This article originally appeared in Shape.
If you're reading this, you've probably experienced lower-back pain at least once in your life. The list of possible reasons for this low back pain is long, to say the least.
Yep, "the variety of types of lower back pain is mind-boggling," as Evie Vlahakis, a certified physical therapist based in New York City, puts it. For starters, anyone can have lower back pain due to posture, genetics, lifestyle, work injuries, sports injuries, or simply from sitting for long periods of time. (Thank you, desk job!) In older adults, arthritis (the inflammation of joints or surrounding tissue) and stenosis (a narrowing of the spinal canal) are also commonly to blame, says Vlahakis.
"The truth is, everything can intertwine since 'low back pain' is such a general and vague term," says Vlahakis. "It can be an accumulation of repetitive strains or minor injuries." Lower back pain can be acute, meaning sudden, or it can be latent, which indicates that the pain shows up after an initial injury, she adds.