There are many ways in which you could damage the tissues in your back and develop pain as a result.

Acute back pain is often due to sudden trauma that stretches or tears the muscles, connective tissues, or discs in your back. For example, falls, carrying excessive loads, moving awkwardly, incurring a sports injury, and being in a work or auto accident.

Chronic back pain is typically due to normal degenerative changes that occur as you get older. These include:

  • Herniated or bulging discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Facet joint arthritis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spondylosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Vertebral compression fractures

With these conditions, the bones and discs gradually deteriorate over time, and the structures within your back may change as a result. For example, you might develop bone spurs if you have osteoarthritis in your spine, or ligaments might thicken and narrow the spinal canal, a common cause of spinal stenosis.

Overuse can make these conditions worse and causes inflammation that’s often responsible for a nagging backache.