Little Known Causes of Back Pain

Maybe you tweaked your back while lifting something heavy, or you developed a herniated disc in your spine, causing great discomfort. The fact is, the causes of back pain are widespread.

At Summit Pain Alliance, our team of back pain experts has treated all types of back pain at our practice, and we understand that there are practically as many causes of back pain as we have patients.

To give you an idea, here’s a look at some of the less common causes of back pain.

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction

Your spine is divided into five sections:

Your sacrum is located at the base of your spine, and its role is critical — it connects your spine to your pelvis. The primary role of your sacroiliac joint is to absorb the shock between your upper and lower body, which means it’s under a significant amount of stress.

If this joint becomes inflamed (sacroiliitis) or there’s too much or too little motion within the joint, it can lead to back pain.


This condition is more common among younger people (kids and teens), occurring when there’s a fracture between two vertebrae, usually due to repeated stress or soft bones. 

The exact area in question is a section of your vertebrae called the pars interarticularis — a small bone that connects your facet joints — links one vertebra to another along your spinal column.


If your vertebrae are unstable, you may develop spondylolisthesis — a condition in which a vertebra slips out of place and onto the vertebra below.

This condition can be congenital or due to degenerative processes in your spine that rob your vertebrae of support.

Spinal tumors

Another possible cause of back pain is tumors that develop along your spine. In most cases, the tumors are the result of cancer that has spread, such as:

In other words, a tumor on your spine is generally not the primary cancer. Rather, it is the result of another cancer.

Autoimmune disease

Certain autoimmune diseases can cause problems with back pain, including:

Since your back pain is often related to an underlying disease, the treatment often is based on addressing the root cause.

At Summit Pain Alliance, our pain management specialists are here to help. If you want to get to the bottom of your back pain, contact one of our two locations in Petaluma or Santa Rosa, California.

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