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What Causes Back Pain?

Weekend activities like golf can easily cause back injuriesThe source of your back pain is usually caused by something that can be identified by your doctor with the help of a test or medical imaging. If you have been experiencing chronic back pain, then you may be interested in enrolling in one of our back pain clinical trials in Birmingham, AL. Underlying medical issues that can cause back pain include the following:

Mechanical Problems with the Back

The mechanical problems could be caused by the way your spine moves or could be the way you feel when you move your spine in a certain way. Intervertebral disc degeneration is probably the most common mechanical cause of back pain. This is simply the result of the natural breakdown of the discs between the vertebrae due to age. This deterioration leads to a loss of spine’s natural cushioning ability.

The wearing down of the facet joints is another common cause of back pain. These are the large joints which connect all of the vertebrae in the spine together. Other mechanical causes of back pain include muscle tension, spasms, and ruptured discs (otherwise known as herniated discs).

Prior Injuries

Spinal injuries such as fractures and sprains can lead to either short-term or long-term chronic cases of back pain. A sprain is a tear in the ligaments that hold up the strength of the spine, and these can be caused by improper lifting or other strenuous activities. On the other hand, many cases of fractured spinal columns are the result of osteoporosis, a medical condition that leads to weakened, porous bones. In other cases, back pain may be the result of a prior accident or fall.

Underlying Medical Conditions

There are actually a number of medical problems which can either cause or exacerbate back pain. These medical conditions include several forms of arthritis, like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, ankylosing spondylitis, and scoliosis, which leads to a curved spine and can cause pain later in life. As mentioned earlier, osteoporosis can weaken the bones and lead to fractures in the vertebrae. Other sources of back pain include kidney stones, infections, pregnancy, fibromyalgia, and endometriosis (a build-up of uterine tissue outside of the uterus).

Tumors and Infections

While both of these are much more rare, both infections and tumors are noted causes of back pain. If the infection involves the vertebrae of the discs that cushion these vertebrae, this could lead to varying levels of pain. The same goes with tumors that develop in the patient’s back. It should be noted that most tumors that form in the back are caused by cancer that has originated elsewhere.

While the most common causes of back pain are physical, there is also an emotional factor that can play an important role with this medical condition. Someone who is dealing with heavy levels of stress in their life may exacerbate their back pain and will be dealing with it much longer. A person who is stressed will have much more tense back muscles which means the odds of injuring them are higher. Lack of sleep or insomnia can exacerbate cases of back pain, just like depression and anxiety that is left untreated. There are a number of treatments available to prevent further back pain.