A variety of underlying conditions can cause painful back aches, but determining the root of your back pain is essential to your treatment. Below is an outline of the more common back pain causes to help you determine where to begin in your treatment. Be sure to visit a trained chiropractor who professionally handles back pain to help you determine the cause and best source of treatment.

1. Muscle strains and spasms are often a cause of lower back pain. This most common form of lower back pain from muscle spasms can be very painful. It may be mistaken for nerve pain when muscles constrict around a key nerve.

2. A ruptured intervertebral disc, also considered a herniated disc, is another cause of lower back pain. This occurs when disc material is protruding. Though bulging discs is common in many people without symptoms, if it does result in lower back pain, then treatment is necessary.

3. Discogenic back pain, or damage to the intervertabral disc without herniation, is another cause of back pain. Diagnosing this form of back pain may require a discogram.

4. If lower back pain occurs in the elderly, it may be derived from spinal stenosis. This occurs with age when the spinal canal is constricted from arthritis or other conditions. If the spinal canal is too tight, back pain may occur.

5. While arthritis is often thought to predominately affect joints in the knees and fingers, it can also affect small joints in the spine. Arthritis in the spine mainly flares up with movement.

6. Spondylolisthesis is the result of adjacent vertebra becoming unstable and “slipping.” This cause of back pain results from losing normal stabilizing structures in the spinal column.

Back pain can be a result of many causes, and the above causes outlined are simply the most common. Visit a professional chiropractor for an exam to determine the cause of your back pain and the best method of treatment.