An overview of back pain

An overview of back pain

Back pain is commonly complained as shooting, stabbing pain at the back bone and radiating to buttocks and the lower limb. It can be at any location of the back whether its upper back pain or lower back pain and this indicates different pathology. There are different causes of back pain occurring at any age of your life. It is proven that 4 in 5 adults experience back pain at least once in their lifetime and this may impair their quality of life depending on the severity of the pain.

How do you know if it is muscular back pain?


A strained muscle or ligament at the back can be painful. These are several symptoms you may experience if you are suffering from muscular back pain.

  • Your back pain is aggravated from movement, either standing too long or moving.
  • Sensation of cramps or spasm at your back muscles.
  • Difficulty in walking or bending to take up objects from the floor.
  • Difficulty in keeping your back straight against the wall.
  • Pain radiating to the buttocks and lower limbs.

Meanwhile, these are some worrisome symptoms that should be concerning you to book an appointment from a doctor immediately.

  1. Night pain
  2. Loss of weight
  3. Loss of appetite
  4. Intermittent fever
  5. Previous history of cancer
  6. Paralysis of lower limbs

Here are 5 main possible causes of back pain.


  1. Muscular back pain

This is the most common cause of back pain happening at any age of life. The reason behind this pain is muscle or ligament strain due to repeated heavy lifting or an awkward motion. Prolonged sitting or sleeping in a wrong position also can cause these muscles to strain and cause pain due to constant straining of muscles leading to muscle fatigue.

  1. Prolapsed disc

This cause is common in younger age groups due to heavy lifting or trauma to the back. An intervertebral disc is a soft material located in between two backbones and functions to absorb shock during heavy trauma and assist in bending the back to make it more flexible. Bulging of this disc on either side might impinge on the nerve exting and tera the dura (covering) of the nerve causing radiating pain.

  1. Osteoporosis

Thi popular medical term is very common in adult females as they reach their menopause age. This degenerative process of the back bones causes destruction of the bones and formation of porous and brittle bones susceptible to fracture from light trauma.

  1. Spondylosis

Spondylosis simple means arthritis of the back bone and this an age related disease of the back. In some cases, arthritis of the back bone can lead to the narrowing of the spinal cord, a condition called spinal stenosis.

  1. Osteomyelitis or TB spine

Infection to the back can be caused by bacteria or the tuberculosis organism. Infections of the back bone leads to destruction of the back bone body and impinges the nerve adjacent to it.

How do you prevent muscular back pain?


These are some simple ways to maintain a healthy back;

  • Practice low impact activities that do not sprain your back. Walking and swimming can be choices of exercises to increase the strength of your back.
  • Maintain your weight. Being overweight puts extra pressure and load on your back causing more damage to the bones and muscles. Eat healthy and practice exercise to maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Stand and sit properly. Practice sitting and standing in appropriate positions. Place pillows on your chair or get a designated chair to prevent back pain. Keep your knees and hips level at the correct position to avoid back pain in long term.
  • Lift smart. If your work requires heavy lifting, practice lifting with a straight back and no twisting and bending.