What is Causing Your Back Pain?

man visiting doctor for back pain

Back pain is characterized as a severe or aching pain that occurs along your back. This can start after lifting an object, a quick or sudden movement, or engaging in physical activity. It is also possible for this pain to occur without being linked to a particular moment.

Causes of Back Pain

Once symptoms start, it is important to get a proper diagnosis for what is causing your pain since treatment options are dependent on the cause. Causes of back pain can be linked to muscles, disks, joints, bone, or nerve damage. Problems can include:

Muscle Strain

This is usually caused by lifting a heavy object or a sudden or quick movement that actually causes microscopic tears or stretching of the muscles or ligaments in the area. When you are experiencing muscle strain, you will typically experience dull achy pain, muscle spasms, and pain or uncomfortable feeling when walking or trying to maintain certain positions.

Herniated Disk

A herniated disk is caused by a compression of the two vertebrae surrounding the disk. This compression can lead to nerves being compressed as well resulting in nerve pain, pain after sitting, muscle spasms and sometimes chronic or nagging pain.

Isthmic Spondylolisthesis

This occurs when a vertebra in the lower spine shifts forward onto the disk space that is beneath it. This also typically can cause nerve root compression resulting in sciatic nerve pain. You will typically experience pain relief with changing positions and also may experience pain radiating in the lower torso and down the legs.

Degenerative Disk Disease

In degenerative disk disease, the material in the disks begins to break down, causing an instability in back support as well as inflammation that can lead to chronic pain, tightness, weakness in the legs, muscle spasms, and radiating nerve pain.

Sacroiliac Joint Disease

This disease affects the joint that connects the hips, spine, and sacrum. It is a dysfunction that occurs from either too much, or too little motion on the joint and can lead to arthritic type pain depending on the severity of the disease.

Compression Fracture

A compression fracture is a fracture of the vertebrae that can be caused by an injury or something as simple as a hard sneeze or a bad cough with someone who has osteoporosis. When you experience a compression fracture, you will typically develop a sudden or severe onset of back pain.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a degenerative condition that can result in the narrowing of the spinal column, which can lead to nerve compression spinal deformity, loss of flexibility, and even loss of height.


Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that often affects older patients. It can lead to the breakdown of cartilage around connective joints and leads to pain, stiffness, aching, and sometimes swelling.

When to See a Doctor

One of the most difficult decisions is deciding when it is time to see a doctor when you are experiencing back pain. You should see your doctor immediately if the back pain:

  • Came after a trauma, such as a fall
  • Has continued for more than four weeks
  • Appears worse at night or with rest
  • Is experienced with any neurological problems such as weakness
  • Is accompanied by pain in the abdomen
  • Has gotten worse after a few days and home treatment

If you or a loved one is experiencing back pain, contact the professionals at Park Avenue Medical Professionals today to schedule an appointment and start the road to recovery. Fill out the form on this page to request an appointment or call 212.427.2000 to learn more.

Request Appointment Now

Someone from our office will contact you as soon as possible. For immediate assistance during regular office hours, please call 212.427.2000 and select the correct prompt. If this is a medical emergency, please call 911 or visit the nearest hospital.
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You can contact us by email at info@parkavedrs.com for all matters.


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