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Back Pain - Identifying The Underlying Factors!

Dr. K Kartik Revanappa 92% (17 ratings)
MCh - Neurosurgery , MS - Orthopaedics
Neurosurgeon, Bangalore  •  14 years experience
Back Pain - Identifying The Underlying Factors!

Gone are the days when back pain affected a person only in their old age. Nowadays, almost every second person suffers from some kind of a backache. From sedentary lifestyle to certain diseases and ailments, the back pain can result from the amalgamation of various factors, making the condition painful (mild to chronic) and uncomfortable to the hilt. In this article, we will mainly stress upon the factors responsible for a back pain.

Underlying factors that often triggers a back pain

More than often, prolonged and chronic back pain interferes with the daily activities of a person, thereby jeopardizing their lives. For a proper treatment and management, one should first identify the factors responsible for the back pain. Some of the common and critical triggers include

Medical conditions:

  • SciaticaSciatica is a neurological disorder whereby an inflammation or injury of the sciatic nerve (considered the largest nerve in the body) triggers numbness and a shooting pain that moves downwards, often from the lower back (the lumbar region) through the buttocks and hips into the back of one leg. Sometimes, a person may experience a pain down both the legs.
  • Osteoarthritis of the spine: This is a painful degenerative disorder of the spine that mainly affects the neck and the lower back. Here, the cartilage of the discs and joints (lower back and neck) are damaged causing pain and weakness. In some people, the pain is so severe that it limits their motion to a great extent.
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis: Stenosis of the lumbar spine results in severe back pain, especially in the lower half (lumbar area), triggered by narrowing down of the spinal canal.
  • Osteoporosis of the spine: This is a bone disorder where the bones become so porous, thin and weak that they start to crack and break (including those of the spine), a condition known as vertebral compression fractures. These fractures are a common cause of weakness and back pain.
  • Shingles: This is a viral infection (varicella-zoster virus) characterized by the appearance of a rash which is often painful. Shingles can occur in any part of the body including the spine. The viral infection in the spine is what triggers the back pain.
  • Spinal Cancer, muscle spasm or ligament tear and strain on the back can give rise to back pain.
  • Back pain can also be an outcome of rupture or disorder of the discs that act as a defensive shield between the spinal vertebrae.

Lifestyle practices:

  1. Leading a sedentary life can be dangerous, often causing back pain.
  2. People who are overweight or obese (especially the lower half) are known to suffer from a back pain.
  3. In many people, rigorous exercise and physical activities can be a major contributing factor, triggering a back pain.
  4. Women who wear high heels are more susceptible to developing a back pain.
  5. In addition to these, bad posture, stress, a poor quality mattress can equally contribute to back pain.
  6. Do not neglect the condition if the pain persists for more than a week. Get medical assistance to avoid further deterioration and complication. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can ask a free question.
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