Back pain is one of the most common reasons people seek out a doctor or miss work. Doctors consider back pain acute if you have been suffering with it for a month or less and chronic if it last for a longer duration. Back pain is a symptom and can be caused by a number of conditions, from a simple strain to a more serious condition. You can have pain in the upper, middle or lower back depending on the cause. Having pain in your back can also be what is called referred pain, meaning the pain is arising from another medical condition, like appendicitis, kidney problems, such as kidney stones, infections or disease, pelvic infections, bladder infections, ovarian cysts, endometriosis and other problems.
Other causes of back pain can be from nerve impingements due to a herniated or ruptured disk. This is where the disk bulges out of the spinal column and puts pressure on the nerve root. Sometimes you can have what is known Spondylosis. This is due to a stress fracture or injury of the spine. When one spinal vertebra slips away from another it is called Spondylolisthesis. These are mostly caused due to a degenerative condition. Spinal Stenosis is another cause of back pain. Spinal Stenosis is when the spinal disks lose moisture and volume which decreases disk space.
Arthritis of the spine is yet another cause of back pain. Arthritis affects approximately 80% of people in the United States over the age of 55. The most common form of arthritis is Osteoarthritis. Spinal degeneration caused by osteoarthritis is a break down of the spinal joints and vertebra due to wear. This can also cause over-growth of bone resulting in bone spurs of the spine which cause pain. A person with spinal degeneration may have morning stiffness and pain with the inability to stand or walk for extended periods of time. Osteoporosis causes thinning and weakening of the bones. This can lead to brittle bones and result in stress fractures. Musculoskeletal pain syndromes like fibromyalgia and myofascial syndrome cause back pain. Other causes of back pain are osteomyelitis and scaroiliitis which are infections of the bone in the spine. Trauma due to a car accident, sports injury, a fall or other types of injury can also cause back pain. Lower back pain caused by muscle strain is the most common form of back pain. Over stressing your back by lifting heavy objects or too much stretching can cause tissue tears. Depending on the degree of the muscle tissue tear, will dictate the amount of healing time. Repeated bending and twisting can also put a strain on the back causing back pain. Having to stand or sit in certain positions for long periods of time can also result in muscle strain. Lumbar muscle strain can occur to varies degrees which means the discomfort or pain can last from a few days to a month or longer. Muscle strains can also cause the muscles to spasm which causes back pain. If you are suffering from back pain that does not seem to fade, it is time to see your doctor to determine the cause and possibly start a treatment program.
Those are the most common back pain causes. There are more, but these will most likely describe your situation and symptoms quite accurately.