The Causes of Back Pain May07

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The Causes of Back Pain

Knowing the different parts of the back and how they work may give you some ideas of what the causes of back pain are. The back is a very intricate structure that is a mix of:

  • interconnected bones (33 separate vertebrae)
  • more than 30 muscles
  • nerves
  • joints
  • tendons
  • inter-vertebral discs
  • ligaments.

So don’t be surprised if there are aches and pains, you’re not alone on this. Studies show that eighty per cent of the total adult population, or 4 out of 5 adults, feel lower back pains at one point or another.

Lack of flexibility and stability that lead to muscular strains are the most common of all the causes of back pain. A tear in the muscle may happen whenever there is an unexpected twisting, pulling or stretching movement of the back muscles. When ligaments are stretched beyond their limit, ligamentous sprains happen. These occurrences are often observed together with the straining of the muscles. Fibromyalgia is an example of a rheumatic condition often observed by having extensive areas of tenderness due to fatigue, lack of sleep or soft tissue pain.

One of the most common causes of back pain, especially among women, is called osteoporosis. It is usually the spine that is affected most by this ailment. Although this happens over a span of years, loss in bone density makes bones brittle and prone to fractures. When a person develops osteoporosis, they are more likely to feel immeasurable pain caused by cracks due to vertebral compression resulting from falling or bumping accidents, lifting heavy items, or even forceful sneezing. On the other hand, herniated discs cause pain whenever the nerves found connecting the spinal column are squeezed and constricted.  People who often experience this may be exposed to excessive vibrations in work (construction workers, truck drivers or machine users), or through a sudden strain on the back due to improper lifting of heavy objects. Sciatica is a common example of this type of pain, more known as radicular pain.

For people 50 years of age and up, spinal stenosis and osteoarthritis are common causes of back pain. Otherwise known as degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis happens when the cartilage in the joints of the spine start deteriorating with time. The cartilage serves as a cushion when bones move against each other. Due to the thinning or even lack of the presence of cartilage, stiffness, swelling and inflammation begin. When this disorder starts to produce bone spurs and thickened ligaments, it develops into spinal stenosis.

Causes of back pain are sometimes hard to determine. The best thing to do is to have your back check by the doctor so that appropriate measures can be made.