Causes of back pain | 2 min read

Back pain can be a result of injury, activity, and some medical conditions. Acute pain starts suddenly and lasts for up to 6 weeks. Chronic or long-term pain develops over a more extended period, lasts for over three months, and causes ongoing problems.

Back pain may be caused by

Structural problems:
Such as ruptured or bulging disks, sciatica, arthritis, osteoporosis, or an abnormal curvature of the spine.

Strain:
Caused by muscle tension or spasm, lifting heavy items, and making an abrupt or awkward movement or injury.

Osteoporosis:
Bones, including the spine’s vertebrae, become brittle and porous, making compression fractures more likely.

Kidney problems: 
Kidney stones or kidney infections can cause back pain.

Everyday activities:
Such as over-stretching, standing, or sitting for long periods, straining the neck forward, driving or using a computer, sleeping on a mattress that does not support the body and keeping the spine straight, wearing high heels, overloading your bag, smoking.

Medical conditions:
Some medical conditions can lead to back pain, such as:

  • Cauda equina syndrome: The cauda equine is a bundle of spinal nerve roots that arise from the lower end of the spinal cord. Symptoms include a dull pain in the lower back and upper buttocks and numbness in the buttocks, genitalia, and thighs. There are sometimes bowel and bladder function disturbances.
  • Cancer of the spine: A tumour on the spine may press against a nerve, resulting in back pain.
  • Infection of the spine: A fever and a tender, warm area on the back could be due to an infection of the spine.
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease, bladder, or kidney infections.
  • Sleep disorders: Individuals with sleep disorders are more likely to experience back pain compared with others.
  • Shingles: A condition that can affect the nerves may lead to back pain, depending on which nerves are affected.


Risk factors:
Factors linked to a higher risk of back pain include:

  • Occupational activities
  • Pregnancy
  • A sedentary lifestyle & poor physical fitness
  • Older age
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Genetic factors


When to see a doctor:
Seek medical attention if you experience back pain after an injury or experience any numbness, weakness, tingling in your legs, or back pain that does not improve with rest. 

Sources

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