Low Back pain can be caused by a number of spinal conditions. Sometimes it is useful for back specialists to understand back problems by dividing the problems into different categories, Mechanical vs Compressive pain.
Mechanical pain is often called back strain because is linked with the movement, or “the mechanics” of the spine. This type of pain occurs when injury to the spine’s discs, facet joints, ligaments, or muscles results in inflammation. It is called mechanical pain because it relates to the mechanics of your spine. The more you use the back, the more it hurts. This pain can be caused by many conditions in the spine. These conditions include: fractures of the vertebra, muscle strains in the paraspinal muscles, ligament injures in the spine, and wear and tear of the spine’s joints and discs.
Compressive pain is a result of pressure or irritation on the spinal cord, or nerves that leave the spine. For example, if an intervertebral disc herniates (usually called a ruptured disc) and pushes into the spinal canal, it can cause problems with the nerve. Usually this pressure or irritation causes pain, numbness, and muscle weakness where the nerve travels.
Each part of the spine can cause pain. It can be helpful to understand which part of the spine is causing your back pain and whether the pain is from a Compressive or mechanical type problem.