back pain


Given that The World Health Organization estimates the lifetime prevalence of non-specific back pain at 60-70%, it just makes sense that you understand what could be causing it and how to start solving your problem once and for all! (www.who.int/medicines/areas/priority_medicines/Ch6_24LBP.pdf).


Here are 9 possible reasons you have back pain:


  1. Sciatica 

Sciatica is technically not a diagnosis but a description for a grouping of symptoms. (http://lifebydesigncentre.com/sciatica-research-chatham-kent/)

Any condition that increases pressure on the lumbar nerves or directly to the sciatic nerve can cause debilitating pain.


  1. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis can be a byproduct of aging but also a side effect of injury and immobility.

As the cartilage between discs and joints becomes damaged, normal movement can become difficult and painful.


  1. Soft Tissues

Strain and sprain injuries to the muscles and ligaments around the spine can be a common source of pain.

This type of pain is can be more diffuse and spread further into the muscles along the spine.


  1. Disc Degeneration

The deterioration of intervertebral discs can occur with the normal wear and tear of aging or can be accelerated with abnormal forces placed on the spine.

While disc degeneration is not always a cause of back pain, there is a higher incidence of chronic low back pain in those with severe disc degeneration. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2867597/)


  1. Herniated Disk

If the spinal discs reach a point where the disc ruptures, increased pressure may be placed directly on the nerve roots or the walls of the disc can become irritated…both causing back pain.


  1. Stress

It’s common to assume that pain in the back also means there’s a physical problem in that area…research continues to say “not necessarily”. (https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/mind-back-pain-201605049517)

Stress can affect our levels of back pain and improved management of stress can aid in the recovery process.


  1. Smoking

Believe it or not, puffing away on a cigarette can make your back hurt even more.  (https://blog.spinecaredfw.com/10-ways-smoking-increases-back-pain-and-makes-your-pain-worse/)

Whether it is increased joint inflammation or altered blood supply, the chemicals found in cigarettes are increasing the chance you’ll suffer from back pain. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19796577)


  1. Hypermobility and Weakness

One of the most often missed culprits causing lower back pain is too much movement, especially in the lumbar spine. This is one of the reasons creating more movement in an already mobile lumbar spine could be detrimental.

Strengthening tissues around the spine with compound exercises such as dead lifts (yes, I said dead lifts) can be integral to the healing process.


  1. Other

Of course, let’s not forget there can be many other causes of back pain.

The source of pain could be postural distortion, indigestion, a urinary tract infection, a fracture or not to scare you…even cancer.


Well, it’s complicated.

If you’ve ever wondered why some people will have success with one intervention while others with back pain are still suffering…

The most likely scenario is because there’s likely a mixture of different possible factors at work.


Try Something Different

With back pain being one of the top reasons for visits to physicians, days off work and disability, it seems to make sense we approach back pain from a different and multi-factorial perspective.


The short list includes:

  1. Strength Training, Conditioning and Proper Mobility / Stability
  2. Dietary Improvements
  3. Neuro-Structural Testing and Correction (Corrective Chiropractic)
  4. Stress Management


Which of these have you tried?


What worked for you?




Dr. Derek Gallant has committed himself to helping others live the best life possible. After graduating from Wesleyan University, he received his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West where he finished 2nd in his class. He is the owner of Beverly Family Chiropractic and co-founder of The Well Family Foundation. Dr. Gallant is certified through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) in the Webster technique, an analysis focused on assisting pregnant women in a healthy pregnancy and natural birth. He has inspired thousands of people to take control of their own health using the Life By Design method. Apart from full time practice you can find Derek at the parks and coffee shops around Beverly with his family, training hard at the gym, or at the beach surfing.

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