Non specific or simple, mechanical low back ache is one of the most common causes of back pain - more than 90% of you will have this particular back problem.
The Top Three Causes of Back Pain
There are three main types:
1.non-specific or simple is the largest group of the three (95%)
2.nerve irritation (sciatica or pinched nerve (<5%)
3.problems which are distinct and specific e.g. like a fracture,cancer or an infection. These more serious problems are much less common (less than 1% of the total).
You can read more about number 2 + 3 in the sciatica and serious back problem sections
The diagnosis 'non-specific', 'simple' or 'common' is a bit like a bucket - inside that container are all sorts of different things that may be contributing to your problem including:
All these different problems go into this bucket. But they do have one thing in common - we can't pin point the exact tissue that is causing your back ache - so that is why it is called 'non-specific'.
The name alone - 'non-specific' - tells us a lot about what we know about this type of backache. What the name says is that this is a problem can't be pinned down to an exact cause.
We do know what it isn't:
But it is very hard, often impossible, to be 100% certain about the exact cause of the ache, where it is coming from and why you may have it.
The names are based on:
But all these names are really describing 'non-specific' back problems.
Balagué, F. et al., 2012. Non-specific low back pain. The Lancet, 379(9814), pp.482–91.