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Causes of Back Pain in Men

Back pain is a very common problem for many individuals, especially among adults. However, it is much less likely that a man will seek the help of a spine surgeon than a woman will. Even though men are much more prone to developing back pain since their work commonly requires some form of manual labor, they seek medical attention less often. There are many different causes of back pain in men; some are as natural as aging while other causes can need surgery to correct. It is very important for men to seek medical attention of a spine surgeon to rule out anything serious. Here are some of the most common causes of back pain in men.

Overuse and Strain of Aging

One of the most common causes of back pain in men is aging. As an individual reaches their 50s they begin to show more prominent signs of aging. The metabolism slows down and usually their physical activity becomes less. Since the back muscles are not being used like they were in the younger years, the back begins to be painful. On the other extreme, oftentimes as men age they ignore the physical changes that their bodies are experiencing and end up overusing muscles. When there is too much physical activity the body can experience all sorts of injuries and this includes back injuries.

Kidney Stones can cause Back Pain

Developing kidney stones is much more prevalent in men than women; and they occur more frequently as men age. When kidney stones are present they can cause pain that originates in the back and radiates around to the side. Men who have kidney stones may have pain in the back, abdominal region or flank and they may also have an increased urge to urinate, nausea or a sensation of burning when urinating. The pain may come and go since the pain will only occur as the kidney stones move. When there is a new onset of back or flank pain which is severe, it should be evaluated by a medical professional to ensure that it is not something more serious.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Many times an abdominal aortic aneurysm is misdiagnosed. Men are about 5 times more likely to suffer from this condition than women. The first sign of an abdominal aortic aneurysm is back pain. This is because the blood vessels which carry blood to the pelvic area and lower extremities balloon out and then rupture. This is a full blown aneurysm. Men who are over 50 years of age may experience cramping in their legs and feet while walking. Those who have heart disease or hypertension are more likely to develop an abdominal aortic aneurysm and need to seek help from a medical professional. In order to prevent risking a ruptured blood vessel, an abdominal aortic aneurysm should be treated with surgery as soon as it is possible.


It is commonly thought that only women are vulnerable to osteoporosis, but about 12% of men can suffer from this ailment. It can cause bones to break easily and can be very painful. There are other diseases such as arthritis, spinal stenosis and disc problems which can cause men back pain. These conditions can be properly diagnosed through an MRI or an X-ray.

Can back pain in men be prevented?

There are a few ways for men to strengthen their back and possibly prevent back pain altogether. By observing good posture some forms of mild back pain can be prevented. Using a foam roller is a way to loosen up some of the tight muscles that can help alleviate problems. Low stress activities such as yoga can also help reduce chronic back pain and bring some significant relief. Regular exercise can also be a way to prevent back pain when it is done in moderation. Inactivity can cause muscles to atrophy and lose strength by practicing low impact exercises the back can be strengthened which can prevent injuries down the road. It is also important to contact a spine surgeon at the first sign of pain that does not go away in just a day or two. A proper diagnosis can prevent the condition from worsening.