A large number of people suffer from back pain. The reasons vary from improper posture to age-related wear and tear of the bones and tissues.

Causes of severe back pain
When the back and core muscles suffer intense strain, it can lead to back pain. Since muscles get a lot of blood supply, they usually heal fairly quickly. However, prolonged strain can lead to conditions like acute back pain, herniated disk, or degenerative disk.

Here are some of the most common causes of back pain:

Poor posture
Poor posture is one of the leading causes of back pain. If you spent a lot of time hunched over your computer screen, you may develop an achy back. Sitting all day watching TV is equally bad because it puts pressure on the disks and vertebrae.

Injury or overuse
Injury or overuse of muscles, joints, and ligaments can lead to back pain. When your back is injured during an accident, it can cause a herniated or ruptured disk. Sudden impact also causes microscopic tears in ligaments and muscles, leading to back pain. Injuries can cause temporary or chronic back pain.

Pressure on the nerves in the spinal canal
Herniated disks, spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal), spinal deformities, and fractures of the vertebra can put great pressure on the nerves in the spinal canal, causing severe back pain.

Osteoarthritis, typically age-related, can affect the small joints of the spine and also change the way you walk, thereby exerting pressure on the nerves. Spondylolisthesis, a condition where one vertebra slides over another, is also a reason for stress on the spinal nerves.

Obesity is another culprit. The extra weight of the body puts additional pressure on the spine which can cause pain. Over time, it can even result in a gradual wearing away of the outer fibers of the disk, increasing your risk of injury.

Compression fractures
Compression fractures can occur suddenly. This is a common cause of severe back pain among older people. A fractured vertebral bone decreases at least 15 to 20% in height. Those who have osteoporosis are particularly susceptible to compression fracture.

Some less common spinal conditions that can cause back pain include:

Paget’s disease of the bone
This is a condition where the bone formation is not synchronous with normal bone remodeling. It can cause very weak bones and deformity. The disease is common in people above 50 years of age. Thickening of the affected areas of the spine can cause severe radiating pain.

Bacterial infection
You may sometimes get back pain from an infection in the bone, spinal disks, or the spinal cord. Bacteria are carried to the spine through the bloodstream from an infection somewhere else in the body caused by injury, intravenous drug use, or even surgery.

Spinal tumors
Spinal tumors are unwanted growths on the spinal cord, the roots, or the bones and ligaments. A spinal tumor can be cancerous noncancerous. Even noncancerous tumor can be life-threatening because of the serious impact it has on the spinal cord. Unless taken care of immediately, even noncancerous tumors can cause permanent damage.

Do not neglect back pain. Consult your doctor as soon as possible to prevent it from becoming a debilitating medical condition.