Back Pain: The Most Common Causes

What are the Different Types of Back Pain? 

Back pain can be intense and is a leading cause of missed work, sleep deprivation and a decrease in quality of life. With regular chiropractic treatment, back pain can be conquered and/or avoided. Stow Family Chiropractic can provide treatment to relieve the stress of pain and bring about healing to the body.

a woman wearing a sports bra holding her back that shows a red area indicating back pain

The back is separate into three sections: the upper, middle and lower back. The upper and middle segments are combined into the 12 vertebrae of the thoracic region. The lower back is comprised of five vertebrae known as the lumbar region. There are several actions, conditions and injuries that can cause pain in this area.

Lower back pain is one of the most common complaints among patients. The lumbar region of the spine is comprised of several nerves, ligaments, joints, muscles and interconnecting bones that work together to provide the body with support, strength, and flexibility.

Pain in the lower back is most often due to a soft tissue injury. These can include sprains, strains and damage due to poor ergonomic support, improper lifting or carrying of weight, sport injuries, and other common issues. Upper and middle back pain is typically caused by overuse, injury, poor posture, pressure on the spinal nerves, or a herniated disc.

Acute Back Pain

Most pain is acute, or short term, and lasts a few days to a few weeks and is typically a result of an identifiable injury. Although acute pain can heal naturally with time, it is always a good idea to see the chiropractor to ensure there are no underlying causes for the pain.

Chronic Back Pain

If pain lasts for more than three months, then it is often considered to be a chronic and beyond the body’s natural ability to heal without intervention. Causes of chronic lower back pain can include sciatic pain, scoliosis, disc degeneration, disc bulges and herniations, spinal stenosis, pinched nerves, and sacroiliac joint dysfunction. 

The Most Common Causes


A subluxation is a slight misalignment of the vertebrae that results in a domino effect that disrupts the natural movement of the body and increases the body’s susceptibility to injury. Subluxations are a huge contributor to acute and chronic back pain, and can be caused by everyday mishaps, such as a fall or impact, poor sleeping habits, bad posture, improper lifting, and emotional stress.


Sciatica is pain caused by a problem with the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back down the back of each leg. When the sciatic nerve is injured, or extra pressure is put on the nerve, it can cause pain in the lower back that spreads to the hip, buttocks and leg.


Scoliosis is an improper curvature of the spine that occurs most often during the growth spurt just before puberty and can worsen over time. In most cases, a curvature of the spine starts with one vertebra out of place creating an imbalance in the spine itself and forces the rest of the spine to overcompensate.

Disc Degeneration

Degenerative disc disease is a condition that happens when one or more of the discs between the vertebrae of the spine deteriorates or breaks down, leading to weakness, numbness, and pain that radiates down the leg.

Disc Bulges and Herniations

Spinal discs are composed of an outer layer of cartilage that surrounds softer cartilage in the center, and act as a cushion between the vertebrae in your spine. Over time, discs dehydrate and the cartilage stiffens, causing the outer layer to bulge out evenly all the way around its circumference.

A herniated disc results when a crack in the outer layer of cartilage allows some of the softer inner cartilage to protrude out of the disc, also known as a ruptured disc or a slipped disc. A herniated disc is more likely to result in pain due to the irritation of nerve roots surrounding the spine.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a condition that occurs when the small spinal canal, which contains the nerve roots and the spinal cord, becomes compressed, causing weakness, numbness, cramping or pain.

Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction (SI Joint Pain)

Si Joint pain can result from too much or too little movement, causing the pelvis to feel unstable and lead to pain. Pain from too much motion is often felt in the lower back and/or hip, and may radiate into the groin area. Pain from too little movement is often felt on one side of the low back or buttocks, and can radiate down the back of the leg. Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction is more common in young and middle-aged women, and women who are pregnant or have recently given birth.

Contact us Today!

Chiropractic care utilizes a whole-body approach to healing that employs non-invasive techniques to restore your quality of life. These techniques, including chiropractic adjustments, therapeutic exercises, spinal decompression, cold laser therapy and custom orthotics, can often eliminate the need for invasive surgery and addictive pain medication. Our goal at Stow Family Chiropractic is to relieve pain naturally and restore your body’s ability to heal. To schedule an appointment, call us at 978-897-1770.