Dear Mayo Clinic The majority of people I know suffers from a form of back discomfort. My husband and I also suffer from back pain , however mine is just a slight ache towards the close of each day, whereas he appears to be suffering from shooting pain. What makes our backs so vulnerable to pain? And how do I tell when we need to see our doctor?

Answer The answer is that back pain is common therefore you and your spouse aren’t the only ones. Around 80% of people within the U.S. will experience low back pain at one moment. Your back is comprised of 30 bones that are stacked in a column , surrounded by ligaments and muscles. Nearly every move you do requires the back in some way. The constant motion and support means that your back is prone to strain and strain.

It’s not all back problems are the exact same symptoms can vary in a wide range. Sometimes, people suffering from back discomfort can pinpoint exactly when it began, such as when trying to lift an object that is heavy or following an accident. In most cases, no specific event or trigger caused the discomfort.

Below are some of the frequent reasons and explanations for back discomfort:

The ligament or the muscle strains: The ligament or muscle strains usually result from one event like inadequate body mechanics when lifting an object that is heavy. Strains can feel like an abrupt, sharp, localized pain. The pain gets worse when you tighten the muscles or bend it. The swelling, redness and bruises may occur. The pain may be severe. Some people claim that they’ve “thrown off” in their backs. The majority of times there is an injury to a ligament or muscle.

Osteoarthritis is a condition that causes low back pain is usually due to osteoarthritis, which is the most prevalent form of arthritis. Arthritis can cause shrinking of the space between the spinal cord or nerve roots and is a condition known as spinal stenosis. It is most commonly seen in the lower back as well as the neck. When it happens in the lower back the most frequent symptoms include leg pain as well as numbness, tingling and, sometimes, muscles becoming weak.

A bulging disk: Disks serve as cushions between vertebrae or bones within your spine. The disc’s substance can expand and press the nerve. This is known as the bulging disk. The pain that results from bulging disks is usually felt in the lower back and can radiate into the buttocks, hips, or the legs. It usually gets worse with exercise, but it is less painful after a rest.

-Herniated disk: A herniated disk occurs due to a tear within the hard outer layers disk material allows part of the inner material to protrude outside. Herniated disks can also be referred to as broken disks or slip disks. However, when compared to the bulging disk, the herniated one tends to trigger pain due to the fact that it protrudes further as well as being more likely cause irritation of nerve roots. Depending on the location where the herniated disc is located situated, it could cause the sensation of numbness, pain or weakness in either of the legs. The symptoms typically occur on only just one part of your body.

Sciatica: Sciatica is named in honor of the sciatic nerve which is the biggest nerve within your body. It’s most common in the event of a herniated disc, bone spur, or spinal stenosis stretches a part of the nerve. Sciatica is an intense shooting pain that radiates through your lower back across either side of as well as the back in your leg. In most cases, sciatica affects only one side of your body.

-Degenerative disk diseases As you get older and get older, the disks that connect your vertebrae start to reduce in size and shed their soft properties. This causes a narrowing of the space between vertebrae and may make the spine more slack. Degenerative disk diseases do not always result in symptoms. In the event that it is, the symptoms differ in their the nature and severity. In general, pain is felt and subsides over a lengthy period of. It can be better when you change the position or walk. However, it can it will get worse if you bend, sit or bend.

When should you schedule an appointment?

The majority of low back discomfort — even when it is severe will go away in between six and eight weeks by self-care like resting from heavy lifting using ice or heat and using prescription painkillers and stretching. Physical therapy can offer a great alleviation from back and joint pain and often, patients do not require any further treatment.

Discuss with your health professional If you’ve had a prior history of cancer, or if you experience pain:

It can be continuous or intense, particularly during the night or while lying down.

— Spreads out either or both of the legs.

-causes weakness, numbness , or tingling in one or both legs.

The symptoms include redness, swelling, or fever in your back.

This can be caused by unintended weight loss.

— Often occurs with new bladder or bowel control issues.

If your back pain is triggered by an accident or a fall then you must seek medical treatment. – The doctor is Dr. Kendall Snyder , Neurosurgery, Mayo Clinic Health System, La Crosse, Wisconsin