What Are the Different Types of Back Pain?

Types of back pain

Types of Back pain depend on the cause. Back pain is one of the most common reasons why individuals visit the doctor or miss work. Moreover, when it comes to diagnosis and treatment, it varies depending on the many forms of back pain you may encounter at any particular time. Recognizing how your back pain is affecting your life might help you explain your symptoms to your doctor more effectively.


Back pain can be anything from a dull ache in the muscles to a shooting, searing, or piercing pain. Furthermore, pain may travel down your leg or worsen when you bend, twist, lift, raise, or walk. The symptoms of back pain thus vary.

Types of Back Pain

Acute back pain

It is described as pain that lasts less than 3 months and usually goes away with conventional therapies.  Acute back pain can range in intensity, but it’s usually severe and abrupt. This type of back pain that usually lasts only a few weeks, is frequently caused by:

  1. Muscle strains or cramps
  2. Disc herniation
  3. Curvatures of the spine
  4. Pregnancy

Chronic back pain

The more acute back pain persists, the more probable it is to develop into chronic pain. It is described as pain that lasts four to six weeks or more. Nerve compression worsened by motion or progressive disease are the common causes of chronic back pain.

Lower back pain

The lumbar and pelvic regions make up the lower back. The strain on the vertebrae and discs causes lower back discomfort. Additionally, lower back pain is frequently caused by poor lifting technique and sitting on the tailbone. Lower back pain, regardless of its cause, has a tendency to progress. Variations in motion to prevent the twinge of pain frequently result in more damage or staining further up the spinal column.

Sciatica: Lower back pain may also be due to the tiny gel-filled discs that protect the space between the vertebrae. If one of these disks swells or bursts, it can put pressure on the nerve. If the nerve is sciatic, the pain spreads from the hip to one leg. It is known as sciatica.

Middle back pain

The rib cage’s mass is supported by the middle back, which also joins the lowest parts of the shoulder blades. Axial pain with dull pains and acute twinges characterizes middle back pain. The many motions of joints connecting the lower and upper back cause microtears in the muscles, leading to pain. Torsion and direct injury are the most common causes of middle back discomfort. Moreover, back injuries involving the ribs or spine are more visible than other types of back injuries.

Upper back pain

The shoulders, neck, and thoracic spine are all connected by the upper back. Recurrent pain is a common symptom of upper back discomfort.

Upper back pain causes

This type of pain is caused by arm and shoulder pain. Headaches, particularly sinus pressure, cause neck, and shoulder stress. This type of pain is stiff and gets worse with poor sleeping and sitting positions.

Causes of back pain in women

In general back pain is common in women compared to men. It is mostly related to their lifestyle factors – such as obesity, sedentary lifestyle, wearing high heels, activities that involve abrupt, unstable, and abnormal body movements. In women back pain is associated with a wide range of gynecological conditions ranging from premenstrual syndrome, hormonal changes, uterine issues to ovarian cancer.

Types of Back Pain – How to Prevent

Back pain exercises

Low-impact aerobic exercises, or those that don’t stress or jolt your back, can help you build back strength and flexibility, as well as improve the function of your muscles. Swimming and jogging are both terrific options. 

Read more: Top 5 exercises for back pain

Strengthen and stretch your muscles – Workouts that build your core, such as abdominal and back muscle strengthening, assist these muscles to operate together like a natural corset for your back.

  • Maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI) – Obesity puts a burden on the back muscles. If you’re obese, losing weight can help you avoid back pain.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking raises your chances of developing low back discomfort – Because the risk rises with the quantity of cigarettes smoked each day, stopping should help lower it.

Bottom line

Knowing the different types of back pain will help you figure out where in your life you’re having problems. Symptoms should not be disregarded, irrespective of the type of back pain you’re encountering. Pain that doesn’t respond to simple home remedies like rest, the use of a heating pad or cold compress, or over-the-counter pain relievers should be assessed as soon as possible by your orthopedic doctor. You should consult a doctor if you don’t feel better within 3 to 4 days. Similarly, if you encounter back pain after injury, you must see a specialist doctor immediately.

Remember! Back pain associated with numbness and weakness in the legs, change in bowel habits or associated with bladder control issues (urinary incontinence), pain while coughing and urination, and fever warrants a visit to a specialist doctor immediately.

Read more: Joint Pain Treatment