There are four prime reasons for backache, and these can occur
singly or in any combination:
- A damaged or degenerated disc can bulge at the edges when under
extreme pressure. This can squeeze against the posterior ligament
of the spine which is pain-sensitive.
- The rear portion of the vertebrae form the articular facets
of the spinal joints. Like any other joint in the human body,
the membrane which lines the inside of them is richly supplied
with sensory nerves and can become swollen and inflamed. This
results in pain.
- Muscle spasm produced by faulty posture, injury or strain can
itself cause pain. If there is also disc degeneration present,
the vice-like pressure of the muscle spasm will cause disc compression
and subsequent ligament pain as well.
- Acute pain caused by pressure on a nerve root is also the fault
of degenerated disc. Usually in this type of back pain the wall
of the disc loses its natural elastic quality and the soft jelly
in the centre of the disc bulges out. A slight bulge of hernia
presses on the posterior ligament as it type 1., but a more severe
bulge, or a broken-off fragment of disc can cause pressure on
the nerve tissue and acute pain. This pain sometimes travels down
one leg, or both, giving rise to the condition known as sciatica.
This can result in numbness, pins and needles, abnormal nerve
reflexes and loss of muscle strength. This type of nerve pain
often produces pain in the other areas as well - ligaments, joints