Does your back or legs hurt? Learn about common causes of back and leg pain here:

Common Causes of Leg and Back Pain

Does your back hurt? Have your legs been hurting? Back pain is one of the most common reasons for a trip to the doctor. There's a lot of things that can cause pain in the back and legs, and it can seem overwhelming. This article will go over some of the common causes of back and leg pain.


This article refers to acute and chronic pain. Acute pain is sudden, sharp, and related to tissue damage. Acute pain can subside instantly or last three to six months. If acute pain isn't relieved, it can lead to chronic pain. Chronic pain continues even after an injury has healed and lasts more than three to six months. The source of chronic pain can be something identifiable, like an ongoing injury, or something unidentifiable, like when no injury is present. Chronic pain is described as an aching, deep, burning or dull feeling that carries into the extremities.


Overstretched muscles or ligaments are the cause of most back pain. Some causes of acute back pain include improper lifting, strenuous physical effort, poor sitting or standing posture, sleeping position, and stress and muscle tension. Pregnancy, lack of muscle tone, and surplus weight can also cause acute back pain. Back pain can also be caused by a structural or mechanical problem, like sciatica or a bulging or ruptured disc. Osteoporosis and arthritis are also structural problems that can contribute to back pain. Developmental problems caused by abnormal formation of the skeleton, like scoliosis or kyphosis, can also cause back pain. Tumors, trauma, and inflammations and infections can also contribute to back pain.


Leg pain may actually be due to pain or degenerative problems in the lumbar section of the spine. Trauma, genetics, and the aging process can all damage or put pressure on intervertebral discs. This can compress nerves that lead to other areas of the body, like the arms and legs. Sciatica is an example of leg pain caused by problems in the lumbar spine.

All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

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