Very common is pain in the lower abdomen or lumbar region of the spine (lumbago). Around 80% of people is affected and it’s also believed to be the cause of more sickness absence from work.
A strain or sprain in the muscles of the abdomen is one of the most common lower pain causes. This type of pain is often called non-specific lower abdominal pain and it usually goes away without requiring specific treatment except for pain medication which may be required. This type of pain will normally resolve within 4 weeks, and often in much less time than that.
If the strain has been caused by a sudden movement, lifting, or other obvious event, it often causes severe and immediate pain that may result in the person having very limited movement for a time. Rest is essential and anti inflammatory medication may be prescribed to handle the pain.
There are cases in which a herniated disc (ruptured, bulging, or slipped disc) may be the cause instead of muscle strain. This occurs when one of the discs that act as cushions between the vertebrae (the bones of the spine) is pushed out of its usual position. Pain which is often accompanied by numbness in the legs or feeling like an electric shock going down the legs is caused because the spinal cord and nerves around it are compressed.
Arthritis is also a common cause of lower pain. Rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis of the spine can cause direct lower abdominal pain. Because of irregular ways of walking to compensate for the joint problem, people who suffer from arthritis in other joints like the knees or hips may also have the pain.
People may have had some conditions since childhood which would lead to this type of pain causes later in life. Abnormalities of the feet, pelvis, or hips, difference in the length of the leg, and slipped vertebra or spondylolisthesis are just a few examples.
Besides this there are many other more unusual lower pain causes. Examples would be a disease like spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease or even an infection in the lower spine.
See your doctor if the pain is accompanied by other symptoms, continues longer than you expected, or if there’s severe pain. Numbness in the genital area or having difficulty going to the bathroom are also signs that a condition may require immediate medical treatment. Rather than figure out your possible lower abdominal pain causes by yourself, it’s always safer to see a doctor.