back pain, back pain without injury


Back pain does not equal harm. There are many reasons which can contribute to back pain and often a combination of the following can cause back pain:

  • Age. Back pain becomes more common with advancing age. The inter-vertebral discs begin to lose fluid and flexibility with age, which decreases their ability to cushion the vertebrae. The risk of spinal stenosis also increases with age,
  • physical factors such as protecting the back and avoiding movement can cause back pain,
  • psychological reasons including fear of damage or not getting better, being stressed or feeling down,
  • general health lifestyle reasons like being tired and not getting enough good quality sleep, not getting enough physical activity,
  • social triggers such as bad relationships at work or home, low job satisfaction or stressful life events like a family death or illness,
  • genetics, Some causes of back pain, such as ankylosing spondylitis (a form of arthritis that involves the fusion of the spinal joints leading to some immobility of the spine) have a genetic component.

One or more of the above factors can increase the back pain and having a greater understanding of when that can happen puts you in a position to identify the trigger factors and learn how to cope with them.

back pain


(1) Avoid bed rest for a long period.
In the few days of a new episode of back pain, avoiding aggravating activities may help to relieve pain. However, staying as active as possible is important in aiding recovery.

(2) Exercise and activity to prevent back pain.
Exercise helps tackle back pain and is also the most effective strategy to prevent future episodes of back pain. No one type of exercise is proven to be more effective than others, so just pick an exercise you enjoy and that you can afford to maintain in the long-term and that fits in with your daily schedule.

(3) Painkillers.
They should only be used in conjunction with other measures such as exercises. Painkillers should be a short-term option as they can bring side effects after long term use.

(4) Surgery is rarely needed.
Most back pains do not require surgery however, in some uncommon back conditions where there is pressure on the nerves that supply the legs and there is incontinence, surgery may be recommended.

(5) You can have back pain without injury.
Many psychological factors, general health lifestyle factors and social factors may cause back pain. At times a combination of these factors may also cause back pain.

  • Psychological factors including fear of not getting better, feeling down and being stressed.
  • General health lifestyle factors like being tired, not getting enough good sleep, not getting enough physical activity.
  • Social factors such as difficult relationships at work or home, low job satisfaction or stressful life events.

(6) If your back pain does not clear up after 6 – 8 weeks make an appointment to see your doctor or a physiotherapist.