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Three causes of back pain you should know about

by , 19 August 2013

While a ruptured or bulging disc in your spine is the most common cause of sciatica pain (otherwise known as back pain), there are other factors that can cause back pain. Read on to find out what they are so you can seek treatment.

It’s important that you know all the possible causes of back pain. This’ll help ensure you seek treatment immediately to treat the underlying cause of your pain.

Let’s have a look at some lesser known causes…

Here are the three lesser known causes of back pain

#1: Arthritis

There are three types of arthritis that affect your spine: Degenerative arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Degenerative arthritis is by far the most common and, at the same time, usually the least serious. This is a normal part of the ageing process. After all, as you get older, the more your joints wear and some of them wear out, writes Chet Cunningham author of the Sciatica Report.

This happens when the cartilage that cushions and protects your joints wears away. The joints most affected include your hands, feet and your spine.

On the other hand, “osteoarthritis is the growing of rims or bony spurs either on or near the facet joints. Interestingly these spurs may actually help stabilise the discs or joints of the spine and may help you avoid back pain, not cause it,” writes Cunningham.

In people over 65, this condition may limit mobility and cause some stiffness in the back.

Rheumatoid arthritis can attack your spinal column, but it can also affect the joints in your hands, elbows, fingers, toes and shoulders as well.

If it affects the facet joints of your spine, it results in severe inflammation, swelling and painful stiffness. Rheumatoid arthritis can destroy the joint as it progresses as well as the tissue surrounding it.

#2: Muscle spasms

Muscle spasms resulting from an injury or just a fall can irritate your sciatic nerve. Some experts say, for example, that an inflamed s muscle (piriformis) in your buttocks can press against the sciatic nerve and cause the pain. This muscle is the one that lets you lift your leg sideways. The piriformis can become inflamed from an injury or over-exertion.

#3: Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis happens when there’s a crack in the back of your vertebral column. When this crack widens sufficiently, the front section of your vertebra can then slip forward in relation to the vertebra below it.

According to Cunningham, in mild form, this problem can go unnoticed since there’s little or no pain involved. A flare up of pain may come from sudden exertion. The best treatment is exercises to strengthen the area after the pain subsides.

Knowing the lesser known causes of back pain will help ensure you seek treatment from your doctor to confirm or rule out a sciatic problem or any underlying cause.

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