Common Causes of Back Pain

Common Causes of Back Pain

Back pain is a common problem that can develop as we age. It is often difficult to understand the cause of the pain, but it can keep you from doing the things you enjoy. In many cases, back pain that restricts your movement can worsen over time and lead to other health issues.

Types of Back Pain

The location and type of pain you experience can help determine the cause. Back pain is usually reported in any of these ways:

  • Referred pain: A dull ache that moves around or turns up in different locations or with different intensity is a referred pain. The pain in your lower back that sometimes goes into your hip is an example of a referred pain.
  • Axial pain: Usually localized to a particular muscle or muscle group, an axial pain can be dull or sharp. This type of pain may also come and go and is often related to a muscle strain.
  • Radicular pain: Often accompanied by numbness or weakness, radicular pain tends to follow the path of the nerve. It may begin at the spine and radiate down the arm. Radicular pain is usually an intense or severe pain.

Chronic or recurring back pain can diminish your quality of life, sometimes without you even realizing what is happening. Ongoing pain affects your mood in subtle ways and can lead to depression if not addressed.

Understanding the Cause of Back Pain

Figuring out the cause of your back pain can reduce your stress and is the first step in resolving the pain. There are many causes of back pain, but here are some of the more common causes:

    • Poor posture: Most people have some bad posture habits they continue to exercise throughout their lives. You may slouch in your chair, roll your shoulders forward when you stand or drag your heels a little when you walk. All these habits require some compensation from your spine. Over time, poor posture can damage your spine and cause pain.
    • Over use: Weekend Warriors run into back pain all the time. You sit at a desk five days a week, and then on Saturday spend eight hours bending and crouching over your garden. The muscles you use on the weekend to swing your softball bat, shovel your walkway or hike the local nature trails are not well conditioned. When you overwork the muscles in your back, they become inflamed, pull on vertebrae and press on nerves.
    • Heavy lifting: Carrying heavy packages, moving the refrigerator to clean under it, rearranging your furniture or picking up grandchildren can put an acute strain on your back and even cause a small tear in the ligaments. Lower back pain is often caused by these types of activities.

Regardless of what caused your back pain, it is important to have it evaluated and treated so it does not continue and slow you down anymore. Fill out our online form to schedule your appointment for a consultation with someone on our team of spine experts.

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