The symptoms of chronic back pain usually come gradually, to the point of severe discomfort that does not go away. In fact, it's different from acute pain, where the patient can identify the source of the pain, and it goes away once the problem is treated with physiotherapy. 

With chronic back pain, you may feel discomfort in different areas of the back, and it may be accompanied by other manifestations, such as fatigue, mood swings, and difficulty sleeping.

What Are the Causes of Chronic Back Pain?

Most people believe that chronic back pain is often caused by either degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, arthritis, or scoliosis. While these conditions can indeed cause back pain, many other potential causes exist. Some of the most common causes of chronic back pain include:

1. Muscle Deconditioning

Muscle deconditioning can happen when your muscles suddenly stop working correctly and start feeling weak. This might be because of a sudden change in your activity level or not getting enough exercise. If this happens, you may usually experience muscle pain, difficulty moving muscles, and weakness. And if the situation worsens, it could lead to injury, and inability to perform routine daily activities.

2. Improper Posture

Did you know that bad habits can affect your posture and how you carry yourself? The tendons in your back, shoulders and neck can all be affected by poor posture. If you slouch when you sit or stand with your weight on one leg, your muscles can become weak, and your posture can suffer.

Other habits that can affect your posture include:

  • Sleeping on your stomach
  • Wearing high heels
  • Regularly carrying a heavy backpack
  • Rocking back and forth when you sit
  • Sandwiching the phone between your ear and shoulder

If you have these bad habits, try to break them and practice good posture instead. You may find that your muscles get more robust, and your posture improves.

3. Genetics and Aging

Of course, as you grow older, your muscles become less elastic, and your bone density decreases. A loss of muscle mass and bone density can lead to joint problems, such as arthritis and back pain.

Genetic predisposition also plays a role in your body type and shape. Some people naturally develop a body type that’s susceptible to back pain. This can be worsened by poor posture and a lack of exercise.

4. Traumatic Events

A traumatic injury can be a reason behind chronic pain. For example, experiencing a car accident or tripping on the stairs can cause you to develop chronic pain. Other reasons for chronic pain include:

  • Chronic stress: Living in an environment with a lot of stress can also lead to chronic pain.
  • Injury: If you have suffered an injury, your body may find it difficult to heal properly, leading to persistent pain.


There are many causes of chronic back pain, but some most common are related to lifestyle choices. If you are going through chronic back pain, you must consult a physiotherapist to rule out the most common causes and start treatment for those causes.

If you’re looking to see a sports physiotherapist to help you with your back pain, we have you covered. Whitehorse Physiotherapy offers an extensive range of physiotherapy services, as well as acupuncture, orthopedics, manual therapy, and other services. Schedule a session with us today!

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