Back Pain Problems Classified by Location and Duration

Back pain can occur for many different reasons. Pain in the lower back can develop because of:

  • Problems with the nerves and the spinal cord
  • Problems with the lower back muscles or with the ligaments that support the vertebrae and discs
  • Problems with the lumbar spine or the discs
  • Problems in the skin over-laying the lumbar area of the back
  • Problems with the organs inside the abdomen and pelvis
Upper back pain can occur as a result of problems with the aorta, inflammation of  the spine or due to chest tumors. 

Some people with back pain also have related symptoms in other parts of their body such as buttock pain, muscle cramps or hip pain.  

Back pain can be classified by where it is located in the body: neck pain, middle or lower back pain and tailbone pain. It can also be classified by how long it lasts:

  • Acute Pain: This lasts up to 12 weeks
  • Subacute: This is the last half of the acute phase. It lasts from 6 to 12 weeks.
  • Chronic: If pain lasts longer than 12 weeks, it is considered chronic

There are many different types of pain. It can come on suddenly and be sharp and severe, or it can be a dull ache. Pain sometimes only occurs with movement, or when you cough or sneeze. A feeling of numbness or tingling can also become painful.