This can vary. More often than not, you pull your back from something like lifting furniture or twisting awkwardly; the pain isn’t from any underlying disease, but risk factors like obesity and physical inactivity also play a key role. The medical term for this is non-specific back pain. If you injure your back in this way, the soft tissues become inflamed. This inflammation causes pain, and you might get muscle spasms. This explains why anti-inflammatory medicines such as diclofenac, the active ingredient in Voltarol, can be effective at reducing back pain. See the article for more details on pain relief for back pain.
Less often, back pain is caused by something ‘specific’, such as a problem with a vertebrae (a disc between two bones in your spine) or a problem with a nerve around your spine.
Some things can increase your risk of getting lower back pain. These include:
- Obesity. The extra weight can put a strain on your back.
- A sedentary lifestyle where you don’t do any or much physical activity. This can make your abdominal muscles weak, and your spine less stable.
- Your job – if it involves heavy lifting, for example. Stress can also cause muscle tension.
- Uncomfortable shoes. It’s possible that your shoes might affect the way you stand and walk and contribute to back pain.