Back Pain Causes

When Your Back Hurts, What Could be Wrong?

There are a many different health conditions that have to be differentially diagnosied when searching for your back pain causes.

Below is a list of them, starting with the easiest ones to ‘cure’. The treatments used for these back pain causes are also included.

  1. Wearing the Wrong Shoes

Not very many people will suspect that incorrectly sized shoes are related to back pain; yet Brazilian scientists found a clear relationship between women wearing shoes that were a size larger that what they needed, and back pain. Source:

Getting the proper sized shoes is your starting point here, although it may be difficult to do for those with bunions. Also, if you may need shoes to match your foot type (high arches, low arches, and neutral arches). This may be exacerbated in running shoes as well since the forces applied to the feet during running are much higher and these forces are transmitted to the low back.

  1. Dehydration Should be Listed in Back Pain Causes

Not drinking enough water is a good way to cause a decline in your health. Dr. Batmanghelidj, author of Your Body’s Many Cries for Water, believes that most adults are dehydrated. If you aren’t drinking water regularly, you are setting yourself up for dehydration, if not already dehydrated.

Every nutrient your body needs is dissolved into water; the nutrients need this water in order to nourish the tissues. When it comes to the back, the vertebral discs and cartilage need to drink up water to nourish these areas.

Increase your water consumption by at least an extra quart a day for a month and see what happens to your pain level. You may see an immediate difference.

  1. Ligament or Muscle Tears

It’s possible to tear a ligament or muscle in a variety of ways, including during sports activities and/or trauma.

Treatment may include the application of ice, heat, resting the body part temporarily for a few days, and proper nutrients to help decrease inflammation and speed up healing.

  1. Back Strain from Exercise or Overuse

Rest for a few days is an important component of healing with this cause of back pain. However, researchers have found that resting more than a few days can be associated with muscle weakness that causes further pain and degeneration.

Researchers tested over 200 patients with low back pain by putting them into two groups – one that received 2 days bed rest and the other that received 7 days bed rest. After three weeks and three months, the researchers evaluated the patients.  Those who received two days bed rest missed 45% fewer days of work than those in Group 2.  Source: Most doctors now recommend early mobility to prevent prolonging the pain.

  1. Muscle Tension

Muscle tension can easily result from poor posture or ergonomically correct chairs that you sit on at your job. To determine whether or not muscle tension is causing your back pain, switch chairs at work and see if your pain decreases. Your back pain relief could be that simple.

  1. Poor Muscle Tone

Lack of exercise results in muscles that tend to wither away, called atrophy. Smaller withered muscles are unable to support as much weight as larger muscles.

Getting on a good exercise program such as the Body For Life Program by Bill Phillips can make a big difference in back pain caused by poor muscle tone.

Phillips’ program only takes three gym workouts a week, each for 42-46 minutes, and the results have been incredible for thousands of people. Many have reported back pain relief. And working out with weights is excellent for better posture as well.

  1. Nutritional Deficiencies – Unknown Back Pain Causes

Calcium deficiency can cause back pain. Magnesium can cause back pain due to the constipation that it causes. Manganese deficiency can cause joint problems. Vitamin D deficiency can be related to back pain because this vitamin helps your body absorb calcium.

And these aren’t the only nutrient deficiencies related to back pain. Nutritional deficiencies can also contribute to osteoporosis.

If you want back pain relief, treatment involves diagnosis of the deficiencies or osteoporosis to start. Next, consultations with a dietitian/nutritionist who can help you plan meals that are tasty, full of nutrition, and healing to your body are necessary. Treatment also involves taking a multiple vitamin / mineral supplement daily.  Link to nutrition page

  1. Add Obesity to the List of Back Pain Causes

Many people know that having an extra little pouch in the stomach area throws off the proper biomechanics of the spine.

At the Low Back Biomechanics and Workplace Stress Laboratory at the Department of Environmental Health at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio, researchers tracked the amount of pain in nine different areas of the body in 35 participants. They found a correlation between weight loss and reduction of pain in the upper back and lower back. The participants’ overall body pain also decreased.  Source:

The treatment for obesity is a weight loss diet or a change in diet along with exercise.

  1. Effects of Nicotine (Smoking) on the Disc

Nicotine interferes with the ability of the vertebral discs to get their fluid and nourishment. It also decreases vitamin C in the body, which is essential for connective tissue found in the vertebrae, cartilage, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Yet, it is often forgotten when doctors consider back pain causes.

The solution is to give up smoking and replace it with a healthier habit.

  1. Joint Problems in the Spine

Your bony vertebral column has joints where two bones – one from a higher vertebrae and one from a lower vertebrae can connect to each other on both the left side and the right. These are called articular facets.

It’s possible that these joints can be inflamed and the cause of back pain.

Also, joint problems could include arthritis.

Your chiropractic physician will be able to create the best treatment plan for this cause of back pain and contribute greatly to your back pain relief.

Chiropractors are trained specifically in musculoskeletal disorders. Osteopathic physicians also are trained in how to treat the spine.

  1. Infections in the Spine

Infections that occur in the spine are rare, but they can occur. They are usually accompanied with fever and other symptoms.

To diagnose this as a cause of your back pain, you will need a medical doctor who can draw a blood sample to see if there are signs of infection. An x-ray may also show signs of an infection that has progressed to the point where the bone has been eaten away. Eliminating the infection is a way to bring back pain relief.

  1. Degeneration of a Vertebrae

The more our society depends on processed food that has been deprived of nutrients, the younger the age is that degenerated vertebrae will show up. Degeneration of the vertebrae used to be seen primarily in people over the age of 35, but now it is seen in those in their 20s.

You will need a comprehensive treatment for degeneration of a vertebra. It’s possible that your best treatment will be recommendations from three types of practitioners together: a medical doctor, a chiropractic physician and a nutritionist.

However, many people have received definite benefits from inversion therapy.

  1. Protruding Disc (Herniation)

A protruding disc, called a disc herniation, Link to disc herniation page used to be almost a predictor of doom for the rest of a person’s life. However, now with the information explosion and thousands of new studies to evaluate, there are answers.

Disc decompression uses the principle of lengthening the spine, which removes the pressure felt with a disc herniation. Decompression treatment is usually performed by chiropractic physicians with special equipment needed to ‘decompress’ the spine, although some medical doctors are now starting to incorporate it into their practice.  The usual treatment of dic herniation is simply supportive, meaning controlling the pain while the body heals. 80 percent of disc injuries will heal on their own without any specific treatment to repair them. However, medical treatment of decompression is surgical.

There are times when a disc herniation may need surgery as well. A medical evaluation and plan of treatment is always advised.

  1. Tumors in the Spine or Back

Tumors are sometimes found in the spine and/or back. This condition always needs a medical evaluation and plan of treatment. Back pain relief is felt when the tumor is gone.