Classification and Types of Back Pain or Backache

Classification and Types of Back Pain or Backache: Somatic, Osseous, Referral

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.[1]

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.[2]

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.[3]
  • 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.[4]

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.[5]


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