According to the National Institutes of Health, 80 percent of adults will experience low back pain. It is one of the most common causes of job-related disability and results in a lot of sick days.
The intensity of lower back pain varies widely. Sufferers may experience anything from a dull, constant ache to sharp, debilitating pain.
While low back pain is very common, it isn’t the only type of back pain. Discomfort in the upper back and shoulders can come on just as suddenly – and the reasons aren’t always apparent.
Here are 10 reasons for back pain that you may not have expected:
Sciatica doesn’t immediately come to mind when you have back pain, because it is often associated with pain in the legs. However, the root of the sciatic nerve is part of the lumbar/sacral region. Sciatica can be excruciatingly painful when it occurs in your back. Symptoms could also include tingling and numbness.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder with the primary symptom of fatigue. It tends to affect women much more often than men. Pain is also a symptom of this musculoskeletal disease. If you experience back pain accompanied by fatigue, insomnia, and emotional issues, fibromyalgia may be the culprit.
If you’re a smoker and suffer from back pain, it can be another reason to stop smoking. Smoking can increase pain associated with ankylosing spondylitis, an inflammatory arthritis affecting the spine. The condition is characterized by chronic pain in the back, which can lead to a loss of flexibility over time.
Rheumatoid arthritis is especially hard on the cervical spine as it causes a breakdown of the vertebrae in the neck, pinching nerves and causing vertebrae to compress. This will cause pain and stiffness in the back.
The abnormal lateral curvature of the spine, scoliosis, can go undiagnosed in the early stages. As abnormal curves in the back form, back pain can occur.
Back pain, unexpected or not, should never go untreated. It is dangerous to assume that back pain is a non-issue or can be explained by the most obvious answer. Unexpected reasons for your back pain may be just as feasible as muscle strain due to overwork.
No matter the cause of your back pain, make sure you see a medical professional who specializes in neck and back treatment – like the talented and compassionate healthcare providers at Delaware Back Pain & Sports Rehabilitation Centers. Contact a location nearest you for an appointment.