Classification and Types of Back Pain or Backache

Back Pain or Backache Can be Classified as:

Classification and Types of Back Pain or Backache


Somatic Back Pain or Backache

  • Superficial: Localized in skin and subcutaneous tissue e.g. skin abscess, laceration, incision, contusion, hematoma and hair follicle infection.(1)
  • Deep: Localized in muscles and tendon e.g. muscle tear, muscle injuries, severe spasm, myofascial pain and fibromyalgia.


Osseous Back Pain or Backache

  • Disc: Discitis, herniation and bulge.
  • Facet Joint: Arthritis, joint injury, joint hypermobility, joint instability and joint hypertrophy.
  • Vertebral Body: Metastatic tumor and fracture.
  • Foramina: Stenosis, fracture of pedicle and lamina, encroached by tumor mass.
  • Fracture: Body of vertebrae, transverse process and spinous process.


Back Pain or Backache Caused by Nerve Lesion

  • Radiculopathy: Pinched nerve at foramina secondary to stenosis or tumor encroachment, bulged disc or herniated disc pinching the nerve.
  • Spinal Stenosis: Spinal canal is narrowed secondary to facet joint hypertrophy, ligamentum flavum hypertrophy, disc bulge and herniation, subluxation of vertebrae due to tumor mass compromising the spinal canal.

Referral Back Pain or Backache

Pain caused by diseases in distant organs may be felt (referred) in back (neck, mid back and lower back) as a backache. Many disorders within the abdomen, such as appendicitis, aortic aneurysms, kidney diseases, kidney infection, bladder infections, pelvic infections, and ovarian disorders among others, can cause pain referred to the back.

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: May 31, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer


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