Chronic back pain usually develops over time and might be a consequence of age-associated changes in spinal anatomy. It has been found that sedentary lifestyles contribute to the onset and progression of chronic back pain. Particularly when the lax workdays are punctuated by weekends of vigorous physical activity.
Types of Back Pain
Low back pain is often short term, lasting only a couple of days to a few weeks. It usually dissipates on its own with no influence on functional capacity of the individual.
Acute low back pain. Most acute low back pain is due to mechanical disruptions in the structures that comprise the back.
Subacute low back pain. This condition is one that has been present for 4 to 12 weeks.
Chronic back pain. This type of persistent low back pain lasts for 12 weeks or longer, even if there is adequate treatment for initial injury and underlying condition if any.
What Causes Low Back Pain?
The human spine, unlike that of any other animal, stays upright. The spine also serves as a passage through which nerves from the brain are connected to and from other parts of the body to coordinate functions like walking, running, and writing. Just like all other human parts, the spine undergoes aging and damage from wear and tear from gravity, injury from physical activity, among other
Let us go into detail about the most common causes of persistent lower back pain.
Degenerative and Herniated Discs
Degenerative disc disease (DDD) affects the intervertebral discs. With age, the discs become thinner, lose their rubbery consistency, and become tough. Age-associated spinal changes also result in arthritis and disc herniation (slipping).
This leads to pressure on the spinal cord and nerves resulting in pain. Increased friction from thinned discs causes abnormal bone growth. Osteophytes, as these bones are called, can worsen the situation by pinching spinal nerves.
This condition affects just the lower vertebrae. It occurs when a vertebra slips forward beneath another one. Though treatable, it is a cause of persistent lower back pain. Other symptoms of nerve compression like stiffness in back and legs, thigh pain, and numbness of legs, among others might be present.
It can be hereditary. Factors that increase the risk of its development are rapid puberty growth, birth defects, and strenuous sporting activities.