Back pain: Common causes and warning signs

Back pain: Common causes and warning signs

Back pain is one of the most common health complaints, with nearly 80% of adults experiencing it at least once in their lifetime. It can range from a mild ache to a sharp, burning sensation. It can be temporary or chronic. In this article, we’ll discuss common causes and red flags of back pain — and how to best identify them. The goal? To help you take action at an earlier stage to prevent further injury — and get relief sooner.

What is the most common cause of back pain?

Back pain is a very common condition. In fact, it affects around 540 million people worldwide each year. It can range from mild discomfort to severe and debilitating pain. Severe back pain makes it difficult for you to perform everyday activities. So what is the most common cause of back pain?

The most frequent cause of back pain is poor posture, muscle strain or soft tissue injury.This can be caused by lifting heavy objects incorrectly, sudden movements, or sitting in an uncomfortable position for long periods of time.

Muscle strains and tears occur when muscles are overstretched or forced beyond their normal range of motion, resulting in inflammation and soreness.

Other causes include degenerative conditions such as arthritis and disc herniation, which can lead to chronic pain and disability if left untreated.

Fortunately, there are many treatments available for managing and relieving back pain symptoms.

How do I know if my back pain is serious?

The sensation of back pain can range from minor aches and stiffness to sharp, radiating pain.

It can be difficult to know when it’s serious enough to see a doctor. The following information will help you determine if your back pain requires medical attention.

The first thing to consider is the duration of your back pain. If it has lasted for more than three months or if the intensity of the pain increases over time, then you should seek medical advice immediately.

Pain that gets worse with movement or when lying down could also signify a serious injury or condition and requires medical evaluation.

On top of this, any numbness or tingling in the legs — combined with lower back pain —may be indicative of nerve compression. This warrants further investigation by a healthcare professional.

How can I stop my back pain?

Are you dealing with back pain that is limiting your ability to move and live normally?

Understanding the cause of your back pain and how to treat it can help you find relief— without relying on medication.

Start by consulting with a doctor for a diagnosis of your condition. They will be able to recommend treatments that are tailored for your specific problem.

In some cases, physical therapy may be needed in order to strengthen weak muscles around the spine, which can help improve posture and reduce strain on the lower back.

Two tips for at-home back pain relief:

  1. Heat or cold compresses can provide temporary relief from soreness.
  2. Stretching exercises may also help increase flexibility in the muscles surrounding the spine.

What infection causes back pain?

It can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of back pain.

Infections that may result in back pain include bacterial and viral infections, as well as fungal or protozoal infections.

Depending on the severity of the infection, back pain can range from mild discomfort to severe aches and pains that make everyday activities difficult.

Bacterial infections are one of the most commonly-reported causes of back pain.

Bacteria such as Salmonella, Shigella, Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile are all known to cause inflammation in the spine or joint areas. This can lead to backache and stiffness.

Viral infections such as HIV/AIDS or herpes simplex virus (HSV) have also been linked with chronic lower back pain.

How can I tell if my back pain is kidney related?

If you think your back pain may be related to a kidney issue, there are some signs and symptoms that could indicate this is the case.

Pain in the upper back is usually associated with kidney problems, as well as flank pain(which is felt just below the ribcage on either side of your spine).

Other possible indicators of kidney issues include fever, chills, nausea and frequent urination.

If any of these symptoms accompany your back pain, you should make an appointment with your doctor for an evaluation.

What are the 3 categories of back pain?

Back pain can take many forms, from a dull ache to an unbearable sensation. To understand how to treat back pain properly, it’s important to know the difference between acute, subacute and chronic back pain.

  1. Acute back pain* typically lasts for a few days to a few weeks. Symptoms of acute back pain include localized tenderness, a sharp shooting sensation or stiffness in the lower back region when moving around. These symptoms may come on suddenly after physical activity or lifting a heavy object incorrectly.
  2. Subacute back pain* refers to back pain lasting between 4 and 12 weeks. This type of discomfort often begins gradually with mild aches that progress into more severe sensations over time.
  3. Chronic back pain* is pain (in the back) that lasts for 12 weeks or longer. Chronic back pain can range from mild to severe and often impacts an individual’s ability to carry out everyday activities such as walking, sitting, standing, working and even sleeping.

*There are various causes of acute, subacute and chronic back pain — including the following 7 categories:

  1. Injuries from accidents or falls
  2. Muscle strains
  3. Ligament sprains due to overexertion
  4. Incorrect posture while lifting objects
  5. Degenerative disc disease caused by aging discs in the spine
  6. Sciatica caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve in the lower back
  7. Spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord

How do you deal with your back pain? Share with us!

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