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Causes and Risk Factors of Back Pain or Backache

11 Causes of Back Pain or Backache:

Causes and Risk Factors of Back Pain or Backache

  1. Discogenic Back Pain: Bulged disc, herniated disc, degenerative disc disease can cause severe back pain or backache.(1)
  2. Musculoskeletal Back Pain: Facet joint pain, para vertebral muscle spasm can also cause pain in the back.
  3. Back Pain Caused by Infection: Discitis, facet joint arthritis and osteomyelitis.
  4. Injuries or Traumatic Back Pain: Whiplash injury after automobile accident or a fall may cause back pain
  5. Fracture:
    • Fracture of vertebrae, facet joint, lamina, transverse process or spinous process causes back pain.(2)
    • Tear and Sprain of synovial membrane, ligaments and muscles can result in backache.
  6. Dislocation Resulting in Back Pain: Person can experience pain in the back if there is dislocation of facet joint.
  7. Back Pain Caused By Metastasis: Primary Cancer of the breast, lung or prostate are known to cause backache.
  8. Bone Disease: Medical conditions like osteoporosis, scoliosis, spondylolisthesis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and spinal stenosis can cause chronic back pain.
  9. Systemic Disease: One can have acute or chronic back pain if they have endometriosis, kidney disease, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and muscle pain.
  10. Failed Back Syndrome: Pain may persist after back surgery secondary to following causes:
    • Recurrent disc herniation.
    • Surgical injuries to facet joint.
    • Facet Joint: Hyper mobility, joint instability.
    • Muscular Deconditioning.
    • Fibrotic scar tissue of surrounding nerves, ligaments, muscles and joint.
  11. Pregnancy: There can be chronic low back pain during pregnancy secondary to following causes
    1. Stretching of the ligaments and muscles within the pelvis.
    2. Nerve irritation.

Risk Factors for Back Pain or Backache:

  • Diabetes, type 2.
  • Obesity
  • Stress: Physical and emotional stress secondary to family and job dissatisfaction can be a factor for back pain.
  • Pregnancy: Pregnant women are much more likely to experience backache.(3)
  • Sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise is known to be a factor for back pain.
  • Age – Older adults are more susceptible to back pain than young adults or children.
  • Gender – Back pain is more common among females than males.
  • Smoking: It can not only cause cancer, but can also cause back pain.
  • Strenuous physical exercise (especially if not done properly) or work: Lifting heavy weights in wrong posture can cause injury to the back.
  • Peripheral vascular disease.


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 19, 2022

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