Back pain: Causes and types

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

One of the biggest problems in today’s society is back problems. It is an ailment that a large part of the population has suffered at some time and is usually caused by acquiring bad posture habits along with others such as an inadequate diet and a sedentary lifestyle. Back pain can be located in different parts, although in general, we can differentiate between the lower part and the upper part of the back. One of the problems with back pain is that in most cases it is not considered a disease, so it is not treated properly. In this FastlyHealarticle you can find out the answer to ” why does my back hurt? ” And take a closer look at the problem.

What are the people who suffer from back pain?

Surely, when someone suffers back pain they will wonder: why me? Well, although this common ailment can appear in anyone, there are a number of factors that can influence when suffering from back pain:

  • Age . With age, bones and joints wear out and, as a consequence, back pain can appear more easily. It does not have to be strictly related, since it also depends on the health of each specific person.
  • Hereditary factors . There are some causes of back pain that can be linked to a genetic component. For example, ankylosing spondiditis, something like arthritis in the back.
  • The physical condition . As we explained in the first point, the physical health of each person can decisively influence when suffering from back pain. Therefore, people who lead a sedentary life , in which they do not exercise their body, are more likely to suffer from some ailment.
  • In the same way that not doing any exercise can be bad for our body, doing some jobs that require excessive physical activity , such as those in which a strain on the spine is involved.
  • Overweight . If we do not eat a proper diet, we can gain weight and, depending on the amount, the back can be hurt.
  • Smoking . Tobacco is present in many diseases and ailments. In the case of the back, it is no exception, and although it does not have a direct influence, it can cause insufficient nutrients to reach the discs in the back, which could cause pain.

Types of back pain

If you are reading this article it will be because you surely feel pain in your back. The first thing you should think about is whether it is acute back pain or chronic back pain.

Acute back pain

This type of pain is characterized by being strong or dull and is located in the lower part of the back, and may be stronger in one area, such as on one side or the other or in the center. It is usually a constant pain, although it could also be intermittent, less commonly.

The main cause of pain in this type is trauma. This happens when a muscle tear injury or concussion occurs . The treatment that is usually applied is short-term.

Chronic back pain

It implies that they have difficulties when it comes to being able to carry out any daily activity as well as preventing attendance at work. It is an intense , burning pain in one area of ​​the back and can radiate to the legs, where you may feel numbness and tingling .

The pain in this type of ailment is usually long-lasting and can be the result of a poorly healed previous injury or some nerve damage or arthritis.

Among the most common causes of chronic back pain are: herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, epidural fibrosis, etc.

Next, we will explain some of the causes of why your back can hurt.

Causes of back pain

Muscle strain

It is one of the most common causes when it comes to acute low back pain . It is caused by a movement performed when lifting heavy or jerky and which can cause the muscle or ligament to tear.

Depending on the damage caused to the muscle, the pain will vary and can be mild or intense. The usual thing is that this type of pain heals on its own, resting a little and applying ice or heat, as well as anti-inflammatories. Some exercises can also help treat an injury.

Lumbar disc herniation

It is sciatica and the pain is caused when pressure is produced on a nerve root in the spine, causing pain in the legs, buttocks and feet. Persistent pain is experienced that worsens when sitting for a while, so walking is recommended. Also, you may be suffering from leg or foot weakness.

Other causes of back pain


It occurs when the discs between the vertebrae wear out, causing inflammation and pain, as well as muscle spasms. It is a chronic pain that can be relieved with some changes in position.


It occurs when one of the vertebrae moves over the lower one. The pain can range from mild to severe. Other symptoms that can be witnessed are stiffness, tenderness in the affected vertebra and weakness in the legs.

Back pain can also appear as a result of other conditions and diseases :

  • Pregnancy . The weight gain that comes with pregnancy can cause a greater load on the back that leads to pain.
  • Osteoporosis . It appears with age and is a decrease in the density of bone tissue and is normally discovered when a fracture occurs.

When to go to the doctor

The visit to the doctor will depend on several factors, among which are the intensity of the pain as well as the time we have been experiencing it. If the pain is not very acute, we can rest a little , without stopping doing activities that we would normally do and wait for the pain to disappear in a few days. If the type of pain is acute, it will most likely be treated with some rest and anti-inflammatories.

If we feel very intense pain or have suffered from it for a long time, it is best to go to the doctor as soon as possible to treat the pain and solve the problem that causes it. When pain is chronic, treatment may involve medication, physical therapy, or even surgery.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why does my back hurt? , we recommend that you enter our category of Bones, Joints and Muscles .

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