What are the Causes of Lower Back Pain in men
Before detailing the lower back pain causes in men or upper back pain, let me brief some prior conditions when the body tells you naturally that something is wrong with your back.
When my acute lower back pain has got started, I didn’t understand how it all happened and as everybody does, I also totally ignored a small and intermittent pain in my lower back.
Well, my profession was a desk job, sitting for minimum 6 to 8 hours and maximum 10 to 12 hours. In one stretch I use to sit for 2 to 4 hours continuously without taking a break. In addition to this, I use to drive around 1864 miles (3000 km) per month.
My Eating Habits:- Due to challenging work environment and professional activities I was not able to consume food on time and importantly right nutritious food. I was also having zero physical activities, no exercise at all.
I lived with this lifestyle for a longer duration.
One day suddenly I felt irritation at my lower back and thereafter acute (low and intermittent) low back pain started. As all do, I also overlooked this pain which was intermittent in nature. Later, this acute pain transformed into chronic pain (Severe and constant). In medical terms, it is called as Lumbar spondlysis. Learn different types of back pain(link here)
Finally, when my pain becomes unbearable I became serious and started approaching physicians and started taking treatment and medicines. (Do really medicines help to cure lower back pain -link here)
Read – How I actually cured my lower back pain at home – link here
The reason for telling my fact is, your back pain could be small and irregular at this time (acute) but don’t overlook towards it, start to prevent it before it does more damage to your spine.(how to prevent lower back pain before it is too late – link )
In most of the cases, it is observed that if the acute pain is left untreated then there are high probabilities to turn it to chronic pain and becomes more painful for a patient.
In a nutshell, my personal experience of lower back pain for 17 years and also after referring various research papers and case studies I am briefing down the various reasons that cause lower back pain or upper back pain.
Five common lower back pain causes in men
Most of us come across these five common reasons for getting lower back pain.
1) Sedentary lifestyle – Desk job, continuously sitting for long hours
2) Long hours driving without appropriate support/comfort to the back can lead to low back pain
3) Sprains and strains – Sudden bending, suddenly changing your position either in sitting or standing position, sudden lifting even a pencil can lead a low to mid back pain
4) Too much standing either for professional activities or personal activities also shown some signs of pain in the lower back or upper back.
5) Lack of sleep, sleeping in uncomfortable sleep positions or sleeping on a poorly made mattress
Please note –
Above all activities would result in acute pains (smaller and irregular) and this is the reason why most of us ignore in our busy schedule but If not attended on time then there are high probabilities that these acute pain may exaggerate and turn into chronic pain and may last from months to years and I am one of the examples of this type incident. When I started working on computers I used to sit for hours at that time my pain was very small and I totally ignored it and later it turned into the major illness of severe and constant pain and in medical terms, it is called as lumbar spondylosis. So don’t ignore if you have small and intermittent low back pain.
Other reasons causing upper and lower back pain in men are:-
1) Accident victims – Even some minor accidents like falling down even from a very smaller height or slipping on a floor could be a reason to start a pain in the back.
2) Heavy exercise or too much physical activities can also be a cause for a backache.
3) Other reasons causing serious lower back pain are sports injuries and accidents on road.
Mechanical causes of lower back pain in men
Our back is a complicated structure and made up of interconnecting nerves, bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons, all of which can be a source of pain. So basically the pains are connected to any of your back parts like sprain ligaments, strain muscles, rupture disks, and irritate joint and if not treated appropriately and timely, can lead to chronic back pain.
The below are 7 conditions in which lower back pain arises:-
1) Intervertebral disc degeneration This is a condition of the discs between vertebrae with loss of cushioning, fragmentation and herniation.There may be no symptoms. In some cases, the spine loses flexibility and bone spurs may pinch a nerve root, causing pain or weakness. Treatment can include exercise, medication and physiotherapy.. As the discs deteriorate, they lose their cushioning ability.
2) Herniated or ruptured discs can occur when the intervertebral discs become compressed and bulge outward (herniation) or rupture, causing low back pain.
3) Radiculopathy is a condition caused by compression, inflammation and/or injury to a spinal nerve root. Radiculopathy may occur when spinal stenosis or a herniated or ruptured disc compresses the nerve root. Pressure on the nerve root results in pain, numbness, or a tingling sensation that travels or radiates to other areas of the body that are served by that nerve.
4) Sciatica is a form of radiculopathy caused by compression of the sciatic nerve (the large nerve that travels through the buttocks and extends down the back of the leg). It’s usually caused when a herniated disc or bone spur in the spine presses on the nerve. Pain originates in the spine and radiates down the back of the leg. Sciatica typically affects only one side of the body.
This compression causes shock-like or burning low back pain combined with pain through the buttocks and down one leg, occasionally reaching the foot. In the most extreme cases, when the nerve is pinched between the disc and the adjacent bone, the symptoms may involve not only pain but numbness and muscle weakness in the leg because of interrupted nerve signalling.
It is a condition in which a vertebra of the lower spine slips out of place, pinching the nerves exiting the spinal column. Spondylolisthesis risk factors include sports that put stress on the bones in the lower back, such as gymnastics and football. Genetics may also put some people at increased risk. If the vertebra slips too far, it may press on nerves and cause severe back pain or nerve crowding that produces leg pain or numbness.
6) A traumatic injury, such as from playing sports, car accidents, or a fall can injure tendons, ligaments or muscle resulting in low back pain. Traumatic injury may also cause the spine to become overly compressed, which in turn can cause an intervertebral disc to rupture or herniate, exerting pressure on any of the nerves rooted to the spinal cord. When spinal nerves become compressed and irritated, back pain and sciatica may result.
7) Spinal stenosis
It is a narrowing of the spinal column that puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves that can cause pain or numbness with walking and over time leads to leg weakness and sensory loss.
Other conditions that result in lower back pain in men include:
- Inflammatory diseases of the joints such as arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis as well as spondylitis, an inflammation of the vertebrae, can also cause low back pain. Spondylitis is also called spondyloarthritis or spondyloarthropathy.
- Osteoporosis is a metabolic bone disease marked by a progressive decrease in bone density and strength, which can lead to painful fractures of the vertebrae.
- In some cases, even overweight or obesity can also lead to lower back pain. Having poor posture for a long time and psychological stress can cause or complicate your back pain. A big belly can also put pressure on lower back.
If you are not sure about the reason for your back pain then I suggest to meet your physician and do necessary tests and find out exact reason and start necessary treatment as early as possible. Treatment doesn’t mean only surgery or being on medication but in fact, treatment is also related to simple stretches, yoga postures, simple exercise, chiropractor (who treats pain by pressing acupressure points).
Though the causes (or reasons) for lower back pain in men and women are somewhat similar there are few exceptions in women –read here