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What causes back pain and low back pain? 28 possible conditions

See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.


Slipped (Herniated) Disk

The vertebrae in your spine are cushioned by disks composed of a hard outer ring with a gelatinous material inside. Injury or weakness can cause the inner portion of the disk to break through the outer portion.

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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the reproductive organs in women. It's marked by pain in the abdomen, especially during urination or sex.

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Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a condition in which the spinal column narrows, gradually compressing the spinal cord. If the narrowing is minimal, symptoms won't occur. Too much narrowing can compress the nerves and cause problems.

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Sprains & Strains

Sprains and strains are injuries to the body, often resulting from physical activity. These injuries are common and can range from minor to severe, depending on the incident. Most don't require medical attention.

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The sciatic nerve begins at the spinal cord, stretching through the hips and buttocks, and down each leg. When this nerve is irritated, you will experience sciatica, a painful, weak, or numb sensation in these areas.

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Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of arthritis that primarily affects your spine. It causes severe inflammation of the vertebrae that might eventually lead to chronic pain and disability.

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Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are solid masses of crystalized calcium or other substances that originate in the kidneys but can pass through the urinary tract. The greatest risk factor is making less than one liter of urine per day.

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Osteoporosis is a bone disease due to calcium loss. As a result the bones lose strength and density. People are usually unaware that they have the condition until they experience a fracture.

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Scoliosis is an unnatural curvature of the spine. The normal shape of the spine includes a top-of-the-shoulder curve and a lower back curve. Scoliosis causes the spine to curve from side to side or in an "S" or "C...

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Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. BMI is calculated using a person's weight and height. It can lead to other conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

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Uterine Prolapse

If the muscles or ligaments that hold the uterus (womb) in place stretch or become weak, prolapse occurs. Uterine prolapse occurs when the uterus sags or slips from its normal position and into the vagina (birth canal).

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Bleeding or spotting, increased need to urinate, tender breasts, fatigue, nausea, and missed period are signs of pregnancy.

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Miscarriage (spontaneous abortion) is an event that results in the loss of a fetus during early pregnancy. There are many types and causes. Symptoms include heavy spotting, vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, and more.

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PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)

PMS symptoms start five to 11 days before menstruation and typically go away once menstruation begins. The cause of PMS is unknown.

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What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread, unexplained pain in tender points in muscles and joints, including the head, neck, and sides of hips.

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Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate gland, which produces a fluid found in semen. The inflammation may spread to the area around the prostate. Causes include bladder infection, STDs, and injuries to the prostate.

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Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that affects plasma cells, which are the white blood cells that make antibodies. Multiple myeloma causes groups of abnormal plasma cells to accumulate in the bones, which can lead t...

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Endometriosis is a disorder in which the tissue that forms the lining of your uterus grows outside of your uterine cavity. The lining is called the endometrium.

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Spinal Cord Abscess

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Spinal cord abscess (SCA) is a rare condition capable of causing permanent damage to the spinal cord. Abscesses are caused when injured tissue becomes infected. The body's immune system sends white blood cells to hel...

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Ectopic Pregnancy

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Ectopic pregnancies occur when a fertilized egg fails to attach to the uterus. In most ectopic pregnancies, the egg will attach to the fallopian tubes. Less common, it may also attach to the abdominal cavity or cervix...

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This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.