What are the main causes of Back Pain?

June 26, 2020

What are the main causes of Back Pain?
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Back pain is very common and it is believed that it affects 90% of the people sometime during their life.

The causes are many ranging from mild back muscle strain and mechanical back pain that will subside with proper care to severe disc diseases and tumours which require prompt attention.

Some causes are:

  • Mechanical Back Pain and back muscle strain due to poor posture and habits.
  • Work related Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) common among software professionals.
  • Intervertebral Dics Diseases and Prolapse.
  • Spinal Stenosis due to trapping of nerve.
  • Osteoporosis and Fractures in Elderly.
  • Tumours and Cancers of spine.
  • Infections of the spine like Tuberculosis.
  • Inflammatory Disease of the spine like Ankylosing Spondylitis and other arthritis.
  • Metabolic bone disease due to improper balance of hormones in the body.

What are the main causes of Neck pain?

Like low back pain, neck pain is also very common and can result in lot of disability.

Causes of Neck and Low back pain are similar.

Some causes are:

  • Neck Strain, RSI
  • Disc Prolapse and Spondylosis
  • Infections and Tumours
  • Fractures and Injuries

Why do I get Leg / Arm pain also?

Our spinal column is made of Vertebrae that carefully protects our spinal cord and all the nerves. Nerves come out to supply muscles of arms and legs through small holes. When there is a disc problem the space is reduced and nerve is pressed by the disc bulge. The pain radiates all along the nerve to the leg/arm.

How do I take care of my Back & Neck?

  • Follow best back and neck care practices at your workplace.
  • Exercise regularly and avoid weight gain.
  • Use safe methods to lift weights and bending down.
  • Avoid reading / watching TV while lying down.
  • Avoid sleeping in abnormal postures.

What are the consequence of late treatment?

  • Increasing Disability and reduced Productivity.
  • Nerve pressure and neurological problems.
  • Numbness and / or weakness of limbs.
  • Difficulty in walking or doing work with hands.
  • Loss of urine and / or bowel control if the nerve pressure is extreme.
  • If pain is due to infection / cancer it needs prompt attention to avoid serious complications.

How do I know I need urgent attention?

Vast majority of back pain will subside with simple measures and do not represent any underlying problem.

However, occasionally back pain can be a symptom of a serious underlying cause.

Signs that point to a serious problem (red-flags):

  • Loss of Bowel and / or bladder control
  • Progressive weakness in the legs
  • Severe back pain interrupting sleep
  • Fever, unexplained weight loss
  • Pain in patients with cancer / tuberculosis

Will I need surgery for my back pain?

In the following situations,

  • Pain not subsiding for prolonged time, inspite of treatment
  • Neurological symptoms like limb weakness
  • Problems with urinary bladder and control
  • Other diseases like TB/Cancer in spine.

What kind of Spine Treatment do you offer?

Comprehensive Back and Neck care:

  • Scoliosis and Paediatric Spine Diseases
  • Low back and Neck pain
  • Disc Related Problems
  • Osteoporotic Compression Fractures’
  • Fractures of Spine
  • Tumours and infections of spine

Disclaimer: We recommend consulting a Doctor before taking any action based on the above shared information.



Dr. Parthasarathy Srinivasan

Dr. Parthasarathy Srinivasan

MBBS, D Ortho, DNB (Ortho), MNAMS, FNB (Spine Surgery)

Senior Consultant -Orthopaedics, Head - Spine Surgery

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