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Backache has many causes

Dr. Martin Buchholz
Dr. Martin Buchholz

Who has never known backache? Three in four Germans suffer from backache at least once in their lives. Younger people suffer more frequently than the elderly. The good news is that more than 90% of all cases of backache are uncomplicated. Serious diseases are only rarely the cause. There is a lot that backache sufferers can do for themselves to ensure that the pain disappears again soon.

Backache can have both physical and psychic causes – often these factors have a mutual effect. The most frequent cause is muscle tension resulting from incorrect posture, one-sided strain and a lack of exercise. This puts uneven strain on the muscles. "Some muscle groups are under too much strain, others under too little. As a result, muscles shorten or harden. Muscular imbalance of this kind causes tension and pain. The back becomes instable", is the explanation given by Dr. Martin Buchholz (orthopaedic specialist from Hamburg -

Together with muscle-related backache, disorders of nervous functions are the second most frequent cause of backache, accounting for about five percent. "A trapped nerve, constriction of the point where a nerve joints the spinal column or neuritis can cause severe pain", Dr. Buchholz says in describing the effects. Other causes such as broken bones or tumours are much rarer and only responsible for about one percent of all backache.