Back Pain: What Are The Common Causes?

Back pain is a common condition and normally improves within a few weeks or months. Though back pain isn’t something serious, it may cause tremendous discomfort. Fortunately, most cases aren’t a serious problem and may be due to muscle strain or a wrong move. As much as possible, practicing proper body mechanics is the key to relieve back pain.

If you experienced back pain, you are not alone. About 80 percent of adults suffer from low back pain at some point in their lives. People with jobs understand that back pain is part of working and a leading contributor to missed workdays.

Here are six of the most common causes of back pain.

Sprains and Strains

The most common cause of back pain is a wrong turn or lifting heavy objects. Sprains and strains account for the majority of back pains, which is acute and debilitating. Overstretching of ligaments often cause sprains. Strains, however, are tears in tendons or muscles. People usually get these injuries when they lift heavy objects without practicing proper body mechanics. Other causes of sprains and strains are twisting, overstretching, and improper lifting heavy objects.


Sciatica is another common cause of back pain. It refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve. This nerve passes through the lower back through the hips and down each leg. The common symptoms of sciatica include pain under the leg that worsens when seated, lower back pain, hip pain, tingling sensation in the leg, numbness, weakness, and shooting pain, making it hard to stand up.

Herniated Disc

Herniated disc or slipped disc happens when the intervertebral discs become compressed. As a result, they bulge outward or rupture, causing severe back pain and inflammation. A slipped disc happens with age, and it can slip out of place while a person is turning or lifting an object.

man holding his back

Traumatic Injury

A traumatic injury, including car accidents, falls, or playing contact sports, can injure the joints, ligaments, and muscles in the back, causing back pain. In some instances, injuries can compress the spine. The spinal column is a delicate area because when injured during accidents, it can cause paralysis of some parts of the body.


Intervertebral disc degeneration is one of the most common causes of low back pain. This results from aging, and the discs that cushion the spine lose integrity and cause back pain. In older adults, back pain is one of the most common complaints they make, especially the body changes as one gets older.


A more serious condition that can cause low back pain is an infection in the spinal cord or the brain. Infections can cause pain when they involve the vertebrae. Osteomyelitis is an infection that affects the bones in the body, including the spinal column.

Back pain is common and mild, but if without getting treatment early, it can lead to serious conditions and debilitating pain. There are many treatment options for back pain, including massage and chiropractic practice. If you or someone you know experiences back pain, consult your doctor to determine its cause and recommend the right treatment.

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