Back pain, a common condition that affects most people at some point of time

KOLKATA: Back pain is a common condition that affects most people at some point in their lifetime.

It could be caused by sleeping in the wrong position, having bad posture, or even by having a minor injury. In most cases, back pain isn’t anything to worry about, and it gets better by itself within a few weeks or months.

But in some cases, back pain can sometimes be acute, recurrent or chronic and can appear anywhere along the spine. Back pain is generally cause by the degeneration of the spine, according to Dr Tapas Chatterjee, consultant, department of Neurosciences, CK Birla Hospitals-CMRI .

As degeneration occurs, minor trauma or unusual activity can produce back pain, causing muscle pain and spasms. The outer ring of the disc can tear, and the inner cushioned part of the disc may continue to degenerate. Eventually, this can lead to spinal instability and nerve entrapment, which causes nerve pain. Bone spurs or osteophytes (bony growths) develop in and around the facet joint and discs, Dr Chatterjee said.

He said the ligaments can thicken and compress the spinal cord, causing central spinal stenosis or nerve root entrapment. Movement, or spondylolisthesis, may occur, which can cause instability and movement in the spinal column. This may produce pain or weakness, particularly in an arm or leg.

Sometimes lower back pain is not a specific condition, but a symptom of something else. Low back pain is more common in women than men. Being overweight can be one of the reasons for an acute low back pain. Connective tissues surrounding muscles in the back normally have alternating layers of fibers that handle substantial loads and glide easily, Dr Chatterjee said.  (AGENCIES)