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Backache - Causes

  • Poor posture - such as bad mattress, straining muscles and ligaments at work or while playing or sitting incorrectly at the desk or steering wheel, pushing, pulling and lifting things carelessly.
  • Injuries - twisting caused by accidents or playing sports.
  • Arthritis - age-related changes in the vertebrae.
  • Structural problems - resulting in backaches.
  • Ruptured or bulging disks - sudden injury or pressure over cushions of the disk can lead to disc rupture, which results in pressure on a nerve, resulting in backaches.
  • Abnormal curvature of the spine - in some diseases, the spine seems to be curved with a tilt towards one side.
  • Osteoporosis - the bones become brittle and porous, leading to compression of the spine and fracture.
  • Cancer of the spine.
  • Infection of the spine - for example, tuberculosis and pelvic inflammatory disease.
  • Other infections -infection of the uterus or kidney.
  • Sleep disorders - individuals with sleep disorders are more likely to experience backache as compared to others.
  • Shingles - an infection that can affect the nerves.

Risk factors

Anyone can develop a backache, including children and teenagers, though there is no adequate research to prove what contributes to backache. Notably, the following factors may put someone at a greater risk of developing backaches:

  • age - common with the advancement of age, generally starts between 30 and 40 years
  • sedentary lifestyle - lack of exercise makes the muscles weak, causing backache
  • excess weight on the spine
  • carrying heavy school bags or office bags
  • carrying a laptop bag
  • excess weight or obesity
  • wearing high heels or improper footwear
  • heavy workouts
  • diseases - some types of arthritis and cancer can contribute to back pain
  • improper lifting - bending actions, such as lifting a child or lifting heavy objects from the ground
  • psychological conditions - people prone to depression and anxiety appear to have a greater risk of backache
  • smoking
  • genetics - there is some evidence that certain types of spinal disorders are inherited, such as HLAB27
  • jobs that require long hours of standing or sitting without a break - people with careers such as receptionists, traffic police or those that involve sitting on a chair for long hours, namely, call centre workers, IT engineers, etc.