Back Pain: Causes and Relief Ideas

Back Pain
Back Pain

Backache is pain that commonly occurs in the lower back region due to strain of a muscle or ligament. Most people suffer from backpain due to lack of awareness and proper exercise.

Causes of back pain

  • A human back is composed of a complex structure of muscles, tendons, ligaments, discs and bones, which works together to support the body. 
  • The spines are cushioned with cartilage-like pads called discs.
  • Problems occurring with any of these components can lead to back pain. 
  • Back ache commonly comes from strain, tension or injury.
  1. Strain

Recurrent causes of back pain are:

  • strained muscles or ligaments
  • muscle spasm
  • muscle tension
  • damaged discs
  • injuries, fractures or falls

Activities that lead to spasms include:

  • To lift something improperly
  • Lifting something that is hefty
  1. Structural problems
  • Ruptured discs: The vertebra in the spine is cushioned by discs. When the disc ruptures pressure on the nerve increases, resulting in back pain.
  • Bulging discs: A bulging disc similar to ruptured disc that can result in more pressure on a nerve.
  • Sciatica: A sharp shooting pain that travels through the buttocks and radiates down to back of the leg. It is caused by bulging or herniated disc pressing on a nerve.
  • Arthritis: Osteoarthritis causes problems with joints in the hips, lower back, and other regions. In certain cases, the space around the spinal cord narrows and is known as spinal stenosis.
  • Abnormal curvature of the spine: Back pain can result, if the spine curves are in an unusual way; for example-scoliosis in which the spine curves to sideways.
  • Osteoporosis:  Vertebrae of the spine including bones become brittle and porous; it makes compression fractures more likely.
  • Kidney problems: Kidney stones or infections can cause back pain.
  1. Movement and posture

Back ache may result from everyday activities or poor posture.

Examples include:

  • twisting
  • cough or sneezing
  • muscle tension
  • over-stretching
  • bending for long periods or awkwardly 
  • pushing, pulling, lifting, or carrying something
  • standing or sitting for long periods
  • straining the neck, while driving or using a computer
  • long drive and hunch
  1. Other causes
  • Cancer of the spine
  • Infection of the spine
  • Sleep disorders
  • Cauda equina syndrome: It is a bundle of spinal nerve roots that appear from the lower end of the spinal cord. 
  • Symptoms include- 
  • dull pain in the lower back and upper buttocks
  •  Numbness in the buttocks, genitalia and thighs.
  • Bowel and bladder functional disturbances.
  • Shingles: Infection that affects the nerves may lead to back ache.
  • Other infections: Pelvic inflammatory disease, bladder or kidney infections can also lead to back ache.

Risk factors

  • occupational activities
  • pregnancy
  • a sedentary lifestyle
  • poor physical fitness
  • older age
  • Obesity 
  • smoking
  • strenuous physical exercise or work
  • genetic factors
  • medical conditions


  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Inflammation or swelling on the back
  • Persistent back pain
  • Pain down the legs
  • Pain that reaches below the knees
  • A injury, blow or trauma in the back region
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Fecal incontinence, or loss of control over bowel movements
  • Numbness around the genitals
  • Numbness around the anus
  • Numbness around the buttocks

Chronic or acute pain

Pain is of two types: 

  • Acute pain that starts all of a sudden and lasts for up to 5-6 weeks.
  • Chronic or long-term pain develops slowly, lasts for a long period for about 3 months, and causes proceeding problems.


Home treatment

  • Over-the-counter medications are administered for pain relief such as Ibuprofen or other non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs.
  • Applying a hot compress or an ice pack to the painful area may also lessen pain.
  • Resting from arduous activity can be helpful

Medical treatment

  • Medication: Codeine or hydrocodone may be prescribed for short periods but require close monitoring. 
  • Physical therapy: By applying warm compress, ice pack and electrical stimulation as well as muscle-release techniques to the muscles and soft tissues may help to alleviate pain.
  • Cortisone injections: These are injected into the epidural space, around the spinal cord. Cortisone injections are an anti-inflammatory drug which helps to reduce inflammation around the nerve roots.
  • Botox: It reduces pain by paralyzing strained muscles in spasm and is helpful for about 3 to 4 months.
  • Traction: Pulleys and weights are used to stretch the back to reduce pain
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): It includes relaxation techniques and maintaining a positive attitude.


If a patient has a herniated disk, surgery may be an option, mainly if there is continuous pain and nerve compression which may lead to muscle weakness.

Surgical procedures include:

  • Fusion: The two vertebrae are joined together where a bone graft is inserted between them. 
  • Artificial disc: An artificial disc is inserted which replaces the cushion between the two vertebrae.
  • Diskectomy: In this a portion of a disc may be removed if it is pressing against a nerve.
  • Partially removing a vertebra: Small sections of a vertebra are removed if it’s pinching the spinal cord or nerves.
Back Pain
Back Pain

Prevention of back pain

  • Exercise: Exercising regularly helps to build strength and control body weight.
  • Two main types of exercises that an individual can do to reduce the risk of back pain:
    • Core-strengthening exercises that work on the abdominal and back muscles by helping to strengthen muscles that protect the back.
    • Flexibility training mostly aims at improving the core flexibility, including the hips, spine and upper legs.
  • Diet: It includes calcium and vitamin D which are required for bone health which also helps in improving bone weight.
  • Smoking: Higher percentages of smokers have back pain incidences than non smoking people.
  • Body weight: It plays a significant role in causing back ache. Individuals who carry their weight in the abdominal area versus the Hip area are also at greater risk.
  • Posture when standing: Stand upright by head facing forward, back straight, by balancing the body weight evenly on both feet. legs must be kept straight and head in line with the spine.
  • Posture when sitting: While sitting a good seat should have good back support, arm rests and a swivel base. If a keyboard is used, the elbows must be at right-angles and the forearms are horizontal.
  • Lifting: While lifting things, avoid strain on the back region rather use leg support.  

Read More

Egg Freezing Cost

ICSI Treatment

Fertility Enhancing Surgery

Repeated Pregnancy Loss

Embryo Freezing


Free Online Fertility Consultation