Is Back Pain Always Caused by a Hernia?

Most people used to think that back pain is primarily caused by a hernia. But it’s just a common misperception. Causes of back pain are divided into three types:

  • Pain, which is related to compression of the nerve root (radiculopathy)
  • Pain, caused by injuries, tumors or infection
  • Musculoskeletal pain

Pain related to hernia compression of nerve roots occurs in 4-7 percent of cases. It can be expected that herniated disc is a relatively rare pathology, but it isn’t. When examining patients aged 20 to 60, independently of the presence of pain, it was found that 23 percent of patients don’t even know they have a hernia and don’t feel any discomfort. This suggests that a hernia may be symptomless. Most people usually feel musculoskeletal pain.

Muscle Loading    

Over 85 percent of cases of chronic or episodic pain is related to excessive lower backloading. Even if you don’t do sports, don’t lift weights, your spine muscles are overloaded daily. If your back pain doesn’t disappear within two weeks, your spine requires more detailed examination.   

Compression Fracture

Approximately 4 percent of patients with back pain have a compression fracture. A compression fracture is a collapse of the vertebra. It may be due to injury or to a weakening vertebra. It is most common among older people and people with osteoporosis.

Spinal Disc Herniation

Spinal disc herniation is a pretty common problem among people over 40. It is caused by degeneration of muscle and connective tissue. Hits to the back, injuries from a fall, lifting weights also provoke the development of this disease. There is a high risk of spinal disk herniation development in people with osteochondrosis, with bad posture or with spinal disorders. Symptoms of the disease may differ depending on its localization (in the lumbar, cervical or thoracic regions).

Symptoms of spinal disc herniation in the lumbar region

  • Urinary system dysfunction
  • Numbness or tingling (of the toes or in the groin area)
  • Hard pain in the lumbar, legs  

Symptoms of spinal disc herniation in the cervical and thoracic regions

  • A headache and dizziness
  • Numbness of fingers
  • Hypertension oscillations
  • Constant back pain


0.7 percent of patients with complaints on back pain have malignant tumors. It may be cancer localized in the spinal region or tumors metastasized from other organs. The symptoms of spinal cancer depend on several factors, such as tumor size, location or type. Common spinal cancer symptoms include:

  • Numbness
  • Pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficult urination
  • Spinal deformities
  • General loss of sensation    


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