Back Pain

Back pain is a common reason for absence from work and for seeking medical treatment. It can be uncomfortable and debilitating.

It can result from injury, activity and some medical conditions. Back pain can affect people of any age, for different reasons. As people get older, the chance of developing lower back pain increases, due to factors such as previous occupation and degenerative disk disease.

Lower back pain may be linked to the bony lumbar spine, discs between the vertebrae, ligaments around the spine and discs, spinal cord and nerves, lower back muscles, abdominal and pelvic internal organs, and the skin around the lumbar area.

Pain in the upper back may be due to disorders of the aorta, tumors in the chest, and spine inflammation.

Types of Back Pain

Back_pain may occur at any part of the back but commonly affects the lower back. The pain may also be felt along the spine, neck or hips. Common types of back_pain include:

  • Neck pain
  • Ankylosing spondylosis
  • Whiplash injury
  • Sprains and injuries
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Slipped or bulging disc (this lies like a cushion between two vertebrae)
  • Sciatica
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis and vertebral fractures
  • Skeletal irregularities (e.g., scoliosis, kyphosis, lordosis, back extension, back flexion)
  • Other conditions include fibromyalgia, stress, pregnancy, kidney stones or infections, endometriosis etc.
  • More serious causes include cauda equine syndrome, bone cancers, spine infections
Man with Back Pain

Causes of Back Pain

Age ; Back_pain typically occurs between the ages of 30 and 40. It becomes more common with age.

Being overweight or obese ; These individuals have too much stress on their spine that may lead to pain.

Level of fitness ; Back_pain is more common among people who are not physically fit, these individuals have weak back muscles.

Occupation ; Persons who need to lift, push or pull and twist their backs at work, they may be at risk of back_pain. Those working for long hours at their desks are also at risk of back_pain.

Back Pain Treatment

Inherited ; Some causes of back_pain, such as disc disease may be inherited.

Ethnicity ; African American women are found to be two to three times more likely than white women to develop spondylolisthesis.  Caucasian women of northern European heritage, on the other hand, are at the highest risk of developing osteoporosis.

Smoking ; Smoking reduces blood flow to the lower spine and causes the spinal discs to degenerate.
Other diseases ; Those with arthritis and cancers with spread to bones may also experience back_pain.