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The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Where Does It Hurt? Your Guide to Pain in Various Muscles of the Back


Back pain is a common problem that affects most people.

People that have intense jobs that require a lot of physical labor are prone to back pain because they put stress on their muscles. Those that don’t have a healthy posture or are overweight are also likely to develop back pain.

The spine and the muscles of the back are the two main things that suffer pain. If you’re someone that has back pain or wants to prevent it, we must identify what some of the symptoms and causes are.

Read on to learn more about how to identify back pain, what causes it, and how you can prevent it.


Back pain typically comes with a variety of symptoms depending on where the pain is. Muscle ache and stabbing pain are common most of the time. In some cases, you can feel a pain that feels as though it’s radiating down your leg.

Many people say their pain worsens when they start doing physical activity, such as bending, lifting, or walking. Feeling temporary relief when reclining is also a common symptom. Some people will feel pain when they lie down flat on their backs.

When to See a Doctor

Seeing a doctor for back pain isn’t a bad option if you’ve already tried to treat the problem. Most people can do self-care to relieve pain with a few weeks. However, you should go to a doctor if your back hasn’t improved at all.

If your back hurts after you’ve recently fallen or had something strike your back, you should seek immediate care. This is because there’s a chance that there’s much more causing the pain than just muscles, such as a broken bone.

While trying to recover, you should see a doctor if the pain doesn’t improve with rest. If the pain starts spreading throughout the body, specifically the legs, you should contact a doctor for advice. Weakness, numbness, and tingling are also valid reasons to contact one.

Causes of Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common things that people suffer from. It’s caused by a variety of things, but the pain usually goes away within a few weeks. The exact cause for your pain can’t be determined unless you visit a doctor, but here are some of the main causes:

Muscle or Ligament Strain

Muscle and ligament strains are caused by overuse. These strains typically result from aggressive activities, such as heavy lifting or repeating an awkward movement. Those that aren’t in good physical condition are more prone to strain their back because of back spasms.

Bulging or Ruptured Disks

Disks sit between the bones in your spine and act as cushions to prevent them from rubbing against one another. These disks are made of soft material, so they can sometimes bulge or rupture. When doing so, they can end up pressing on a nerve. However, not all bulging or ruptured disks cause back pain.


Arthritis is another common problem that many people have. This is the result of inflammation around joints, and there are several in the spine anatomy. As the inflammation worsens, it can become difficult for people to move because the spine has little space around it.

Poor Posture

Poor posture is mostly accompanied with lower back pain. Poor posture can be a result of standing awkwardly or sitting while hunched forward. When you’re hunched forward, the muscles in your back have to work harder to hold yourself up.

Standing in an awkward position can leave your back unaligned. Walking also plays a part because some people don’t use proper footwear or have a balanced walk. People that work on uneven terrain usually develop poor posture because their back is never straight.


While back pain is common in many individuals, it can be prevented by doing a variety of things. If you’ve noticed that you have back pain after you’ve started doing something, that could be a sign that the activity is what’s causing your pain.


Exercise can be highly effective when preventing back pain because it can help you increase your muscle strength and endurance. Whenever muscles aren’t trained, they don’t have the power to withstand stress.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Keeping your weight at a healthy level prevents your spine from compressing. When the spine compresses, you can run into disk issues and muscle strain. A look at an ideal height and weight chart will give you a good idea of how much you should be at for optimal health.

Sit with a Healthy Posture

If you’re someone that sits at a computer for several hours at a time, you must sit up straight. The best way to do is by leaning forward with your back straight as you sit. You can then raise yourself to a normal position.

When you sit like this, you’re ensuring that your pelvis isn’t at a 90° angle, which puts a lot less strain on your lower back. Each hour, try to get up and walk around for a few minutes. You should also make sure your monitor is at eye level that way you don’t have to lean your head forward.

Start Training the Muscles of the Back Today

Back pain can result from many things, but developing your muscles is one way to ensure that you keep a healthy core. Because people usually get back pain from overuse or poor posture, training the muscles of the back will give them the strength they need to withstand pressure.

You can do exercises at home or the gym, but try to hit your back muscles at least twice a week. As they getting stronger, you can hit them once a week to maintain them. Also, try to avoid sitting at computers for long periods. You need to move around to keep your back healthy.

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