Numbing lower back pain is a problem that patients should definitely not ignore. This type of pain starts in the lower back and buttocks as a dull ache with added numbness and may run down the back of the legs. Such pain often indicates a slipped or herniated disc. Diagnosing and treating the problem in its initial stages is simple. Your back doctor will perform a physical exam, and then depending on the severity of the problem, recommend nonsurgical treatments such as painkillers, rest, and strengthening exercise. Nonsurgical treatments work in approximately 90 percent of patients. In cases where the problem worsens, surgery to remove the disc is an option. Spinal stenosis is another condition that can cause persistent back pain. This condition is caused by gradual narrowing of the space surrounding the spinal cord or by nerves growing out of the spinal cord. It is a common condition for seniors and primarily affects people over 50. When it occurs in younger individuals, the condition is often caused by a traumatic injury. Symptoms are similar to those for ruptured discs, so it's important to have your back doctor give you a thorough examination for proper diagnosis.