pain often occurs on both sides of the lumbar spine. There are also different causes for this.

For example, everyday problems such as poor posture or weak muscles can lead to discomfort. The discs most commonly cause lumbar spine or dislocation in the lumbar spine area. In extreme cases, fractures or tumors that press on the spinal canal, conceivable. This is rather rare.

The kidneys may also be the cause, and it is more common for kidney disease to be unilateral.

pain situations

Pain while sitting

When sitting, many diseases and tension in the lumbar spine area make the back pain worse. The reason for this is an increased burden on the spine with the body weight.

This can be a typical sign of a herniated disc, for example. The cause is often less severe and the pain dependent on the load. Usually it is already very helpful, if one looks for a correct posture while sitting. A strengthened musculature of the back is also important. In addition, for example, office workers should pay attention to sufficient exercise during the day to relieve the lumbar spine.

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  • Signs of a herniated disc


In some cases, back pain on the lumbar spine, especially when lying on and are thereby amplified. Since the muscles are less stressed when lying down, it can lead to shortening of the muscles during prolonged lying. This is because muscles can regress if they are underused. As a result, various restrictions, such as tension, but also herniated discs, can be made worse.

But there are also diseases such as spinal canal stenosis, in which the pain is better when lying down. This is a narrowing of the spinal canal, which is expanded slightly when lying down.

Especially in the morning

Back pain in the lumbar spine, especially in the morning after sleep, is due to a variety of reasons. Most often a wrong sleeping position is to blame for the discomfort. If the spine can not relax and relieve enough, tension or existing pain is significantly increased. Therefore, care should be taken to a back-friendly mattress. Different pillows can additionally correct the sleeping position.

Morning back pain may also be an indication of a rheumatic disease. Often, other joints are affected, especially in the morning pain. In such cases, a doctor should be consulted for clarification.

At night

It sometimes happens that especially in the evening or at night while sleeping back pain in the lumbar spine occur. They can become so strong that they wake up and then fall asleep again.

A possible cause is an unfavorable sleep position for the back, which leads to muscle tension and irritation of the nerves. This can be improved by a back-friendly mattress and sleeping cushions. Another possible cause is ankylosing spondylitis, in which the pelvic joints become inflamed and transmit pain to the back.

After the sport

Many people over the course of their lives experience a clumsy or unfamiliar movement in sports and suddenly have pain in their backs. The lumbar spine is often affected in sports where you have to bend down or squat. For strength training and weightlifting it is therefore particularly important to pay attention to relieving the lumbar spine. But also in other sports, such as hockey or gymnastics, the lower back can be very heavily used.

The pain is most often caused by muscle tension, muscle strain and possibly a pinched nerve. They are often of a pungent character and can often be completely cured by gentle treatment, massages or physiotherapy. But ligament tears or other serious injuries come as a cause in question. For severe pain that does not improve after several days, an orthopedist should be consulted. In addition, it is always advisable to strengthen the back with regular sports and targeted exercises.

Read also our topic:

  • lumbago

pain character

Stinging pain

The pain on the back can be of different character. If they are described as stinging, the cause often lies in the area of ​​the nerves. Many sufferers describe it as having a knife stabbed in the back.

This stinging character comes about through a compression, ie an entrapment, of one of the nerves running there. As a result, this is greatly irritated and sends warning signals to the brain. Such an entrapment can have different causes. Often it is extreme muscle tension, also called muscle tendon. But as a herniated disc as a cause in question, a doctor should be consulted for clarification.

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