9 Possible Reasons You Have Back Pain

Given that The World Health Organization estimates the lifetime prevalence of non-specific back pain at 60-70%, it just makes sense that you understand what could be causing it and how to start solving your problem once and for all!

Here are 9 possible reasons you have back pain.

  1. Sciatica

man with back pain from sciatica grabs hip
About 10% of people with lower back pain have sciatica.

Sciatica is technically not a diagnosis but a description for a grouping of symptoms.

It refers to an inflammation of the sciatic nerve. This nerve is the 2nd largest nerve in your body (after your spinal cord) and is made up of 5 smaller nerves (L3, L4, L5, S1, S2) that leave the spine joining together to form the sciatic nerve. It’s also longest nerve in your body running from the middle of your pelvis to the bottom of your big toe.

Any condition that increases pressure on the lumbar nerves or directly to the sciatic nerve can cause, numbness, tingling or even debilitating pain.

  1. Osteoarthritis

woman with pain holds knee
Often called degenerative joint disease or “wear and tear” arthritis.

Osteoarthritis can be a byproduct of aging but also a side effect of injury, immobility and repetitive stress and imbalances in the spine.

As the cartilage between discs and joints becomes damaged, normal movement can become difficult and painful.

  1. Soft Tissue Injuries

Woman exercising feels pain from soft tissue injury
Sprains and strains can happen to people of all ages with varied results.

Strain and sprain injuries to the muscles and ligaments around the spine can be a common source of pain. Soft tissue injuries (STI) are when trauma or overuse occurs to muscles, tendons or ligaments.

This type of pain is can be more diffuse and spread further into the muscles along the spine.

  1. Disc Degeneration

differing degrees of disc degeneration
More than 90% of older adults (≥65 years old) have some level of disc degeneration.

The deterioration of intervertebral discs can occur with wear and tear of aging or can be accelerated with abnormal forces placed on the spine.

While disc degeneration is not always a cause of back pain, there is a higher incidence of chronic low back pain in those with severe disc degeneration.

  1. Herniated Disc

pointing to example of disc hernia
A herniated disc can cause restricted movement and reduced physical abilities.

If the spinal discs reach a point where the disc ruptures, increased pressure may be placed directly on the nerve roots or the walls of the disc can become irritated…both causing back pain.

  1. Stress

stressed man holding head
Stress can manifest in physical symptoms.

It’s common to assume that pain in the back also means there’s a physical problem in that area…research continues to say “not necessarily”.

Stress can affect our levels of back pain and improved management of stress can aid in the recovery process

  1. Smoking

no smoking sign
Quitting smoking may help lessen back pain.

Believe it or not, puffing away on a cigarette can make your back hurt even more. (https://blog.spinecaredfw.com/10-ways-smoking-increases-back-pain-and-makes-your-pain-worse/)

Whether it is increased joint inflammation or altered blood supply, the chemicals found in cigarettes are increasing the chance you’ll suffer from back pain. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19796577)

  1. Hyper-mobility and Weakness

person about to lift weights

Dead lifts can help strengthen your back muscles.

One of the most often missed culprits causing lower back pain is too much movement, especially in the lumbar spine. This is one of the reasons creating more movement in an already mobile lumbar spine could be detrimental.

Strengthening tissues around the spine with compound exercises such as deadlifts (yes I said deadlifts) can be integral to the healing process.

  1. Something Else…

man holding lower back in pain
Back pain without cause is reason for a visit to your doctor.

Of course, let’s not forget there can be many other causes of back pain.

The source of pain could be postural distortion, indigestion, a urinary tract infection, a fracture or not to scare you…even cancer.

Well, it’s complicated.

If you’ve ever wondered why some people will have success with one intervention while others with back pain are still suffering…

The most likely scenario is because there’s likely a mixture of different possible factors at work.

doctor examines patient with back pain
Chiropractic care has many benefits, including back pain relief.

Try Something Different

With back pain being one of the top reasons for visits to physicians, days off work and disability, it seems to make sense we approach back pain from a different and multi-factorial perspective.

 The short list includes:

  1. Strength Training, Conditioning and Proper Mobility / Stability
  2. Dietary Improvements
  3. Neuro-Structural Testing and Correction (Corrective Chiropractic)
  4. Stress Management

Which of these have you tried? What worked for you? Answer below in the comments!

We’re here to help.

Kim Family Chiropractic has a team of spinal experts, ready to address your health concerns.
Our role as Neuro-Structural Chiropractors is to address any structural distortions in your spine that are compromising the health of your nerve system and ultimately limiting the health and function of your entire body. This includes, but is not exclusive to Back Pain. Learn more about our approach by reading What Happens When Your Health Problem Isn’t The Real Problem?

Contact Us to book a complimentary consultation with one of our Doctors to see if Kim Family Chiropractic is the right place for you to get the care you need.

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