The ICD-10 code for “Unspecified Back Pain” is a coding designation used in medical billing and coding to categorize cases where the exact cause or location of back pain is not explicitly identified or specified. This code is employed when the healthcare provider’s documentation does not provide enough information to assign a more precise code for the back pain.

Common Causes:

  1. Obesity (Body Mass Index, BMI):
    • While there isn’t a specific ICD-10 code for obesity itself, you may find codes related to comorbid conditions such as:
      • E66.9 – Obesity, unspecified.
      • E66.01 – Morbid (severe) obesity due to excess calories.
  2. Poor Posture:
    • M99.01 – Segmental and somatic dysfunction of cervical region.
    • M99.02 – Segmental and somatic dysfunction of thoracic region.
    • M99.03 – Segmental and somatic dysfunction of lumbar region.
  3. Muscle Weakness or Imbalance:
    • M62.81 – Muscle weakness (generalized).
  4. Sedentary Lifestyle:
    • Z72.0 – Sedentary lifestyle.
  5. Smoking:
    • Z72.89 – Other problems related to lifestyle.
    • F17.29 – Nicotine dependence, other tobacco product.
  6. Age:
    • M54.5 – Low back pain (commonly associated with age-related degeneration).
  7. Occupational Risks (e.g., heavy lifting, prolonged sitting):
    • Z56.1 – Occupational exposure to prolonged sitting.
  8. Stress:
    • F43.8 – Other reaction to severe stress.
  9. Herniated Disc:
    • M51.2 – Other specified intervertebral disc displacement.
  10. Degenerative Disc Disease:
    • M51.3 – Other intervertebral disc degeneration.

Codes assign to each type of back pain

  1. M54.5 – Low back pain:
    • Unspecified low back pain, including lumbago.
  2. M54.9 – Dorsalgia, unspecified:
    • Unspecified back pain, covering both upper and lower back.
  3. M54.41 – Lumbago with sciatica, right side:
    • Low back pain with sciatica on the right side.
  4. M54.42 – Lumbago with sciatica, left side:
    • Low back pain with sciatica on the left side.
  5. M54.51 – Radiculopathy, thoracic region:
    • Radiculopathy in the thoracic (upper) spine.
  6. M54.6 – Pain in thoracic spine:
    • Non-specific pain in the thoracic (upper) spine.
  7. M54.59 – Other dorsalgia:
    • Other specified dorsalgia conditions not covered by other codes.
  8. M54.89 – Other dorsalgia:
    • Other specified dorsalgia conditions not covered by specific codes.
  9. M54.12 – Radiculopathy, cervical region:
    • Radiculopathy in the cervical (neck) region.
  10. M54.13 – Radiculopathy, cervicothoracic region:
    • Radiculopathy in the cervicothoracic region.
  11. M54.14 – Radiculopathy, thoracolumbar region:
    • Radiculopathy in the thoracolumbar region.
  12. M54.15 – Radiculopathy, lumbar region:
    • Radiculopathy in the lumbar region.
  13. M54.16 – Radiculopathy, lumbosacral region:
    • Radiculopathy in the lumbosacral region.
  14. M54.17 – Radiculopathy, sacral and sacrococcygeal region:
    • Radiculopathy in the sacral and sacrococcygeal region.
  15. M53.89 – Other specified dorsopathies:
    • Includes other specified disorders of the spine that may cause back pain.
  16. M53.9 – Dorsopathy, unspecified:
    • Unspecified disorder of the spine.
  17. M51.36 – Other intervertebral disc degeneration, lumbar region:
    • Other specified intervertebral disc degeneration in the lumbar region.
  18. M51.37 – Other intervertebral disc degeneration, lumbosacral region:
    • Other specified intervertebral disc degeneration in the lumbosacral region.


In conclusion, it is vital to precisely articulate the patient’s condition and select the most specific code available. Thorough and clear documentation is essential to substantiate the chosen code. It is advised to refer to the latest edition of the ICD-10 coding manual for any revisions or updates. Additionally, adherence to payer-specific guidelines and coding conventions is crucial for ensuring accurate and compliant medical billing.

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