Common causes of back pain

Stress factors

The symptoms of simple back pain often occur suddenly and can be triggered by a particular movement, but the causes may have been building for some time.

Some of the most common causes of stress and strain on the spine include:

* Slouching in chairs

* Driving in hunched positions

* Standing badly

* Lifting incorrectly

* Sleeping on sagging mattresses

* Being unfit

* Generally overdoing it

Inactivity and the wrong sort of movement are usually at the root of simple back pain. Inactivity makes the muscles go slack and weak so they are unable to support the back properly. This leaves the back more vulnerable to damage when certain movements put too much strain on one area.

Often, the problem is caused by a strain or tear to the muscles, tendons or ligaments around the lower spine. In turn, this can produce painful muscle tension and spasm. Even a minor problem can cause a lot of pain when you stand, bend or move around. Pain sometimes comes on suddenly, sometimes gradually, but usually it only lasts a few days or up to a week.

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