It is important to remember that back pain is a symptom, not a complete diagnosis.
Mechanical problems or problems with the way your spine moves or the way you feel when you move your spine in certain ways, is a possible cause of back pain. Perhaps the most common mechanical cause of back pain is intervertebral disk degeneration which means the disks located between the vertebrae of the spine, are breaking down with age. As they slowly deteriorate, they lose the cushioning they once relied upon. Other mechanical causes could include spasms, muscle tension and ruptured or herniated disks.
Injuries are a common cause of acute or short lasting back pain. Spine injuries such as sprains and fractures can cause back pain. Sprains are tears in the ligaments which support the spine and can occur from twisting or lifting with haste and improperly. Fractured vertebrae can result from osteoporosis.
Certain medical problems or conditions that you have may cause back pain. Scoliosis, a curving of the spine, may cause back pain in middle age. Spondylolisthesis, varying forms of arthritis, and spinal stenosis which is a narrowing of the spinal column that puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, could also cause back pain. Pregnancy, kidney stones, infection and endometriosis which is the buildup of uterine tissue in paces outside of the uterus may cause back pain. Fibromyalgia is another cause of such pain and is a condition of widespread muscle pain and fatigue.
Infections of the vertebrae and tumors are additional sources of back pain. So is emotional stress which can play a role in how severe the pain is and how long it lingers for. Stress can negatively affect the body in many ways, including causing back muscles to become tense and painful.