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What could cause extreme lower back stiffness in a 20 year-old?
An_249574 posted:
I am 20 years old and, since I was in elementary school, my lower back has been very stiff and uncomfortable. I have never been able to kneel in church for long and cannot stand still; if I don't shift positions or bend over, it becomes unbearable.

It has always felt like my lower back was tightly arched backward, which can seemingly only be relieved by bending forward (in fact, I get frequent urges to quickly bend down and reach for my toes in order to stretch myself out and relieve the tension).

My only possible explanation for these years of discomfort, since I don't particularly overuse my back and don't have scoliosis, is that maybe my unusually short torso could be a factor (?). It certainly feels like either all of my vertebrae are scrunched together...ha ha, but I don't know enough about backs to know if that has any scientific realism to it.

What else could cause this kind of feeling, and is it common?
davedsel57 responded:
Hello and welcome. Merry Christmas.

There are a number of conditions that could cause these symptoms. Any of the forms of arthritis can cause what you are experiencing. Spinal problems such as stenosis, hyperkyphosis or damaged discs can cause this as well.

The best way to get answers is to see your doctor and explain everything. He/she can examine you and determine if you need to see a specialist such as a spinal orthopedic surgeon, spinal neurosurgeon or a rheumatologist.

It is both impossible and against the rules in all WebMD communities to provide a diagnosis or medical advice. We are a support group of people who live with back pain. Only your doctor can evaluate you accurately and recommend effective treatment options.

I hope your doctor can help you get answers and relief soon.
Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story.



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For more information, visit the Duke Health Spine Center