Back pain: the most common cause

why the back hurts in the lower back

Back pain is, according to statistics, about 80% of people of different age categories face these unpleasant and frightening symptoms at least once in their lives. At the same time, it is important to be able to distinguish between situations where painful sensations should be disturbing and when you do not have to worry.

Of course, if the onset of pain is preceded by physical exercise or light strokes, they will disappear in 2-3 days, there is no reason to worry. But if your back hurts a lot, for a long time and the pain is not the same as muscle pain, see a doctor immediately.

Why does my back hurt

Causes of back pain vary, from minor external factors to the development of various pathological processes, among which there are also many.

At the same time, doctors still identify the 3 most common causes:

  1. Non-specific pain- combines several factors, including muscle pain caused by incorrect posture, prolonged in one position (uncomfortable), excessive due to too much physical exercise on the bonesback and back. . . This point can also include the painful sensations that arise after hypothermia, in such cases they say - "return cold. "
  2. Illuminating pain- a little less common, but can not be ignored. This includes diseases of internal organs located in other parts of the body. For example, the formation of tumors and tuberculosis of the lungs, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, heart and others. In each of these cases, the pain can radiate (give) backwards in different parts.
  3. Mechanical injuries and pathology of the spine- pain in the spine also occurs due to a large number of factors, we are discussing the pathological process. This includes any disease of the spinal cord, starting with injury (bruising, fracture etc. ) and ending with osteochondrosis, radiculitis, hernia formation and other pathologies of the spinal area affecting the spine.

This is the leading cause of back pain, summarized. All of these problems threaten serious spinal dysfunction and require a mandatory visit to the doctor.

In some cases, without adequate treatment, there is a risk of serious problems that threaten severe complications. If the tissues of the spinal cord or spinal cord are affected, there is a risk of paralysis of the limbs or even the whole body.


To consult a doctor in a timely manner and to accurately explain your complaint to him, you need to know the symptoms.

At the same time, the symptoms of back pain may be slightly different, and if we take into account the fact that the pain itself is a symptom, we should show its main manifestations, which differ in nature and location:

  • Naturally, the painful sensations are: sharp, dull, stabbing, cutting, sore, pulling, burning, and so on.
  • Painful sensations are strong, moderate and weak, these indications are individual for each person. However, they should be considered, for example, when determining treatment for chronic back pain.
  • Back pain all over the spine is quite rare. More often, the sensation is as painful as the point, or assigned to a separate part of the spinal space (cervix, thorax, lumbar).
  • However, it also happens that the pain in the upper back (or other) radiates. In this case, the pain syndrome affects the other back, it is often referred to as traveling.
  • As a rule, acute pain in the spine is most uncomfortable and most affects daily life, but it is often wavy and easier to treat. At the same time, dull pains are less intense, but they are always present, improving for a longer period of time and responding to more severe therapies.

These are general guidelines for painful sensations in different back areas. But in addition to understanding the general symptoms of pain, it is also important to know that depending on the disease, the clinical picture may change. Thus, in one case, pain is felt between the cervical spine, in other cases it is localized in the lumbar region and has a different character.

For this reason, it is necessary to consider the symptoms of various pathological processes accompanied by back pain, separately.


If the back hurts in the spine, the most likely diagnosis is osteochondrosis, as the disease is more common than others. It is also important to understand that doctors distinguish three types of osteochondrosis: cervical, thoracic and lumbar.

In each of these cases, the pain between the vertebrae is tied to different parts of the spinal space. The disease itself implies the destruction of cartilage tissue in the intervertebral disc, while pathological processes also occur in the vertebrae, because due to the reduction of the gap between them, they will be eliminated.

The main symptom of this disease is pain, but clinical signs of the nervous system may also be present, as the spinal cord is most likely to be affected, the root being violated.


myositis as a cause of back pain

A rare disease characterized by inflammatory processes in the muscle tissue of the body, including the back. More often myositis is accompanied by excruciating pain, but sharp pain or so-called back pain is also possible.

Pain syndrome is localized directly in the area where the muscle tissue is inflamed, but the pain can radiate to nearby areas.


If the spine is sore, spondylosis may be one of the causes. This pathology is characterized by the growth of vertebral bone tissue, as well as its dystrophic changes. In this case, a painful sensation appears during physical exercise due to prolonged stay in one position, for example, during inactive work.


This term refers to pinching the sciatic nerve with its further inflammation. The pathological process is accompanied by amputation, puncture, sharp pain. With sciatica, the pain is not felt continuously, it arises suddenly, wavy in waves.

Severe pain with sciatica directly at the site of the violation or inflammation. However, due to the fact that the sciatic nerve has a very long length, painful sensations are present in different areas, often sore feet.


This disease develops due to lack of calcium in the body. As a result, bone tissue throughout the entire spinal space loses elasticity and stiffness, microtrauma and cracks form everywhere.

In this pathological process, the whole spine feels sore, especially in the final stages of the disease.

Herniated Disc

Acute and severe pain in the spine may be evidence of a herniated disc. At the same time, the pain syndrome persists, but it is exacerbated by physical exercise, bending, coughing, sudden or indifferent movements

In most cases, hernias form in the lumbar spine, which is explained by the susceptibility of this area to excessive, heavy lifting. Hernia often occurs as a complication of osteochondrosis, which is caused by the uniqueness of this pathological course.

In this case, the hernia is dangerous not only with pain, there is a risk of pinching of the spinal cord branch and the development of neurological symptoms.

Excessive spinal mobility

This problem is called vertebral hypermobility or spinal instability. The obvious pathological sign is a painful sensation that increases with vigorous physical exercise and lifting weights. The painful sensation in the back is of an unchanging nature, it either subsides or suddenly reappears.

The most severely affected is the cervical spine, if the disease persists, a person has difficulty holding his head.


scoliosis as a cause of back pain

Surprisingly, the curvature of the spine is a direct cause of pain. One of the most common problems is scoliosis. Pain in scoliosis is more muscular. This is due to the increased pressure on certain muscles in the back, while others feel relaxed.

In scoliosis, due to the curvature of the spinal space, individual vertebral discs are compressed and cartilage tissue is deformed.

Painful sensations with persistent, painful or pulling scoliosis, their intensity is low, in rare cases, the pain is strong and sharp.

Spine Injuries

Of course, mechanical damage, even minor ones, is very painful. In these cases, the pain is getting stronger, the damage is getting worse, and sometimes, even with insignificant injuries, acute pain is felt, which can indicate severe internal injury. In this case, blows, bruises, sprains, dislocations are taken into account, but fractures are the most severe type of injury.

Keep in mind that old and healed injuries make themselves feel decades later. So back and neck pain can remind you of how you fell on the ice when you were little.

Bechterew Disease

This dangerous disease is also called ankylosing spondyloarthritis. Pathology is characterized by a chronic inflammatory process in the joint, in other words, inflammation of the spine.

Ankylosing spondylitis is accompanied by severe pain, and the intensity of the pain syndrome is high from the beginning of the pathological process and will only get stronger in the future. In these cases, the pain increases after rest and depends on weather changes, but they are well controlled by NSAIDs and physiotherapy group drugs.

Oncological diseases

Cancer is the most dangerous pathology, the obvious sign is pain. In this case, the pain syndrome appears in benign and malignant neoplasms, if it is localized not far from the spinal space and puts pressure on it.

Metastasis is a more dangerous manifestation of oncology. In this case, the pain is constant and strong, they chase someone always and everywhere, regardless of body position or any action. Back pain is just as bad as lying down.

Kidney disease

how to distinguish back pain from kidney pain

The cause of lower back pain is not always related to back problems. Due to the anatomical location of the kidneys, the pathology affecting them also responds to severe pain in the lumbar region.

Pain can be dull and pulling or a sharp puncture, the intensity of which varies depending on the disease and its stage of development.

Here it is important to understand that painful sensations can occur on both sides or only on one side, indicating which kidneys are involved in the pathological process.

Cardiovascular pathology

The opinion that in diseases of the cardiovascular system, pain occurs exclusively in the chest area is wrong. For example, with ischemic heart disease and myocardial infarction, a painful sensation of sweating, radiating to the back in the thoracic area. They are characterized as sharp, piercing, and sudden onset.

Pathology of the cardiovascular system includes aortic aneurysms, in which sharp acute pain occurs near the spinal space in the thoracic region.

Pathology of the gastrointestinal tract

Digestive tract disease also often causes back pain, however, in such cases there are always a number of special clinical signs. In addition to pain, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or diarrhea, and general malaise are also present.


Among the infectious diseases accompanied by back pain, the most severe and dangerous is bone tuberculosis. The disease is accompanied by severe pathological processes in the bone tissue, the whole spine hurts. Pain is of a different nature, sometimes pulling, sometimes piercing, but always persistent.

Respiratory diseases

The lungs occupy most of the thoracic area of ​​the body, so lung pathology is often accompanied by back pain. Among the diseases are pneumonia, pulmonary tuberculosis, pleurisy, and so on.

With such pathology, pain increases during coughing, sneezing, deep breathing, yawning. In addition, the clinical picture is enriched by coughing, shortness of breath, and other similar symptoms.

Congenital pathology

Congenital anomalous factors are very rare, but still occur. In this case, primary suspicion occurs at congenital excess or insufficient number of vertebrae in the spinal space. This affects muscles and ligaments, body structure, threatens spinal protrusion or compression, which is often accompanied by pain.

Pregnancy and childbirth

back pain during pregnancy

Pregnancy is also one of the causes of back pain symptoms.

Pain in the spine and other similar problems appear more frequently in the third trimester, which depends entirely on fetal growth and increased load on the spine.

In such cases, the pain usually feels dull, interesting, they subside or disappear temporarily after resting for a while while the pregnant mother is lying down.

Inflammatory process

Many different inflammatory processes cause the development of pain syndrome, some of which we have discussed. Take spondyloarthritis (ankylosing spondylitis). This pathology begins in the lumbosacral region, then inflammation, and thus back pain, up to the spinal cord.

Pain radiates to the spine

As mentioned earlier, there is a class of pain called radiating. This means that the back pain "releases" to the spine from other parts or organs where the disease has spread. Let’s talk about pain like this in more detail.

Pathology of the heart and large vessels

The most likely disease of the cardiovascular system, accompanied by pain in the back, has been mentioned before. It is important to understand that in addition to pain, such pathologies are accompanied by violations of blood pressure, arrhythmias and pallor of the skin, these are their hallmarks.

Gallbladder disease

The most obvious example of such a pathological process is cholecystitis, which causes radiating pain in the right shoulder blade and the middle part of the spine in the thoracic region.

The acute form of the disease is accompanied by strong wounds, while the chronic ones are more difficult to diagnose, because the pain is inconsistent and low intensity.

Pancreatic lesions

The most common pancreatic disease is pancreatitis. Clinical signs of such conditions are abdominal pain, but they are also round, characterized as sharp, piercing. However, in addition to pain, patients suffer from nausea, vomiting, and painful sensations appear after eating fatty, sweet, fried foods.

Pathology of the kidneys and upper urinary tract

Kidney and urinary tract infections are also accompanied by pain, and are usually intense. Severe pain occurs during urolithiasis, but they are felt not only in the lumbar region. There is severe discomfort in the lower abdomen and groin.


diagnostics of back pain

As can be seen from the large list of problems and possible diseases, in order to relieve pain in the back and spine, it is necessary to identify the main cause of its occurrence.

To do this, you must see a doctor and perform a complete differential diagnosis, which includes:

  • Radiographyis ​​a simple but quite effective method of determining the condition of the spine, it makes it possible to detect defects and various pathologies.
  • CT- more accurately calculated tomography reveals the pathology of the intervertebral disc and vertebrae.
  • MRI- magnetic resonance imaging is a more advanced and most effective diagnostic method that will show not only possible problems in the structure of the vertebral and intervertebral discs, but also make it possible to identify or exclude the involvement of spinal cordpathological process.

If the above survey does not yield results, please contact a specialist with a narrow profile in another field. Perhaps the problem lies in heart disease, gastrointestinal tract, kidney, pelvic organs, and so on.

How to treat back pain

Acute back pain treatment requires a comprehensive and systematic approach. The method of struggle becomes clear after a full examination and accurate diagnosis. It is also important to understand that if there is a problem like this, it is important to contact a specialist, the medication itself is not acceptable.

The attending physician will determine the treatment regimen, which may include medication therapy, physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage.


physical therapy to treat back pain

This is one of the main methods of dealing with pathology involving the spine.

Treatment of back pain involves the following procedures:

  • Electrophoresis.
  • Exposure to ultrasound.
  • Laser therapy;
  • Magnetotherapy.

Treatment is carried out for 7-10 procedures or more, the interval between procedures is 3-5 days.


Physiotherapy and gymnastics are also included in the treatment of pain syndrome, however this technique is used primarily for recovery when there is no more severe pain. Gymnastics is needed to restore muscle elasticity, mobility, keep it in good condition, and speed recovery from back injuries.

It is important to have a first session with a physiotherapist, who will correct the methodology and distribute the load, teaching you how to do it properly. In the future, classes are conducted at home, and most importantly, the condition is a systematic approach.

Drug therapy

Drug therapy is the core of all treatments. Each drug is prescribed by a doctor based on the diagnostic data obtained. This technique depends on the intensity of the pain syndrome, the stage of disease development.

The following medications are needed for back pain:

  • NSAIDs(non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) - prescribed in the form of ointments, tablets, injections, sometimes in the form of suppositories. NSAIDs have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, and reduce local temperature.
  • Analgesicsis ​​a pain reliever that blocks the nerve centers responsible for recognizing pain.
  • Muscle relaxationis ​​given in cases where muscle spasms need to be eliminated.
  • medicine to treat back pain
  • Vitamin complexes,include vitamin B. Its effects contribute to the recovery of nerve fibers and the formation of metabolic processes.

Duration of drug therapy, frequency of drug use and dosage determined by the doctor


Massage courses are another effective method of relieving pain. Appointed when the painful sensation subsides, it is performed exclusively by a narrow specialist.

Massage therapy can stimulate blood circulation, relieve pain, restore the elasticity of the nose and muscles, and so on. To achieve a noticeable effect, massage treatment is required, consisting of at least 10 sessions.


To minimize the risk of developing a pathology in which pain in the spine is felt or to reduce the risk of recurrence of the disease, you need to follow these simple preventive recommendations:

  • Eliminates bad habits.
  • Eat right, eat less snacks, switch to a fractional food system.
  • Follow an active lifestyle, play sports, preferably swim or some kind of gymnastics.
  • Useful for hanging backs on horizontal bars at least 3-4 times a week.
  • While sitting, take a short break to warm up.
  • Avoid physical activity and severe injuries.
  • If it is impossible to avoid lifting weights, do everything right, lift heavy objects with a straight back.
  • Sleep on a modest bed, buy an orthopedic mattress.

Remember, if the pain persists for more than 4-5 days, or if the pain is so intense that it is difficult to tolerate, see your doctor immediately. Timely start treatment allows you to save health and avoid many dangerous complications.