7 Surprising Causes of Back Pain

Not all reasons for back pain are as clear as sitting on the couch all day

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31 million Americans experience low-back pain and 65 million feel discomfort at other parts of the back, according to the American Chiropractic Association, and about half of them have recurring episodes.  Eight out of 10 Americans will feel the pain at least once in their lives. These are some worrying numbers. People have generally accepted that this is a common problem and that’s why it’s not absolutely crucial that they fix it.

The bad news is that back pain is actually much worse than it feels. Sometimes the pain goes away by itself but it can also have alarming causes – anything from cancer to a spinal cord injury or an autoimmune disease.

Symptoms can be eased or eliminated with medication or painkillers. But why go through all the trouble when you can avoid them all together.

The usual causes of back pain are fairly well-known – such as sitting on a bad chair, sleeping on an old mattress, not exercising, poor posture – others are unexpected.

Bad Diet

The immediate result of too much junk food is weight gain but with it comes back pain. If your spine can’t support your weight, it will hurt. Your joints will be in pain as well. Eat the right kind of foods to avoid the pain.

Old Shoes

Everything has a lifespan. Worn out shoes can lead to changes in how you walk which can result in back pain (not to mention foot pain). If you have high arch, wear shoes with some heel as opposed to a flat one. If you have flat feet, avoid any type if heels.

Weak Bra

Larger breasts mean carrying more weight in the front of your body. This changes the natural curve of your spine. Make sure your bra provides the right support by keeping the weight closer to your body. You will walk straight and your posture will be better. That is the only way to avoid the side effect of back pain.


Just quit that nasty habit and you’ll save yourself a ton of troubles. When you inhale this bad stuff, your body loses oxygen. The cells that control body motion, including back movements, are not spared. If they don’t have enough oxygen to function, they won’t and you’ll feel the pain. Studies have shown that smokers are twice as likely to have back pain.


A recent study has linked unhappiness with lower back pain. In fact, people who are clinically depressed are 1.6 times as likely to develop lower back pain. That’s because stress causes muscle tension. We are talking about a more serious problem than the occasional sadness or feeling low for a few days.  Major depression is thought to be four times greater in people with chronic back pain.

Too Much Exercising

Being a couch potato causes all kinds of serious health problems but working out too much won’t spare you either. Overdoing it at the gym means that you’re putting your body through a lot of repetitions. That causes stiffness. That’s why it’s important to stretch.

Wrong Bag

Think about it: Carrying weight on one shoulder causes imbalance. Of course, your lower back will feel the consequences and hurt you. Carry lighter weight or switch sides often. Wear clothes that don’t restrict your body motion, especially of the spine.

More readings: 

Why Proper Posture Is Crucial and How To Fix It

10 Ways to Relieve Arthritis with Exercise

How to Recover From an Injury While Still Training