Hidden Causes of Your Back Pain

Small changes make a big difference.

Back view of athletic young woman in sportswear touching her neck and lower back muscles by painful injury, over a nature background. Sport injuries concept.

According to the American Chiropractic Association, up to 80 percent of the population will experience back pain in their lifetimes. What’s more, back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide. The good news is that most cases aren’t caused by serious conditions. The following habits might be contributing to your pain – whether you realize it or not.

  1. Wearing high heels

    Heels that are higher than 3 inches put a lot of stress on your feet, which causes a disturbance in your spinal alignment. Nearly half of women that wear heels will experience a foot injury at some point, which also can result in pain. If you can’t go without your heels, try sticking to a heel that is under three inches.

  2. Pregnancy

    The biomechanical stress being placed on the mother during a pregnancy is a common cause of lower back pain. As the baby gains weight, the mother is pulled forward. In order to compensate for this tilt, the mother has to lean her upper body backward, putting a tremendous amount of stress on the low back and pelvis.

  3. Carrying a heavy bag or purse

    Did you know that the average commuter’s bag weighs in at 16 pounds? You’ll inevitably experience back pain if you’re lugging this weight around with you everywhere you go. It creates imbalances that strain both your shoulders and back muscles. To avoid this, make sure that your bag or purse is less than 10% of your body weight.

  4. Poor posture

    We all know that sitting hunched over is terrible for your posture, but did you know that it puts extra pounds of stress on your lower back? When you’re slouching, your ligaments and muscles strain in order to remain balanced, and the eventual muscle fatigue that follows results in back pain. Attempt to sit with good posture until it becomes a habit.

  5. Remaining sedentary

    For those of us that have desk jobs and/or have a long commute, sitting for extended periods of time is a part of our lifestyle. Sitting for too long ends up causing posture-related pain. Ideally, you should be changing positions every half hour. Try getting up to stretch, take phone calls while standing, or take a walk around your office building. When you’re taking road trips, get out of the car and stretch at least every 90 minutes.

  6. Stress

    When you’re constantly worrying, the muscles in your back tighten up and in some cases can spasm. Just because you’re used to your routine doesn’t mean that your back has adjusted along with you. Make sure that you’re taking time for relaxation and focus on keeping your back in healthy working condition with activities like stretching, yoga, and exercises that strengthen your core and muscles.

  7. Overworking yourself physically

    Physically stressful activities such as starting a new workout routine and moving into a new home can put a ton of strain on your back muscles that they aren’t accustomed to handling. Learn how to safely push, pull and lift heavy objects before rushing into anything physically taxing, and while relaxing or sleeping, make sure that your back and neck are supported.

  8. Poor adrenal function

    If you’re suffering specifically from lower back pain, then sub-par adrenal function might be the culprit. When the muscles located in your pelvic region weaken, the bones begin to move out of proper alignment.

  9. Vitamin D deficiency

    Vitamin D is needed for normal bone metabolism. People who don’t produce enough are especially susceptible to low-back pain, possibly because the vertebrae are weak.

  10. Poor sleep

    People that suffer from chronic pain don’t sleep well. However, the reverse is also true – those that don’t sleep well have a lower pain tolerance.