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Back pain is often caused by overuse, strain, or injury. For example, people often hurt their backs playing sports or working in the yard, being jolted in a car accident, or lifting something too heavy.
Aging plays a part too. Your bones and muscles tend to lose strength as you age, which makes injury more likely. The spongy discs between the bones of the spine (vertebrae) may suffer from wear and tear and no longer provide enough cushion between the bones. A disc that bulges or breaks open (herniated disc) can press on nerves, causing back pain.
In some people, back pain is the result of arthritis, broken vertebrae caused by bone loss (osteoporosis), illness, or a spine problem.
Although most people have back pain at one time or another, there are steps you can take to make it less likely.
The Stanford Medicine Online Second Opinion program offers you easy access to our world-class doctors. It’s all done remotely and you don’t have to visit our hospital or one of our clinics for this service. You don’t even need to leave home!