Common Causes of Back and Neck Problems

Posted by Jason Huffman on November 18th, 2019

Back and spine problems can occur for a variety of reasons. Sometimes your doctor may not know the exact reason why you’ve developed back pain and related problems.

Common Reasons:

  • Poor posture
  • Poor living or working conditions
  • Poor body mechanics, such as the ways you sit, stand, lift, carry or bend
  • Skeletal or structural problems

Strains & Sprains:

The most common cause of back pain is an injury to the muscles (called a strain) or ligaments (called a sprain) that support your spine. Muscle and ligament fibres can be overstretched or torn. This frequently is the result of lifting a heavyweight improperly, having poor posture, or being overweight.


When a disc degenerates and flattens, vertebrae can slip back and forth. This can cause bone spurs and/or soft tissue buildup around the exit points for the nerves, or spinal stenosis. Stenosis occurs when the small spinal canal, which contains the nerve roots and spinal cord, becomes compressed, resulting in pressure on the nerve roots, causing pain, numbness, or weakness.

Bulging Disc:

For most people, this issue is a normal part of the ageing process. However, in certain cases, a bulging disc can contribute to spinal stenosis (see: Spinal Stenosis).

Ruptured or Herniated Disc:

This is also called a slipped disc. A herniated disc happens when the centre of the disc ruptures and bulges through the outside of the disc. This can cause pressure on the nearby nerve root and spinal nerve to produce pain, numbness, and tingling. If the outer layer is worn or injured, the jelly-like nucleus may squeeze all the way through.

Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD):

This condition occurs when discs wear down from either the natural process of ageing or from an injury to the back. Discs between the vertebrae may degenerate and lose water content. The outer layer may weaken, allowing a disc to protrude or become herniated. In certain individuals, DDD can cause back pain, instability, or spinal stenosis.

Spinal Stenosis:

This is a condition that arises due to narrowing in and around the spinal canal, resulting in nerve pinching. Spinal stenosis may cause pain in the buttocks/legs, weakness, and sensory changes in the lower extremities. The result may be decreased physical activity.

Scoliosis, kyphosis and lordosis:

These are all abnormal curves of the spine. They develop when the spinal column collapses on one side, resulting in curvature. Scoliosis creates an S or C curve from side to side. Kyphosis occurs when the bones of the thoracic spine curve outward creating a hunchback. Lordosis is an exaggerated curve of the lumbar spine and creates a swayback appearance.

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Jason Huffman

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Jason Huffman
Joined: October 30th, 2019
Articles Posted: 4

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