Causes of back pain… 10 possibilities

So, what is pain?

Pain is the body’s way of telling you that something is wrong.

The causes of back pain, somewhere in your body, are transmitted via nerves to the brain where the message is interpreted as pain.

Annoyingly enough, the brain does not always interpret the pain sensation location properly. So some issue with your ankle might manifest itself as a lower back pain.

HOWEVER, if pain is persistent (chronic pain), sometimes the nerves themselves become damaged.

Even after the causes of back pain are removed or cured, the pain persists through the damaged nerves.

This old song explains why the causes of back pain might not be in your back!

... click the video for a bit of fun ...

YUP... everything is connected...


It may be your ingrown toenail causing that sharp lower back pain…
or a hurt shoulder…
or an old injury that you thought was healed…
or even a disease
or some non-physical cause.

WHATEVER… most people recognize pain… especially their pain.

Even though it may be a warning that something is wrong somewhere
else… it’s the middle back pain that is killing you…


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How does the medical community describe pain?

All of these following categories make it easier for a patient talking with his medical practitioner. Since we use words to describe our reality… the causes of back pain for us... these words are the best we’ve got.

I find them limiting, but I've no idea what could take their place.

[How long have you had this pain?]

If your upper back pain has lasted a long time… over 3 months… it would be classified as chronic back pain.

If the pain is more recent… it would be classified as acute pain.

[Where does it hurt?]

  • My back hurts.
  • I have a headache.
  • I have TMJ problems.
  • I sprained my ankle.
  • I have tennis elbow.

[What body part?]

  • Joints
  • Muscles
  • Bones
  • Organs
  • Ligaments

[Is there a reason that you have this pain?]

  • Causes of back pain can be found
  • No cause can be found
    [If you see the word idiopathic with a disease... it means medical science has NOT discovered a cause... yet]
    This last is a bummer. Often a MD will dismiss your pain complaints because... so far... modern medicine has not found a cause of your particular issue.]
    {Fibromyalgia comes to mind}

For those of us that have chronic back pain…
those classifications don’t really matter.


How I complain about MY
chronic back pain

  • The joints in my spine are killing me
  • I have lower back pain: kidney hurts
  • My lower back is sore
  • I have upper back muscle pain
  • I have lower back muscle pain
  • How do I get arthritis back pain relief?
  • Every rib in my upper back is sore
  • The muscles in my lower back are always sore

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What does YOUR pain feel like?

  • limited flexibility or range of motion of the back?
  • muscle ache?
  • pain that radiates down your leg?
  • painful joints?
  • shooting sensations?
  • sore bones?
  • stabbing pain?

Do you have comments about the specifics of
your pain

I want to know YOUR pain story... so do all the other readers!


We'll add any comments, views and information you let us know about and also provide a spot for other visitors to comment on it as well.

I read over all the additions and comments before I approve them for publication.

I do not tolerate vicious personal attacks, and/or negative responses.

The link is to the right ====>

Have A Personal Story About Back Pain?

So what's your story?
How long has your back been sore?
Have you any clue what happened?
Visited any doctors? What did they say?

I urge you... take the time to write your story... it will help others in the same boat...

We'll review and add your story, and also provide a spot for other visitors to comment on it as well.

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Causes of Back Pain
There are 10 main causes of back pain.

I identify the [possible] cause of back pain, give a brief explanation of what I mean, then give some examples of that cause...



An autoimmune response occurs when the antibodies, designed to combat external  threats [i.e. bacteria], instead attack body parts.

Inflammation occurs when a body part is injured or infected or suffering an autoimmune issue...

Both of these cause nerves damage which translates to pain.

  • Addison's disease
  • Arthritis
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Celiac disease
  • Churg-Strauss Syndrome
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Diabetes Mellitus type 1
  • Graves' disease
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • Hashimoto's thyroiditis
  • idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
  • Lupus
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Pernicious Anemia
  • Polymyositis (PM)
  • Reactive Arthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Sjogren Ayndrome
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

I’ve got yet another buddy, who has had Ankylosing Spondylitis for as long
as I’ve known him. He was diagnosed in his early 20s, and his doctor
told him that
daily, intensive exercising
would reduce the pain

and keep him mobile.
So, he did just that. And, the doctor was right.
The pain was reduced to a livable level, and mobility was maintained.


Bacterial or virus infections, no matter where located, may causes of back pain.

  • AIDS
  • Bladder Infections
  • Gallbladder Disease
  • Stomach Ulcers

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These are present from birth.

  • Idiopathic Scoliosis
  • Lumbarisation
  • Sacralisation
  • Spina Bifida
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Vertebral Stenosis


Let's face it... our bodies just plain wear out... finally.

I have trouble coming to grips with this concept! In spite of the chronic pain that motivated me to put together this website...

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  • Improper lifting and carrying of heavy objects
  • Sleeping on a poor mattress
  • Accidents and collisions
  • Unsafe workplace practices
  • Broken Bones
  • Bruises
  • Cartilage Tears
  • Compressed Spinal Disks
  • Concussion
  • Cuts
  • Dislocated Joints
  • Torn Ligaments
  • Missing Limbs
  • Ruptured Organs

Most of my early causes of back pain were from injury.

I remember twisting while I picked up one of my young children, and my back complained.  So did I!

I had a great chiropractor and he adjusted my back over several sessions, and the pain went away.

Other chiropractors have used Active Release Techniques to take away some of my acute back pain.

I've also used acupuncture, massage, and special medical devices to relieve my chronic back pain.

I had an uncle who beat the crap out of his back riding on road-building equipment. Even with ongoing chiropractic, his back degenerated to the point where he could barely walk.

He felt he had to keep doing the road-building, and his back was finally so injured that he couldn’t be further helped.

Remember the TWO SECRETS I keep yapping about?

For my uncle, STOPPING THE HARMFUL ACTIVITY was the one he did not do.
[To be fair, that long ago there were NO OPTIONS for a laborer who needed to look after his family...]

Chiropractors are really good, but old-time, bone-jarring, brain-rattling earth moving equipment is waaaaaaaay bad.


Your back suffers when you wear shoes that are not supportive for your feet and legs.

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Here's an example...



In spite of the so-called mind-body duality, the mind/ body/spirit is just ONE, and what happens to one can affect the others.

So mental/emotional trauma often manifests as physical pain...

HA! I cannot even write about the UNITY,
without referring to each one separately…


People with chronic back pain are often depressed.

If you’ve had emotional problems, your back could end up hurting

One of the Emotional Support treatments I use probes any emotional impact on the back pain you have.

I'm guessing that any of the other problems I am listing on this page COULD be a result of emotional trauma.

That's why I'm not listing anything specific here.

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and/or poor posture
and/or dietary deficiencies
and/or hereditary issues
may cause the spine to distort over time, resulting in disc and/or soft tissue problems with the spine.

  • degenerative disc disease
  • osteoporosis


Doctors only recently identified this as one of the possible causes of back pain. It is sometimes referred to as “nerve pain”.

The underlying reality of this condition is that there is no physical cause for the pain… at least none that can be found.
[I've grumbled about this before on this page.]

Perhaps a previous trauma caused so much pain that the nerves learned to continually transmit pain feelings to the brain. The pain just goes on and on, without a detectable cause.

I do NOT like this category.

It’s my belief that modern medicine has not yet found a cause, so they blame it on the psychological problems of the patient!

  • Fibromyalgia

Have you ever heard of Phantom Limb Pain?
A person who has had a limb amputated will still feel sensations
where the limb used to be... itching, severe pain...
The brain still interprets nerve messages as coming from the
removed limb.

Did any medical type ever tell you, “It’s all in your head?

What crap!

It does NOT matter where the pain sensation comes from… it still hurts.

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