The Major Causes of Back Pain

You Can Find Out What Is Causing Your Pain
Check the List below

Understanding is Key

Understanding the possible causes of back pain is important, because there are so many possibilities, and knowing what to do can be confusing and complicated.






Spinal stenosis can often be conservatively treated with spinal decompression therapy, but other cases may require spinal stenosis surgery.

Back pain surgery for a herniated disc is different than chronic back pain treatment. In all cases the correct treatment for your back pain will depend on the cause of your back pain.

Recognize Serious Symptoms

You can have chronic back pain. You can have mechanical back pain. There are intra-abdominal, cancer, and traumatic causes of back pain.

The list goes on and on, some are trivial and some will require emergency back surgery to prevent serious injury.

Knowing when you must see a back pain specialist can help prevent permanent impairment and even death.

Symptoms Trivial? or
Require Emergency Care?

Your spine is a very complicated piece of equipment and there are many possible causes of back pain.

There are 24 mobile vertebrae between your skull and your sacrum. These are connected with ligaments and tendons to each other, and to other bones and to the muscles.

Image thanks to Mikail Haggstrom via Wikimedia Commons

"it can cause radiating pain, or sciatica"

Seven cervical vertebrae form the cervical spine or neck. 12 thoracic vertebrae compose the upper back. Each vertebra in the upper back is attached to two ribs. The ribs reach around the front meeting in the middle and form the chest. There are five lumbar vertebrae that form the lower back.

"it can cause nerve pain"

Between the vertebrae there are nerves that exit at each level, through small openings called foramen. When these nerves are squeezed it can cause nerve pain, or sciatica.

The many different structures that compose the spine are all covered with nerve endings, and whenever they get stretched, pulled, torn, fractured or inflamed they become painful.

Some of the more common causes of back pain include muscle strain, trauma, arthritis with spinal stenosis, and herniated disc. Some of these may require spine surgery and some may be treated more conservatively.

Learn More: 
When Pain Does Not Improve With A Few Days Of Rest

Consider These Possible Causes of Back Pain:

              Muscles?  Nerves?  Lungs?

                        Upper Back Pain

Stop Upper Back Muscle Pain 
This type of pain may be common but it need not ruin the recreational activities that you enjoy. Click here to learn how to manage and avoid this miserable problem. 

    Ch 1 Understand Your Upper Back Muscle Pain 
    Ch 2 Most Common Causes of Upper Back Muscle Pain 
    Ch 3 Myofascial Pain

Cure Burning Upper Back Pain with easy exercises and simple ergonomic changes.
Ch1 Understanding Burning Pain and What it Means
Ch2 Make Simple Ergonomic Changes

Is Your Upper Back Pain From Your Lungs? 
Find out how you can tell, and what you can do to relieve your pain.

Understanding your Lungs and Back Pain 
Back pain that occurs with breathing may not be from your lungs. Find out why. 
    Ch 1 Are Your Lungs and Back Pain Related? 
    Ch 2 Determining A Diagnosis

Lung Cancer And Back Pain 
may indicate a more serious problem. Understand your symptoms by learning more.

Your Lung Pain may not be Serious
has information about types of lung pain that are not lung cancer.

Scapula Pain? Your Thoracic Spine?

What is a Winged Scapula? 
Get the details here and learn how to treat this annoying problem. 
What is a Winged Scapula?
Ch1 What can I do about it?
   Ch 2 What Causes A Winged Scapula? 
   Ch 3 You Can Correct Your Winged Scapula

Fix Your Scapula Pain 
by learning the correct exercises to balance certain muscle groups and improve scapular motion.

Shoulder Blade Pain
Is it really coming from your scapula? Or is something else going on? Find out what you need to know.

Heal Your Trapezius Strain and Protect Yourself from Recurrent Pain Easy ergonomic changes and simple exercises can stop your pain and prevent it from happening again. 
   Ch 1 The Anatomy and Trapezius Strain Relief 
   Ch 2 Exercises for Trapezius Strain Relief

Trapezius Muscle Pain in Women 
can occur when repetitive motions strain weak muscle groups. Find out how to fix it. 
   Ch 1 Why Trapezius Muscle Pain is more Common in Women 
   Ch 2 Treating Trapezius Muscle Pain in Women

Rotator Cuff Injury? How did this Happen? 
A minor injury that is not identified and treated correctly can evolve into a major injury and permanent disability. Learn the facts.

Thoracic Back Pain is most Commonly Muscle Pain that should resolve with a few days of rest and some gentle stretching exercises. However, there are other considerations.

     Thoracic Back Pain Ch2
     Treatments for Myofascial Pain

     Thoracic Back Pain Ch3
     When Home Treatments Don't Work 

     Thoracic Back Pain Ch 4
     Other Possible Causes to Consider

Your Compression Fracture and Osteoporosis
Evaluate and Understand your fracture risk.

Post Herpetic Neuralgia and What You can Do 
Learn your treatment options and what can be done for this common complication of shingles.

Occipital Neuralgia
may cause pain in the back of your neck and head.

Neuropathic Pain Facts
Information you need to know.

Your Lumbar Spine and Herniated Discs

Less Common Disc Problems

Lower Right Back Pain 
most Common Causes

Slipped Disk? What does that Mean?
Your intervertebral Discs do not slip.

Discitis and What You Need to Know
This dangerous infection can be difficult to recognize and treat.

Degenerative Disc Disease and You
From a lifetime of being active.

The Lumbar Spine Anatomy Shows What is Causing Your Pain 
It is the key to understanding the causes of back pain.

Low Back Pain Causes: 
The Most Serious And The Most Common
Discover how you can decide when you need to see a doctor, and when it is safe to "give it a few days".

Back Pain on your Lower Right Side 
may have serious complications. Find out what you need to know and what you need to do. 
   Ch 1 Causes Related To Your Back 
   Ch 2 Causes Unrelated To Your Back

Bulging Disc Causes of Back Pain

A Bulging Disc and What It Means
Could a bulging disc be causing your pain. Learn more today.

Bulging Disc Treatments That Work
Find out what you can do right now to start relieving your pain.

Other Possibilities

Is a Tarlov Cyst  
causing your discomfort?

Lower Back Hip Pain 
may not be related to your hip at all. You can tell the difference with these simple maneuvers.

Evaluate Lower Back Pain and Fever with These Easy Steps 
These symptoms must not be ignored. Find out why, and what you must do to stop the pain.

Burning Back Pain? 
Find out why and find out what can be done. Stop the pain and return to living your life.

Mechanical Back Pain Causes 
This is the easiest "back pain" to relieve, but it will require discipline. Learn how to stop your pain. 
Mechanical Back Pain Ch 2 
Yes you can fix your pain. Learn the easiest ways to relieve your pain.

When Nobody Understands Your Back Pain
                              Consider these Common Often Missed
                              Causes of Back Pain

Kidney Back Pain Causes and Cures

Kidney Pain and Back Pain can be Very Similar
Knowing What to Do can be Very Difficult

Recognize Kidney Infection Symptoms

Recognizing Early Kidney Stones Symptoms

Abdominal Causes of Back Pain

Constipation and Back Pain 
can each make the other worse, leading to a vicious cycle. Prepare to manage these conditions simultaneously.

Back and Abdominal Pain can be Relieved 
Learn more about the possible causes and what can be done to stop the pain. 
   Ch2 Back And Abdominal Pain from a Fracture
   Ch3 Back And Abdominal Pain from a Virus

Colon Cancer Back Pain 
cannot be ignored. Find out how to get the help you need to have the best possible outcome.

Other Causes of Back Pain

Coccydynia is Tailbone Pain
Try these simple home treatments.

Is Tension Myositis Syndrome Causing your Pain? 
Find out how stress and anxiety can cause real physical pain.

Sacroiliitis is an often misdiagnosed cause of back pain. Make sure your doctor checks for this common problem. 
Sacroiliitis Information
Ch1 Causes and Treatments
Sacroiliitis Information
Ch2 Other Causes and Treatments

Spinal Infection 
is a serious cause of back pain that requires serious treatment. Knowing the symptoms will help you know when to seek treatment. 
   Ch 1 Recognizing a Spinal Infection 
   Ch 2 Evaluation and Treatment of a Spinal Infection

Cauda Equina Syndrome 
is a serious complication that can occur anytime you have back pain and sciatica.

Causes of Back Pain after Surgery 
can be complicated, overlapping, and difficult to understand. But, understanding is not impossible, let me explain.

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis 
can be treated, but you should always start with the most conservative and least invasive therapies.

The American Cancer Society
has more information about the risks of cancer and back pain.

More Information About Back Pain

Treatments for Back Pain.

Sciatica Symptoms And Treatments

Return from Causes of Back Pain to Living with Back Pain.



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