Do you have back pain? You are not alone. Anyone can experience back pain at any time, even if they have no previous injuries and no risk factors. It’s not always serious and often gets better on its own. But in some cases, pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. The lower back typically has only five vertebrae, fewer than the neck and mid-back. And those vertebrae lift a lot of weight! The hips are where the spine connects to the pelvis and supports the weight of the upper body. This area is subject to a lot of movement and stress, which can lead to wear and tear and injury.
60-80% of adults in the United States will experience neck and back pain at some point in their lives. Back pain is one of the most common medical conditions reported in the United States, and you are likely to experience it at some point in your life. This type of pain is usually a symptom of another medical condition and can have many causes. Here are common causes of aches and pains in the back.
1. Muscle or tendon tension
Lifting boxes or heavy objects, exercising, or even sleeping in an awkward position can lead to back pain. Often this means that you have pulled or sprained one of the many muscles or tendons in your back. Back pain due to muscle and ligament strain can cause strains and cramps.
Inflammation is part of the body’s natural immune response, but it can still cause unpleasant heat and pain. Continued inflammation from injury or disease can lead to chronic back and spine pain.
More than 52 million adults suffer from arthritis stiffness and pain. Arthritis is a form of chronic inflammation that affects joints throughout the body, including the back. Arthritis pain is often accompanied by stiffness and swelling.
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bone loss, especially in the hip joints and spine. This loss of mass can weaken bones and lead to painful fractures.
5. Intervertebral disc herniation
Tissue cushions, so-called intervertebral discs, separate the vertebrae of the spine. When these discs become displaced, bulging, or injured, they can become painful and even debilitating. Discs become more susceptible to damage as they age.
The spine plays an important role in keeping the body straight. Poor posture and being overweight can put additional strain on your spine. If your back muscles have to work extra, it can lead to back discomfort and pain.
Fibromyalgia is not well understood, but it can cause pain all over the body, including the back. Researchers are still working to understand fibromyalgia pain, but most agree that it is caused by abnormalities in the nervous system.
Back pain can have many different causes, but many can be treated. Lifestyle changes such as learning how to lift heavy objects, sleeping carefully in a back-friendly position, and maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce back problems. If your back pain is severe or debilitating, see an orthopedic surgeon at Specialty Care Clinics for ways to improve your symptoms.