CausesBy Mayo Clinic staff
A common cause of back pain is injury to a muscle (strain) or ligament (sprain). Strains and sprains can occur for many reasons, including improper lifting, poor posture and lack of regular exercise. Being overweight may increase your risk of strains and sprains affecting your back.
Back pain can also result from more-serious injuries, such as a vertebral fracture or ruptured disk; from arthritis and other age-related changes in your spine; and from certain infections.
Possible causes of back pain include:
Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.
- Low back pain fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/backpain/detail_backpain.htm. Accessed July 15, 2012.
- Adult acute and subacute low back pain. Bloomington, Minn.: Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement. http://www.icsi.org/low_back_pain/adult_low_back_pain__8.html. Accessed July 10, 2012.
- Balague F, et al. Non-specific low back pain. The Lancet. 2012;379:482.
- Wheeler SG, et al. Approach to the diagnosis and evaluation of low back pain in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed July 14, 2012.
- Duffy RL. Low back pain: An approach to diagnosis and management. Primary Care Clinics Office Practice. 2010;37:729.