The potential causes of back pain are as diverse as the different manifestations of back pain in terms of pain duration and location. The most important risk factors for specific and non-specific back pain are presented in the following section.

sitting for a long time

Today, education about the risks of long-term sitting is more widespread and relevant than ever. In addition to low levels of physical activity in leisure time, the focus here is primarily on ergonomic problems at the workplace. Due to the long-term sitting posture, the tendons, ligaments and intervertebral discs become soft. As a result, their stabilizing ability decreases. To ensure that this does not lead to painful back problems caused by tense muscles, regular breaks from standing and moving can help.

incorrect loading

Long-term heavy or one-sided strain on the back has serious health consequences. On the one hand, the overloaded muscle and tissue structures can lead to painful permanent tension, irritation or inflammation. On the other hand, muscle groups that are not used much can recede. The imbalance in turn leads to painful after-effects. Lifting and carrying heavy loads and working in a long-term, contorted posture should therefore be avoided. Work areas in which these movements are unavoidable should provide information about back-friendly measures.

Psychosocial risk factors

The influence of a stressed psyche as a risk factor for back pain should not be underestimated. A high level of dissatisfaction at work puts the body in a state of stress. Triggers can be conflicts with colleagues or a lack of appreciation for one's own achievements. The psychological stress then turns symptomatically into physical complaints. In some people, this manifests itself as a stomach ache or headache. In other cases, it is a cause of back pain.

Disc related disease

The risks of an incorrectly supplied intervertebral disc due to a lack of loading and unloading are explained in detail in the section "The number one cause of pain - the intervertebral disc". For the sake of completeness, however, we have listed them again here as an important risk factor.

genetic disposition

Damage to health is not always acquired over time or through specific incidents. According to a study by the University of Sydney ( ), in the case of chronic back pain, some back problems are genetic. The result of the twin study showed that chronic back problems are inherited in about one third of the cases.

mobility loss in old age

Due to the years of stress on the back areas, changes in the structure of the spine naturally occur with age. The signs of wear and tear have many causes. Over time, our bones lose density and become more unstable. Bone loss (osteoporosis), however, is when this process reaches a dangerous level. The risk of fractures such as a vertebral fracture increases, which in turn can lead to pressure soreness and limited mobility. Ossification of the vertebrae can also occur, for example, in the context of spinal arthrosis. If they squeeze a nerve, it causes intense pain.


As a risk factor, being overweight with a BMI of 30+ refers to the aspect of improper stress. The body weight puts strain on the spine with every movement. In this case, everyday life resembles a permanent strain on the back. A healthy lifestyle is also referred to here, but weight is not always dependent on a healthy or unhealthy lifestyle.

Unfortunately, even those who are well informed about the risk factors and try to avoid them are not always spared from back pain. However, those affected are not helplessly at the mercy of acute or chronic pain in the back area. Specialist centers for spinal surgery, such as your Apex-Spine Spine Center, offer a wide range of surgical and non-surgical treatment options to counteract back problems and improve quality of life again.