Doctors' Choice Physical Medicine

Back Pain Causes – Pottsville Back Specialist

Back Pain Causes, Muscles

Back Arthritis

Most of our patients think that their back pain is coming from back muscles.  However very little back pain comes from back muscles.  If it is from back muscles the pain is usually accompanied by severe back spasms with specific motions.  Usually the spasm is your body’s protective action from other back pain causes.  Another source of back pain from muscles is called a “trigger point”.  This is an area within the muscle that is hyperactive.  A trigger point is often present because of a chronic overload of the muscle.  Both of these muscle back pain causes are not common.

Back Pain Causes; Arthritis

Other patients say they have arthritis.  For the most part this is a catchall diagnosis as means nothing.  It is more of an x-ray finding than a cause for back pain.

You can see on the x-ray to the right that the very top disc is normal.  As you more down the spine you see narrowed discs and bone spurs.  This is what arthritis looks like on a x-ray.  So therefore the x-ray report may have arthritis as a finding.  And arthritis is what the doctor says you have.  But it is not the cause of your pain!

The arthritis would have been found on an x-ray days, weeks, months, and depending upon the severity years before you had back pain.  And your arthritis on the x-ray will look the same when your back pain is no longer present.  So arthritis cannot be the cause.  But it a complicating factor for recovery.

Back Pain Causes; Where Is The Pain Coming From

There are plenty back pain causes.  But most back pain, especially if it is chronic back pain (more than three months duration) comes from the disc.  There is an excellent post here that describes how we found out.

Underlying Back Pain Causes

We have a concept that back pain is caused by a slip, fall, overexertion, or some accident.  That is true for some back pain cases.  However,  most of our patients say they don’t know what caused their back pain.  It just developed slowly and the pain may have been on and off over months to years.  then one day for no apparent reason the back pain began to get worse.  There is a good explanation for this phenomenon.    See how we test for underlying causes of back pain and how you can check yourself at home.  Click here to find out.