Back pain is considered a symptom of advancing age due to wear and tear changes in the joints that eventually involve ligaments and muscles.

Although, the spinal muscles are designed to sustain contraction and pressure for a longer period of time without getting fatigued, with advancing age and some systemic or organic diseases, the capacity of back muscles to sustain pressure decreases, leading to the symptoms of back pain with activity.

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The cause of backache largely depends on the level of activity and the age of individuals. In old age, degenerative bone diseases, osteopenia or osteoporosis (de-mineralized bones), and compression vertebral fractures are the most common causes of backache. In younger individuals, non-traumatic causes are mostly trivial that resolve spontaneously, without leaving any significant morbidity or disability.

Associated factors of backache normally help in pointing to the cause/ diagnosis of backache. Backache along with sharp and shooting pain down the legs indicates sciatica. Limited range of motion of the spine indicates degenerative diseases or inflammatory joint conditions that cause stiffness of joints.

Involvement of bowel or bladder indicates a more neurogenic cause. Sometimes the presence of one or more of the symptoms suggests the co-existence of a multi-factorial issue like long-standing arthritic changes in the spine that can lead to spinal stenosis that will eventually cause neural abnormalities.