What Is The Most Common Cause Of Back Pain?

most common cause of back pain

It is estimated that 60-80 percent of American adults will suffer from neck or back pain during their lifetime. There is a good chance that you will experience back pain sometime in your life since it is one of the most common medical conditions identified in the United States. In most cases, this type of pain is a symptom of another medical condition and can have many causes.

Despite examinations and medical tests, back pain can still remain mysterious. People are different, so problems with back pain that cause severe symptoms in one individual may not affect another individual at all. Back pain is rarely life-threatening or serious. Occasionally, back pain may be an indication of something more serious. The most common culprits are listed here.

A sore or aching back can be caused by any of the following seven causes:

Pulled Muscle or Tendon

The lifting of heavy objects, working out, and even sleeping in an uncomfortable position can lead to sore backs. If you experience this, it means that your back muscle or tendon has been strained or sprained. Spasticity and tightness of the back can sometimes accompany back pain caused by a pulled muscle.


It’s normal for your body to experience inflammation as part of its natural immune system; however, it may cause discomfort and heat. Chronic soreness in your back and spine can occur if inflammation lingers after an injury or disease.


The pain and stiffness of arthritis effect 52 million adults. Arthritis, which is a chronic inflammation of the joints in the body, can affect your back as well. It is common to experience stiffness and swelling with arthritis pain.


A condition that causes a decrease in bone mass – particularly in the hips, wrists, and spines is osteoporosis. Bones become weaker when mass is decreased, resulting in painful fractures.

Injured herniated and ruptured discs

The bony vertebrae of your spine are separated by cushions of tissue known as discs. These discs can become painful and even debilitating when they bulge out of place or become injured. As you age, the discs are more susceptible to damage.


Keeping your body upright relies heavily on your spine. The spine can be stressed by both poor posture and excess weight. Your back may hurt and feel uncomfortable when your muscles are working extra hard.


Despite not being well understood, fibromyalgia can cause pain in all areas of the body, including your back. Research continues to focus on understanding the aches and pains of fibromyalgia, but most scientists agree that abnormalities in the nervous system are the culprits.

Although back pain can have a variety of causes, it can often be treated and managed. Back discomfort can be relieved with lifestyle changes like lifting heavy objects carefully,  maintaining a healthy weight, and sleeping in a back-friendly position. In the case of severe back pain or debilitating symptoms, an orthopedic specialist can help you improve your symptoms.