Back Pain: Causes and Risk Factors

Back ache is more prevalent between the age of 35 and 55. The most frequent cause of our back pain are:

  1. Heavy physical work,
  2. Frequent bending, twisting, lifting,
  3. pulling and pushing,
  4. Repetitive work,
  5. Static postures,
  6. Vibrations.

Psychosocial risk factors for backache includes stress, distress, anxiety, depression, cognitive dysfunction, pain threshold, job dissatisfaction, and mental stress at work.

Back pain most commonly results from poor posture. Sometimes it is due to poor body mechanics like standing for extended periods of time or sitting in an incorrect posture. Back injury, heavy physical work, lifting, bending, twisting, or awkward positions might act a precursor to triggering back pain.

A sudden fall, car crash, or sports injury can cause a sprain or strain. When a back injury occurs, muscles, ligaments, and tendons become over-stretched and swollen up, causing pain, tenderness, and stiffness.

The three common causes of back pain include:

Muscle strains: Strained muscles, tendons or ligaments or inflamed joints may cause pain along your spine.

Osteoarthritis: This degenerative joint condition affects nearly everyone past the age of 60, Old age and injury can slowly lead to deterioation of the cartilage. Cartilage is the protective tissue that covers the surface of the joints of the vertebrae.

Osteoporosis: One in three women who are older than 50 can be affected by osteoporosis and this can lead to painful vertebral compression fractures.

The Triggering factors for Back Pain

The incidence of backache might result either from a strenuous event or previous history. Even psycho-social risk factors like stress, distress, anxiety, depression, cognitive functioning, job dissatisfaction and mental stress can play a role in triggering backache. There may be some deep underlying causes of low back pain, few of which include:

  1. Fracture of vertebral bones
  2. Slipped disc; disc bulges out of vertebral joint and puts pressure on spinal nerves
  3. Spinal stenosis; owing to narrowing of spinal space,pressure is induced upon the spinal nerves
  4. Spondylolisthesis; when one of the back bones slips forward and out of position
  5. Degenerative disc disease; when the discs in spinal cord gradually gets worn out
  6. Osteoarthritis; a wear-and-tear disease of bones
  7. Rheumatoid arthritis; an inflammatory condition of joints
  8. Carcinoma or benign tumors
  9. Kidney stones
  10. Endometriosis
  11. Pelvic inflammatory disease in females
  12. Sometimes a routine activities such as gardening, picking up a child, reaching for an object or even coughing, can trigger back ache.

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