What are the causes of back pain? And how to rid of severe back pain

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Maybe back pain is common for you. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), 80% of Americans experience severe back pain in their lifetime.

In most cases, back pain causes due to injuries such as strains and muscle sprains due to poor body posture while lifting a heavy object.


Some diseases also contribute to severe back pain are:

  • Arthritis
  • Infection in the kidney.
  • Spine infection.
  • Ruptured disk.
  • Sciatica 
  • Cancer of the spinal cord.

Lower back pain generally affects an individual aged between 30 to 50. This is due to changes occurs in the body as you grow older your body experiences fluid loss between the vertebrae in the spine.

And as you grow older you lose muscle mass which increase the risk of a back injury. This is why strengthening back muscles and good body mechanics are important.

Doctors divided back pain into two categories:

  1.  Acute back pain: Back pain which lasts for some days and some weeks.
  2. Chronic back pain: Back pain which lasts longer than three months.

Causes of back pain:

  • Muscle strain:

Tearing or stretching in muscle ligaments due to excessive physical activity caused muscle strain. Symptoms included stiffness and pain in the lower back. Proper rest and physical therapy are the best remedies for muscle strain.

  • Arthritis:

The most common reason for back pain is arthritis. Arthritis refers to inflammation in joints. Proper treatments include drugs, rest, physical therapy, occupation therapy and some times surgery can be the best way to treat arthritis.

  • Disk injury:

Disk injury is also the most common cause of back pain. The chance of injury increases with age. A herniated disk is also known as a slipped or ruptured disc, which occurs when the cartilage surrounding the disc pushes against the spinal cord or nerve roots.

This results in compression of the nerve root as it exits from the spinal cord and through vertebral born. However, the pain caused due to disk injury which lasts for only 70-72 hours.

And disk injury is generally caused when you lift something too heavy or twisting the back.

  • Spine curvature:

These congenital conditions must be diagnosed in childhood or adulthood. This abnormal spine curvature puts extra pressure on

  1. Muscles.
  2. Tendons.
  3. Ligaments. 
  4. Vertebrae 

Problems such as lordosis, Kyphosis, and Scoliosis cause abnormal spinal curvature and cause severe back pain.

  •  Spondylitis:

Spondylitis refers to the inflammation in joints between the spinal cord. Proper treatments include massaging, therapy, posture training, and exercise can be the best treatment for Spondylitis.

  • Sciatica:

This can occur with a herniated disk. When the disk presses on the sciatica nerve which connects the spine with legs. As a result, this condition causes pain in feet and legs. One can feel this pain like burning or pins and needles.

Treatment includes chiropractic treatment techniques, Stretching, Steroid which modifies or simulates hormone effects. and massage.

  • Stenosis:

It is the condition in which the spinal column puts pressure on the spinal code and spinal nerve. According to experts, this is most commonly due to the degeneration of the disk between vertebrae. This causes compression of the spinal cord by soft tissue such as a disk.

patients of stenosis report symptoms include:

  1.  Weakness.
  2. Cramping.
  3. Numbness.
  • Other back pain causes are:

  1. Pregnancy.
  2. Ovarian cysts.
  3. Cancer.
  4. Uterine fibroids.
  5. Endometriosis.
  6. Fibromyalgia (refers to long term inflammation, pain, and tenderness in muscles and joints.)


What are the causes of back pain

Risk factors for developing back pain:

Although there are not any specified condition in which one can experience lower back pain. Even teens and kids can experience severe lower back pain. But here are some factors which increase the chances to develop lower back pain.

  1. Smoking: Smoking causes a reduction in blood flow to lowers the spine, this lower blood flow causes nutrients deficiency in the disk in your lower back. Also in many studies, it is seen that smoking not only reduces blood flow but also slows down the healing process.
  2. Bad posture while lifting: Lifting heavyweight with your back instead of legs also causes extreme lower back pain.
  3. Psychological conditions: In recent studies, it is also seen that people who suffer from anxiety and depression also appear to have a greater risk of back pain.
  4. Excess weight: It’s just an obvious thing that excess weight puts extra pressure on your lower back pain which results in extreme lower back pain.
  5. Age: The chance of back pain also increases with age. This is due to changes occurs in the body as you grow older your body experiences fluid loss between the vertebrae in the spine. And as you grow older you lose muscle mass which increase the risk of a back injury. This is why strengthening back muscles and good body mechanics are important.
  1. Lack of exercise: Lack of exercise cause weakening of muscles in your back and abdomen, also causes severe lower back pain.



Risk factors for developing back pain

Diagnosis of back pain:

Diagnosis is the most important thing that your doctor should do. Without a diagnosis, it is impossible for a doctor to giving you proper treatment. The most preferable method for diagnosis back pain is to give the physical exams. By physical exam, your doctor will know the exact location where you feel pain and determine if the pain is affecting your range of motion or not.

Unless you experience a neurological loss or any other symptoms, your doctor will monitor your symptoms for a few weeks before sending you for another test. This is because in most cases the pain resolves within a few weeks by self-treatment and precautions. But if you still feel severe back pain or extreme lower back pain then your doctor will advise you to cooperate with further tests.

  • Symptoms which requires more testing:

  1. Fever 
  2. weakness
  3. Weight loss.
  4. And lack of bowler control.

Book your appointment with a qualified doctor if you experience the above symptoms with severe lower back pain.

  • Imaging test which your doctor advised you includes:

  1. X-Ray.
  2. CT- Scans
  3. Ultrasound.
  4. MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging)
  5. EMG(Electromyography). 
  • These above imagining tests can check your:

  1. Bone density.
  2. Bone problems.
  3. Disk problems. 
  4. Problems associated with your tendons and ligaments. 

  • Yoga poses for back pain:

Cat-Cow yoga:

Extended triangle:



Sphinx pose


What are some treatment option for severe lower back pain:

There are many treatment options for severer lower back pain. Here we divide all symptoms into three categories are:

  1. By surgery method.
  2. Medical treatment.
  3. Home care.

  • Home care or home treatment:

This method is only helpful when your back pain lasts for 70-72 hours. If your back pain doesn’t improve after home treatment then you should call your doctor immediately.

In this method, you have to stop any physical work or any other physical activities like exercise, vigorous movements, etc. And in this method, your doctor advised you to use ice for the first 48- 70 hours then shift to heat treatment.

Doctors recommended following the RICE protocol for the first 48 hours.

  1. R (Rest)
  2. I (Ice)
  3. C (Compression)
  4. E  (Elevation).

Alternatively, you can consume pain killer medicines like ibuprofen, or acetaminophen to relieve pain.

Sometimes many people reported that they feel difficulty when lying on the back. If you experience the same problem then avoid lying on your back. Instead of laying on your back, you can try lying on your side with your knees bent and a pillow between your knees.

If you did not experience any problem with lying on your back then I will recommend you to use a pillow or rolled towel beneath your thighs. This will help you to reduce pressure on your lower back.

A warm bath or massage can also help you to lose back muscle stiffness.


  • Medical treatment:

The doctor advised medical treatment when no home treatment works. Many medical treatments can treat severe back pain.

Some are:

  1. Physical therapy.
  2. Medications. 
  3. Medical appliances. 

Your doctor will determine the right dosage for application for medical treatment according to your symptoms.

Some medication that your doctor can prescribe are:

  1. NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs)
  2. Steroids for reduced inflammation.
  3. Corticosteroid injections.
  4. Pain killer includes narcotic drugs such as codeine. 
  5. Muscles relaxants. 

Many doctors also prescribed physical therapy like:

  1. Stretching
  2. Massage
  3. Back and spinal manipulation. 
  4. Strengthening exercise.
  • Surgery treatment:

When all other treatments are failed then surgical treatment is the only way to treat the severe back pain. And usually, if there is any neurological loss then surgery is the only emergency option that can help you.

  1. Discectomy: In a discectomy, the surgeon will remove a small piece of the lamina, a bony part of the spinal cord. This relieves pressure from the nerve roots. Pressed by a bone spur.
  2. Formanitomy: In Formanitomy, the surgeon will open up the foramen, which is the bony hole in the spinal canal where the nerve root exits.
  3. Nucleoplasty: In NUCLEOPLASTY, a doctor uses a wand-like device that is inserted through a needle into the disk. This device can remove inner disk material. This device uses radio waves to shrink and heal the tissue.
  4.    Spinal fusion: Spinal fusion is popular to make spines stronger and cuts down painful motion. This procedure involves removing the disk between two or more of the vertebrae. The surgeon next fuses the vertebrae with bone grafts and metal screws.
  5. Laminectomy: A laminectomy also called spinal decompression.  This surgical method involves removing the lamina to make spinal of the spinal canal bigger. This surgical method relieves pressure on the nerves and spinal cord.

  • How can you prevent severe low back pain:

We all know prevention is better than cure. Although there are many ways to prevent yourself from extreme lower back pain. Here we will discuss some ways to prevent lower back pain.

Prevention involves:

  1. Maintaining proper posture.
  2. Lifting items properly by the legs and by bending the knees.
  3. Exercising and strengthening the muscles of your abdomen and back.
  4. Losing extra weight if you are overweight.
  5. Perform exercise like a deadlift with correct posture, this will helps you to strengthen your lower back. 

You can also do these preventions:

  1. Quit smoking and alcohol. 
  2. Avoid high heeled shoes.
  3. Sleep on a flat surface.
  4. Don’t sit on the chair for a longer time, take some rest or do some walk.
  5. Sit on supportive chairs that are at the correct height.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What are the causes of back pain?

  • Arthritis,
  • Infection in the kidney,
  • Spine infection,
  • Ruptured disk,
  • Sciatica,
  • Cancer of the spinal cord,
  • Muscle strain,
  • Disk injury,
  • Spine curvature,
  • Sciatica,
  • Spondylitis,
  • Stenosis.

What are some treatment options for severe lower back pain?

There are many treatment options for severer lower back pain. Here we divide all symptoms into three categories are:

  1. By surgery method,
  2. Medical treatment,
  3. Home care.

What are some risk factors for developing back pain?

  1. Smoking,
  2. Bad posture while lifting,
  3. Psychological conditions,
  4. Excess weight,
  5. Age,
  6. Lack of exercise.

What is some Imaging test which the doctor advised in back pain?

  1. X-Ray,
  2. CT- Scans,
  3. Ultrasound,
  4. MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging),
  5. EMG(Electromyography). 
  • What imagining tests can check?
  1. Bone density,
  2. Bone problems,
  3. Disk problems,
  4. Problems associated with your tendons and ligaments. 

The final words

So here are all the causes of the back pain. Please don’t take the stress. You can reverse the causes of back pain by home treatment method and medicinal treatment.


Kumar Bhaskar