Causes of Back Pain

Causes of Back Pain

At some point in your life, you’re likely to experience back pain. The reasons for this vary from one person to another, but the effects of this miserable experience are common to everyone who suffers from it. From missing work to being unable to drive or even get out bed, back pain can be a debilitating problem. However, it’s not an actual medical condition. It’s actually a symptom of some other one. Here are some different types of back pain and their known causes. 

Strains and Sprains

The most common types of back pain are the result of strains and sprains. Strains are injuries to muscles and tendons, whereas sprains are overstretched or torn ligaments. Strains and sprains can be the caused by a number of different issues, such as:

– Improper lifting technique

– Sudden or awkward movements

– Lifting heavy objects

– Cramping or spasms

– Prolonged or repetitive movements

– A fall

– Overuse of the back muscles

Keep in mind that obesity and weak abdominal muscles are often contributing factors to strains and sprains.

Structural Problems

Structural problems of the spine are less common and can be mild, moderate or severe. Regardless of their level of severity, they can still be responsible for some degree of back pain. Examples of structural problems include:

– Sciatica

– Ruptured disks

– Bulging disks

– Osteoporosis

– Arthritis

– Abnormal curvature of the spine

Sciatica is a condition that results from a pinched nerve, due to a herniated or bulging disk. The disk puts pressure on the nerve, which sends a shooting pain through the back of the leg, beginning at the buttocks. It’s one of the most common structural problems related to back pain and can be caused by a single instance of improper lifting with poor form.

Other Causes of Back Pain

– Cancer of the spine

– Infection

Sleeping disorders

– Shingles

– Sleeping on a bad mattress

Everyday Activities That May Lead to Back Pain

There are a number of daily activities that may lead to back pain. It’s easy to take some of them for granted, performing them sloppily or incorrectly. These activities include:

– Standing (especially for long periods)

– Bending over

– Twisting

– Sneezing

– Coughing

– Pushing heavy objects (such as a car)

– Pulling

– Sitting improperly

– Driving

The human back contains various muscles, tendons and bones. Any one of these can be the source of back pain. The best way to prevent back problems is to always be mindful of your posture and avoid sudden, awkward or careless movements that could lead to an injury or fall. If you’re already suffering from back pain, be sure to see a doctor. Your personal physician knows a great deal about your medical history and may be able to shed some light on your problem and recommend some form of treatment. Keep in mind that some causes of back pain are never found.

If you suffer from back pain use our self check to see if you need to check into treatment options.


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  1. Rachel Reply

    I have two ruptured disks in my lower back, and have sprained some muscles in my side multiple times due to improper lifting techniques. Avoiding back pain is something everyone should actively strive to do because it is incredibly painful. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Brooke McAvoy Reply

    It’s crazy how many everyday activities lead to back pain. What are some ways that you can prevent or reduce back pain? I have noticed that when I pay better attention to my posture and try harder to stand up straight, I experience less pain. Is this a valid observation? Thank you for such a helpful article!

    1. LNWeaver

      I hear regular exercise can strengthen your back muscles and mitigate pain as well. But bad posture and lifting habits can exacerbate it. If you have chronic pain it’s probably best to see a doctor.

  3. Ivy Baker Reply

    I didn’t realize that driving can lead to bad back pain. My boyfriend has been having back issues for a few months. He has to drive a lot of his job and I wonder if that is what is creating his back pain. It seems like a good idea for him to go see a chiropractor.

  4. website Reply

    I was having mild back pain lately and I think the culprit might be my improper sitting position. I tend to slouch at times so this might be the cause. Would have this consulted with a chiropractor to be sure.

  5. Benjamin Reply

    Never really think about how something as simple as how you’re sitting when you curl up on the couch to read can be affecting your spine and back. The body needs proper attention to stay in tip-top shape.

  6. Kenneth Reply

    I’m glad you mentioned the risk of improper lifting technique. At a move last week I really hurt my back helping with a piano. I’m considering seeing a chiropractor to see if he can help me recover faster.

  7. Mina Edinburgh Reply

    It sure got me when you said that the structural formation of the spine, though less common can also cause mild, moderate, and severe back pain. I guess my mom’s idea that her back pain is caused by osteoporosis was right. It was just a bit too severe for me to believe that it is the cause. But either way, I will take her to the professional for a pain treatment. Thanks.

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