September 29, 2022
Nearly 80 percent of people experience back pain at some point in their lives. The pain can vary in severity, ranging from aches to burning or even stabbing sensations. In most cases, it improves over time with rest and over-the-counter pain relief. But sometimes, there may be an underlying issue that needs to be addressed by a medical professional. Here are some of the most common causes of back pain in adults:
Back muscles or spine ligaments can be strained from heavy lifting or moving your body awkwardly. If you’ve recently overexerted yourself and are experiencing pain, that may be the cause of your discomfort.
Your mother was looking out for you when she used to say, “Sit up straight!” Poor posture can put pressure on your spine and lead to back pain over time.
As you get older, the joints in your spine can develop arthritis, leading to pain and stiffness. There are several types of arthritis that can cause back pain. Unfortunately, arthritis can be difficult to diagnose yourself, so it’s important to talk with your doctor to make sure you receive the medical care you need.
Sports injuries, falls, and car accidents are common causes of back pain. Traumatic injuries can damage your ligaments and spine and can also result in herniated or ruptured disks.
Some conditions, such as scoliosis, lordosis, or kyphosis, cause abnormal curvature of the spine and can lead to pain. Doctors diagnose these conditions by performing a physical exam and ordering imaging tests.
This disease can thin and weaken your vertebrae, resulting in fractures and severe pain. Older women are at highest risk for osteoporosis, but anyone can develop the condition. Most people are unaware that they have it until they break a bone.
Between each of your vertebrae is a disc, and it can become inflamed or even rupture with age. This can cause the discs to compress and bulge out, resulting in back pain. For mild cases, over-the-counter pain medications, rest, and gentle exercise can provide relief. If the pain is severe, steroid injections and surgery may be recommended.
It’s possible for back pain to be caused by a tumor, but this is uncommon. Once any other causes or conditions are ruled out, your doctor may order imaging tests to determine if a spinal tumor is the cause of your discomfort.
Aside from the causes mentioned above, other conditions, such as obesity, a pinched nerve, pregnancy, kidney stones, or even just a bad mattress can all cause discomfort in your back.
If your back pain doesn’t improve on its own, becomes more severe, causes weakness or numbing in your legs, or is accompanied by sudden weight loss, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible to determine the cause.