Causes of Back Pain -

Causes of Back Pain

The back is a very complex part of the body where bone, ligaments, joints, tendons, muscles and nerves all are intertwined together and constantly subject to the stresses placed on them. It’s no wonder that most people will experience some level of back pain at one time in their lives or another.

Doctors’ lump back pain causes into two main categories based on age:

  • Back pain problems in those aged 30 to 60 years old tend to be the result of conditions such as disc degeneration, muscle strains and soft tissue problems.
  • People 60 years and up tend to suffer more from joint degeneration, osteoarthritis or from compression fractures.

Although these back pain causes have been categorized by the predominant age they happen, it must be noted that any of these can happen at any age.

Here are some of the major causes of back pain in people 30 to 60 years old:

Back Muscle Strain – results in microscopic tears in the muscle.

Symptoms Include:

  • Muscle spasms
  • Difficulty walking or standing
  • Pain that travels throughout your thigh, groin or buttocks but rarely occurs below the knee
  • The pain is not severe
  • Sore to the touch in some spots

Lower Lumbar Herniated disc – this happens when a nerve root gets compressed in the lower spine.

This can be accompanied by any or all of the following:

  • Pain does not subside over time
  • Sciatica Pain that is felt in the legs, buttocks and feet
  • Pain on only one side of the body
  • Inactivity makes the pain worse
  • A burning type pain
  • Weakness or numbness may result too

Degenerative Disc Disease – Results when a disc between two vertebrae breaks down causing back instability and inflammation.

This is usually accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • Continuous moderate lower back pain and sometimes muscle spasms.
  • Moderate to very severe back pain
  • Sitting usually makes it worse
  • Strenuous physical activity most likely feels better than just standing or sitting.
  • Changing positions lessens or eliminates the pain.


Isthmic Spondylolisthesis – compressed nerves brought about by a vertebrae slipping toward the front of the disc directly below it.


This can be accompanied by any or all of the following:

  • Sciatica or radicular pain
  • Bending over backwards increases the pain
  • Feels better when sitting or reclining
  • Tired legs that may be tingly or numb also
  • Tight hamstrings

Sacroiliac Joint Disease – pain results when this key back joint’s movement is restricted.

This can be accompanied by any or all of the following:

  • Often just an ache and not a sharp pain
  • The pain is mostly felt in the hips, thighs, buttocks, groin and lower back
  • The pain gets worse when sitting and tends to feel better when reclining or lying down. Adjusting your body position often relieves the pain


Back Pain Causes commonly found in Adults over 60

Degenerative/Facet Joint Osteoarthritis – this is caused by the deterioration of the cartilage that is located in between the facet joints of the spine

This is usually accompanied by any or all of the following:

  • Stiffness and lower back pain mostly in the morning and at night
  • Pain can be severe enough to interfere with sleep
  • Tenderness when an area near the spine is pressed
  • Pain gets worse during extended physical activity
  • Stiff back and unable to bend over at the waist comfortably
  • Possibly Sciatica pain

Degenerative Spondylolisthesis or Lumbar Spinal Stenosis – these put pressure on the nerves where they exit the spine.

This can be accompanied by any or all of the following:

  • Pain in the leg that happens mostly when standing upright or walking
  • Develops after walking just a short distance
  • Sitting down quickly relieves the back pain
  • Pain fluctuates from none to severe
  • Sciatica associated pain and weakness

Compression fracture of the spine – this is characterized by the sudden onset of back pain

This can be accompanied by any or all of the following:

  • Limited flexibility, some height loss, sudden appearance of back pain
  • Walking or standing increases the pain level significantly
  • Lying on your back brings quick relief
  • May include disabilities and deformities