- Back pain

The Causes of Back Pain and Back Pain Treatment


Back pain, including lower back pain, upper back pain and neck pain, is a common problem affecting many people. It can range from minor, temporary pain, to sustained pain in different parts of the back, neck or shoulders or involve the pinching of nerves, affecting the legs or arms.

Identifying the causes of back pain is important for selecting the best back pain treatment.  The causes of back pain vary and can often be a combination of factors. Some of the factors identified by practitioners are set out below.

Sprains and strains

An out-of-condition back or one with pre-existing problems is more vulnerable to soft tissue injuries like sprains and strains. A sprain is a joint injury that involves stretching or tearing of the ligaments. A strain is an injury to muscle or tendons. Stretching a ligament or muscle too quickly can result in a tear. Excessive force and certain repetitive use may also damage muscles.

Disc problems

The intervertebral discs are the cushions between our vertebrae. These discs dry out and harden with age, making them susceptible to injury. Common disc complaints involve the disc bulging (prolapse), herniating or even rupturing.

Most disc problems arise from sustained stress or back injury and may be caused by back strain (such as when lifting).

Muscle Imbalance/Poor Posture

Muscle imbalances often involve certain muscles losing their natural functioning and over-working or being under utilized. This can happen as a result of lifestyle stress and bad habits of body use over a sustained period. Muscle imbalance can lead to or work in tandem with bad posture to result in such back problems as chronic lower back pain, upper back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain or frozen shoulder.

Emotional/neuromuscular causes

Sustained stress or emotional trauma can cause muscular tension to be “held” unconsciously in the body leading to back pain.

Structural Problems

Structural problems involving the spine can cause back pain. These include the following:

  • Scoliosis – an excessive sideways curve of either the upper or lower regions of the spine.
  • Kyphosis – sometimes referred to as “hunchback”, this is an excessive outward curve of the upper back.


Diseases that can affect the spine and cause back pain include:

  • Ankylosing spondylitis – a disease that causes inflammation in spinal joints and limb joints potentially leading to fusion of vertebrae
  • Arthritis – especially osteoarthritis, involves cartilage that normally cushions joints breaking down.
  • Osteoporosis – is a condition involving thinning of the bones? It commonly occurs in women after the menopause but can also affect men.


Sciatica is nerve pain from the sciatic nerve, a nerve that runs from the spine through the buttock and down the back of the leg. Sciatica is often caused by a disc bulge or prolapse pressing on the spinal nerve. Other causes can include a narrowing of the nerve tunnel between discs as a result of osteoarthritis.

Back Pain Treatment

There are many forms of back pain treatment available ranging from those involving minimal interventions to surgical treatments for certain back issues.  In recent decades a range of therapies have gained significantly in popularity.  These are many but include chiropractic back pain treatment, osteopathy, acupuncture back pain treatment, Pilates, Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais, various massage therapies, Rolfing and yoga.

The approaches taken by these therapies can vary, though there are sometimes common techniques employed.  A key approach in chiropractic back pain treatment is to use spinal manipulation, a technique sometimes used by osteopaths. Other therapies (such as Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais) aim to undo habits of body use that lead to poor posture and back pain. Other therapies can improve core muscle strength (Pilates for example) or provide release and undoing of muscular tension (massage therapies for example).


Source by John

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