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Know the different causes for the appearance of back pain

8 December 2022

Key points:

  • Muscle and ligament strain is the main cause of back pain.
  • Back pain is one of the main reasons why a patient goes to the doctor.
  • A medical check-up must be performed when back pain lasts more than two weeks to find the reason.

Dr. Víctor Sandoval Sánchez, an orthopedist specializing in spinal surgery at ABC Medical Center, says that there are different causes or risk factors that can cause back pain.

Musculoskeletal disorders comprise more than 150 disorders that affect the locomotor system. They range from sudden and short-term disorders, such as fractures, sprains, and strains, to chronic diseases that cause permanent limitations of functional capacities and disability.1

This condition is one of the most disabling causes worldwide and one of the main reasons why people go to the doctor or do not go to work. It is estimated that eight out of 10 people will suffer from one or more back pain symptoms throughout their lives.

Given this, it is essential to know the different risk factors that can cause back pain.

The main causes of back pain are muscle strain and ligament strain. These structures can be inflamed by repetitive exercises or even bad postures, which are the result of an abnormal position when sitting or lifting heavy objects.

Risk factors that can result in back pain include:

  • Arthritis. The inflammatory process of the joints; osteoarthritis can also appear, which is a process of wear and tear on the joints.
  • Smoking. Excessive smoking can cause a decrease in blood circulation and inflammation of the disc which will end up compressing the nerve.
  • Overweight. Muscles get weak as a result of this, which can cause a bulge of the disc, due to cartilage inflammation.
  • Osteoporosis. The vertebrae decalcify and become fragile, being able to fracture.
  • Age. Although this is not considered a disease, people over the age of 30 can suffer from muscle weakness which results in back pain.
  • Lack of exercise. Having a sedentary life can also cause muscle weakness in the back and abdomen; it also leads to bad posture when sitting or standing.
  • Psychological disorders. Anxiety and depression are considered risk factors for back pain since both cause people to not perform physical activity.

Common back pain symptoms

Although there are different symptoms related to back pain, muscle contraction can be considered the main one. It has painful, stinging characteristics and, sometimes, can be perceived as burning.

Once it arises, the pain can spread to the glutes or legs and can sometimes be accompanied by numbness. All of this can happen when standing up, turning, leaning forward, or performing other types of movement.

Back pain should improve using general measures such as rest and home treatment. But, in case the pain persists for more than two weeks, it is very important to see your doctor for a proper diagnosis.

In addition, if back pain is accompanied by numbness, a feeling of weakness, urinary or digestive disorders, and weight loss for no apparent reason, it is advisable to see a doctor to identify the problem.

At ABC Medical Center’s Spine Clinic, we can provide you with specialized care. Contact us!

Dr. Víctor Sandoval Sánchez – Orthopedist specializing in spinal surgery at ABC Medical Center.
1 https://www.who.int/es/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/musculoskeletal-conditions

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