Unlocking The Secrets: Understanding The Root Causes Of Chronic Back Pain

  Mar 20, 2024

“Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there’s got to be a way through it.” 

            ~ Michael J. Fox (Canadian-American Activist)

Pathologists have defined back pain as a sense of discomfort or perhaps debilitating suffering that comes with an injury or some dysfunction of the back that extends from the shoulders to the hips. It is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide!

The anatomy of the back is considered to be the Cervical, Thoracic, Lumber, and Pelvic Regions of the vertebral column. The most common area for the aches is the lumber region which is formed by the vertebral bones, discs, muscles, ligaments, and blood vessels.

The consistent occurrence of feeling discomfort or pain in a specific area for more than 12 weeks, then it is categorized as Chronic back pain. There are several reasons for that to happen, such as injuries and lifestyle problems to name a few.

To find out what causes it and when to ask a doctor, read the rest of the article.

Consulting The Experts: Diagnosis & Treatment Options 

spine structure

According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, backaches can be categorized into 3 types, which are:

  • Acute Back Pain (lasts for a few days)
  • Subacute Back Pain (lasts 4–12 weeks)
  • Chronic Back Pain (lasts longer than 12 weeks)

However, the level of its type of severity & causes can only be determined by a back pain specialist, so it is important to know when we should seek consultation. Consider it when you:

  • Experience backache because of a spinal injury as a result of an accident.
  • Have difficulty in getting around with the day-to-day activities, like walking, bending, or stretching.
  • Are going through persistent pain despite consuming the prescribed medications.
  • Feel the numbness throughout the arms and legs as well.
  • Have had a history of cancer.
  • Suffer from spinal issues.

*NOTE: The symptoms listed above are just one of the major reasons for the agony.  Please keep that in mind, as there are several other possible reasons!

Did You Know?
A survey conducted by WHO in 2020, suggests that 619 million people were affected by Low Back Pain globally!

Overall, it is advised to visit a professional advisor immediately if you are experiencing some of these symptoms. Early detection can easily diagnose the cause and lead to the application of effective treatment methods. In turn, this improves the quality of life led by the individuals. 

The options for treatments lie in the wide-ranging plan of action, which includes physical therapies (strength & flexibility), pain management medication, and nerve blocking through the chiropractic method or acupuncture.

Diets can also be changed while also changing the lifestyle to balance out the nutrition and condition of the body. The procedure of diagnosis involves a thorough physical assessment, medical history, and X-rays or even MRI scans if required.

Experts Disclose Root Causes Of Chronic Back Pain 

chronic backache

According to the WHO reports, it is estimated that the number of chronic back pain issues is to increase to 843 million cases by 2050, driven largely by population expansion and aging.

It triggers the spinal nerves and leads to chronic discomfort, making it difficult for an individual to even carry out their daily life activities.

The agony can be caused by several common causes such as injuries, poor lifestyle, and stress. Countless medical conditions include ankylosing spondylitis, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, kidney infections, endometriosis, and pregnancy. (National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases)

Since this is a matter of concern, it has brought several experts forward with the possible causes, which are as follows:

Musculoskeletal Mischief 

areas of musculoskeletal pain

Musculoskeletal issues are associated with the muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, and nerves.

Notoriously known for the origination and acceleration of chronic back pain cases, they arise from ligament tears, lack of exercise, herniated or slipped discs, injuries sustained in the spinal region, or muscle strain. 

The most common diseases and causes of pain are listed below:

  • Autoimmune conditions like lupus, and ankylosing spondylitis.
  • Osteoporosis
  • Fractures and Dislocations
  • Joint or bone-related issues like lordosis, and scoliosis.
  • Bad posture
  • Cancers or tumors
  • Muscle, bones, or soft tissue-related infections.

Inflammation, muscle strain, and so on, cause back pain for a prolonged period, which is why it is advised to be mindful of these facts.

Sneaky Suspects: Lifestyle Factors  

Several factors can silently contribute to this prolonged suffering, including:

  • Lack of exercise
  • Poor lifestyle
  • Obesity
  • Incorrect Work setup 
  • Emotional Stressors (poor mental health)

The Underlying Suspects: Medical Conditions

Prolonged backaches can be the result of wear and tear of the soft tissues of the spinal disc or spinal cord. This leads to stiffness and pain, which may accelerate with time. 

Several medical conditions like spondylolisthesis displace the vertebra, which might pinch the nerves. This can lead to inflammation and difficulty in moving around.  

Fun Fact!
A survey conducted by the National Center For Biotechnology Information has estimated that $200 million is annually spent on managing back pains!

Chronic back pain might sound like it is not a big deal, but the victims of it know very well how painful it can get. It is advised to add exercise to your schedule and make your lifestyle healthy to stay away from such aches.

In this manner, you can avoid such consequences. But if it is caused by accidents, medical or spinal complications, visit the spinal specialists for the cure. 

Wish you a speedy recovery!