What Are the Causes of Back Pain?
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What Are the Causes of Back Pain?

Back pain, particularly lower back pain, is most often caused by strained back muscles and ligaments as a result of improper lifting techniques, or as a result of lifting an overly heavy load, or a result of sudden or awkward movement.

Common Causes

Back pain, particularly lower back pain, and mostly suffered by women, is most often caused by strained back muscles and ligaments as a result of improper lifting techniques, lifting an overly heavy load, or a result of sudden or awkward movement.

There are also some cases where muscle spasms can cause back pain. In others, stress may be enough to unleash or activate the pain. There are so many causes of back pain but various injuries, such as falls and blows, can also cause back pain, as a result of damage to the bones, ligaments, muscles, or other structures that make up the back.

Some lumbar and lower spinal pain is caused by sufferers having one leg that is slightly longer than the other. Try measuring or checking if there is a difference in your leg length.  If there is a difference in your leg length, then it means it has put your pelvis out of alignment causing excess stress and strain which has led to inflammation and pain. Without correction action, this can lead to long term back pain..

Medical Causes

Back Pain can also be caused by the following medical conditions:

  • Herniated Disc:  It is a condition in which a tear in the outer fibrous ring of an intervertebral disc allows the soft, central portion to be extruded or herniated, to the outside of the disc. When this occurs, the disc material can press on a nerve. Symptoms vary depending on the location of the herniation and the types and extent of soft tissue involved.
  • Osteoarthritis (OA): Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and is a condition where the cartilage that covers and acts as a cushion inside joints has become excessively worn causing low-grade inflammation and pain in the joints. As the bone surfaces become less well protected by cartilage, the sufferer will experience pain upon movement which include carrying and lifting activities, walking and standing. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis.
  • Sciatica: also called Lumbago. Sciatica is a relatively common form of low back pain and leg pain, and occurs when a herniated disc compresses or pinches the sciatic nerve causing a sudden, shooting pain that travels from the back of the thigh to the back of the calf. The pain may also extend as far up as the hip and as far down as the foot. In addition to the sharp, shooting pain, other symptoms can include numbness and difficulty in moving or controlling the leg. Typically, these symptoms are felt on only one side of the body.
  • Spinal Stenosis: This is a condition in which the spinal cord and nerves are compressed or pinched as a result of narrowing of the spinal canal. This narrowing is often the result of natural degeneration that occurs in the spine with age, or as a result of arthritis or bone overgrowth.This can also be caused by a herniated disc or a tumour.
  • Spondylolisthesis: It is a condition where one vertebra slides forward over an adjacent vertebra causing compression or pinching of the nerves emerging from the spinal cord. Spondylolisthesis occurs most commonly in the lumbar spine.
  • Spondylosis: This is a deformity or degeneration in the joints of two vertebrae, particularly in the neck area, where as the space between the two adjacent vertebrae narrows, causing compression or pinching of the nerves emerging from the spinal cord. Just like the other causes of back pain, the deformity or degeneration normally occurs as a result of aging or arthritis, and can cause severe pain in the neck, shoulder, upper limbs, and related areas.

Rare Medical Causes

Serious back pain may be caused by some rare cases:

  • Cauda Equina Syndrome: is a grim neurological condition in which there is compression of the contents of the spinal canal below the termination of the spinal cord.
  • Cancers of Spine: These cancers of the spine are essentially those of vertebra that make up the spine. There are many different types of tumour that can affect these bone. Tumours may also arise inside the membrane encasing the spinal cord and its contents. Primary tumours are those growing where they are discovered, and they may be benign or malignant. Secondary, or metastatic tumours, are tumours that have travelled from a source elsewhere in the body. Cancer of the spine is already a highly serious condition. Tumours can compress nerves which results in back pain and a range of other symptoms, such as weakness in the arms or legs.
  • Infection of the Spine or Spinal Cord: Infection often arises as a secondary infection to an active infection elsewhere in the body, although in some cases no source of infection is found. Treatment of the infection depends on how early it is detected, how much bone or disc material has been destroyed, and whether or not there are any progressive neurological issues. Symptoms of a spinal infection usually include fever and a warm, tender area along the backbone accompanying the back pain.
  • Repeated Occurrences / Multiple Surgeries: If you have repeated occurrences of back pain and have gone through multiple unsuccessful surgeries, these can also cause serious back pain. Serious back pain can be very difficult to treat or cure and one you may have to deal with for a long time.


Back Pain or Dorsopathy

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Comments (4)

I often have back pain due to lifting things wrong, but also sometimes think I have sciatica as I often have pain in one leg especially around the hip

excellent recap

lower back pain is really one of the most common ailments of modern men. thanks for the useful info!

We share the same sentiments, Brenda, and it's tough dealing with it. Carol, glad you like it. And Pearl, you are right, not only for men but for women, too. Thank you, everyone!