Causes and Risk Factors of Back Pain or Backache
Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI
- Discogenic Back Pain: Bulged disc, herniated disc, degenerative disc disease can cause severe back pain or backache.(1)
- Musculoskeletal Back Pain: Facet joint pain, para vertebral muscle spasm can also cause pain in the back.
- Back Pain Caused by Infection: Discitis, facet joint arthritis and osteomyelitis.
- Injuries or Traumatic Back Pain: Whiplash injury after automobile accident or a fall may cause back pain
- 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.
- Dislocation Resulting in Back Pain: Person can experience pain in the back if there is dislocation of facet joint.
- Back Pain Caused By Metastasis: Primary Cancer of the breast, lung or prostate are known to cause backache.
- Bone Disease: Medical conditions like osteoporosis, scoliosis, spondylolisthesis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and spinal stenosis can cause chronic back pain.
- Systemic Disease: One can have acute or chronic back pain if they have endometriosis, kidney disease, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and muscle pain.
- 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.
- Pregnancy: There can be chronic low back pain during pregnancy secondary to following causes
- Stretching of the ligaments and muscles within the pelvis.
- Nerve irritation.
Risk Factors for Back Pain or Backache:
- Diabetes, type 2.
- 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.