» Blog
» What Causes Inflammation in the Back

What Causes Inflammation in the Back?

What Causes Inflammation in the Back

Back pain in Orleans ON is a common ailment that affects many people by making them feel uncomfortable, in pain, and immobile.

Knowing the root causes of back inflammation can guide one toward finding ways to effectively manage and treat this condition. 

This article will discuss different factors that contribute to causing back swelling as well as offer some insight on how to relieve its symptoms. Moreover, we will take a look at the back pain physiotherapy Orleans provided by Orleans Physiotherapy experts.

Injury or Trauma

Among the leading reasons why there might be an inflammatory reaction in someone’s back is due to injuries or traumas incurred on their muscles, ligaments, and bones in that particular area. Such damages could result from sudden movements, falls, accidents, or even bad posture over time.

When we get hurt our bodies respond by starting off an inflammation process so as to shield the damaged part while at the same time enhancing healing. Inflammations are characterized by redness, swelling as well as pain around the injured site such as backache.

As an example, slipping or falling down which impacts one’s back may lead to muscle strains or stretched ligaments thus prompting swelling since these tissues need repairing by the human body.

Disc Herniation or Degeneration

The backbone is made up of vertebrae and discs that act as shock absorbers between the vertebrae. These discs can degenerate or rupture over time, which means that the soft inner part of the disc bulges outward and presses on the nerves around it, causing irritation.

Disc rupture may come about because of advanced age, trauma, or overuse of the back. Should the disc matter push against any one nerve root then it may lead to an inflammation-mediated response characterized by pain signals transmitted through these nerves; hence patients experience numbness and even weakness in such areas. 

For this reason, a “slipped” or “bulging” disk is often referred to as one of the most painful types of back problems associated with inflammation.


Arthritis can also cause back inflammation especially osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Osteoarthritis is a disease that occurs when there’s breakdown over time so much so that bones begin rubbing against each other due to cartilage loss within joints. 

This rubbing together creates friction leading into inflammations alongside pains not only at those particular but generally throughout different parts too including spinal ones particularly lower back regions where stiffness sets more frequently than others.

However; rheumatoid arthritis is another type altogether being an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks its own tissues for example joints among many others. The result usually entails chronic swelling plus aches within various parts such as the back too.

Spinal Stenosis

This is the narrowing of spaces in the spine that causes pressure on the nerves and spinal cord. The reduction can be because of several reasons including; growing old, bone overgrowths, herniated discs thickened ligaments etcetera. Whenever the area within one’s backbone becomes constricted it leads to an inflamed and irritated nerve which may cause backache among other signs.

People with spinal stenosis might have more pain due to swelling when they walk or stand for long periods as these activities can compress further on their nerves or even the spinal cord.

Inflammatory Conditions

There are some inflammatory diseases like AS that can directly cause inflammation in the back. Ankylosing Spondylitis is a kind of arthritis that mainly affects joints between vertebrae and sacroiliac ones (joints connecting the pelvis). This disease leads to continuous inflammations thus making back muscles stiff and painful.

Other than AS, conditions such as PsA alongside IBDs may also lead to secondary symptoms showing as backaches resulting from inflamed areas anywhere in one’s body.

Lifestyle Factors

Besides, other factors of life like being overweight, poor posture, smoking, or not engaging in physical activities also contribute to back inflammation. If you sit or stand with bad posture for long periods it can strain muscles and joints around your spine thereby causing chronic inflammation.

Being fat or obese puts extra weight which loads and stresses your spine hence leading to pain due to swelling. Smoking increases the chances of having disc disease (degeneration) among others within the backbone that may result in inflamed backs.


Some infections particularly if they affect the spinal cord or tissues around it can result in back inflammation. For instance, a collection of pus known as an epidural abscess forms near the spinal cords thus causing severe pains alongside inflammations in the lower back. There are also those types such as bone infection (osteomyelitis) or disc infection (discitis) which provoke an inflammatory reaction within the back.

They occur because immune systems have been compromised; surgeries were recently done on them, while others happen following the spread from one body part where there was already an infected area. 

It is important that these ailments should be diagnosed early enough so that appropriate treatment through the use of antibiotics can be used lest surgical procedures will have to take place in order to deal with underlying problems related to infections plus reduce levels of inflammation.

Autoimmune Disorders

Back inflammation can be caused by more than just rheumatoid arthritis — it can also stem from other autoimmune diseases. For instance, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), ankylosing spondylitis (which we have already discussed), and psoriatic arthritis can all make the immune system attack its own tissues, thereby causing back and other parts of the body to become inflamed.

These disorders may affect joints as well as muscles or connective tissues in one’s back; hence they cause persistent pain together with stiffness coupled with swelling. It is possible for a person to get relief from this condition by treating what lies beneath such as medication among others while still modifying a lifestyle that may have triggered autoimmunity so that not only the back but also other parts of our bodies do not have inflammation.

Stress and Muscle Tension

Inflammation in the back could alternatively be brought about by chronic stress alongside muscle tension. When we are stressed for long periods of time, our muscles tend to contract and tighten which leads to them putting extra pressure on surrounding structures such as those found around the spinal column.

This state makes blood flow hard due to limited space made available thus oxygen supply cannot reach these affected regions thus creating ground for inflammations. Moreover, bad sitting positions because of tension caused by stress will strain somebody`s lower part again leading to more severe cases involving inflammatory processes there since it supports most weight above us.


There are many reasons why someone may have back inflammation such as a spinal stenosis, arthritis, lifestyle choices, or even an inflammatory condition. 

It is important to know what caused this in order to help treat it correctly. Therefore, you should see your doctor who will be able to diagnose exactly what is wrong with you before giving advice on how best to relieve pain and cure the cause behind it.

If you want the best and most customized treatment plan for your back inflammation, you can contact Orleans Physiotherapy experts.

We're now offering Physiotherapy services in the comfort of your home. Get in touch with us to schedule a physiotherapy appointment at home.