Health Advice

Causes of Back Pain

The human body is a complicated structure that consists of muscles, nerve endings and bones – all of which can be contributory if not root causes of back pain. Most causes of back pain come down to the musculoskeletal system – and back pain itself is not considered a specific diagnosis but rather a symptom of underlying problems. This article will look at the most common causes of back pain to help you identify what could be troubling you.

Strained Muscles

Muscle strain happens when the muscle fibers in your back are overstretched or torn. Strained muscles can also occur as part of an injury sustained to the area.  It could result from a sports accident or even simply lifting something in the wrong way, not to mention lifting something too heavy to carry.


Osteoporosis is  a condition in which an individual’s bones loose density leaving them weak, brittle and far more likely to break or be damaged. Primary osteoporosis tends to occur mostly in post-menopausal women. Secondary osteoporosis is also known to affect young and middle-aged people too. In these individuals it can be caused by certain medications like corticosteroids or severe illnesses and disorders like anorexia nervosa. It is also known that overactivity and excess exercise can be a causal and contributory factor in the condition.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease occurs when the discs in your spinal cord slowly become worn. Degeneration of discs is a normal part of ageing and most people will show signs of it are they grow older. Not all people will however develop symptoms, and in those that do, the pain can variate from mild to extreme.

Poor Posture

The skeletal structure in your body requires support. Bad posture is one of the primary causes of back pain and must be corrected properly. For some individuals the body’s posture can be better or worse in different positions. e.g. Your standing posture is not doing any damage, whereas your sitting posture is. A common poor postural habit is slouching which strains muscles in your back. You may not know it, but if you’re tired often, are over-worked or haven’t slept enough you are more likely to have bad posture than those who are awake and alert.


Osteoarthritis of the spine (also known as spondylosis) is a degenerative, wear-and-tear disease that affects spinal joints and discs in your vertebrae. Osteoarthritis usually doesn’t begin until after the age of 45 and is diagnosed most often around the age of 60. Those suffering from osteoarthritis should realise that excess lifting and activity involving your back can exacerbate the condition. Advancement of this condition can lead to spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis is essentially a narrowing of the spinal column that leads to compression of the spinal cord and nerve roots. Pressure on any part of the back may cause numbness, pain or a severe ache.

General Health

If you live a hectic and busy life, you must never forget to take care of yourself, your body and mind. Back pain can actually be caused by excess weight gain and/or obesity since your body is not designed to carry the extra stones. If you’ve gained a lot of weight and are suffering back pain, you will also likely become less active, easily tired and generally less fit. This type of inactivity will only exacerbate your condition. Stress too also has a part to play and can not only cause mild back pain but worsen any of the conditions previously mentioned.

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