You are more likely to experience back problems if you are overweight, or if your back is lacking in strength, flexibility and tone. In general, living a sedentary or unhealthy lifestyle may be a key contributor to back issues. Additional causes may include:
- Muscle tension: Often caused by physical or mental stress.
- Posture-related problems: Poor posture forces muscles to be used incorrectly, which makes them tire quickly, causing muscle fatigue. Over time, the muscles that should be supporting posture become weaker and weaker.
- Sprains and strains: Sprains and strains occur if the fibres of a muscle, ligament or tendon are stretched beyond their capacity, and tear. This is often due to a sudden twisting or stretching movement, a forceful impact, or overuse of a particular joint or muscle group.
- Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis can cause back pain. General risk factors for osteoarthritis include getting older, being overweight or obese, a history of injury or trauma to the affected joint, and participation in sports or occupations that involve repetitive stress to the affected joint.
- Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis occurs when the bones lose calcium more quickly than it can be replaced, eventually leading to a decline in the density and mass of the bones, which makes them more susceptible to fracture. Women become particularly susceptible after menopause due to declining oestrogen levels.