Surprising Causes of Chronic Back & Neck Pain

Back & neck pain is a problem that is much more common than you think. In fact, studies have shown that 20% of people are suffering from back pain at any current moment. If you just ask around your friends and family, you will find that most of them have suffered from back pain at least once in their lives. Spinal health is so important, and many people tend to neglect it. It is essential that you start taking care of your back before it is too late.

The pain in your back can also be a gateway to other problems like headaches or horrible sleeping patterns that are detrimental to your health in the long run. Back pain in people over the age of 60 tends to be caused by conditions such as arthritis and spinal stenosis. As a symptom of growing old, our joints can enlarge and cause debilitating pain. However, back pain can also be caused by strenuous activities such as heavy lifting and unhealthy posture. Below are some of the lesser-known back pain causes that might surprise you.


If you ask any medical professional, you will get the same answer regarding smoking. The best thing to do for the health of you and your family is to avoid it completely. Smoking has also been seen to be a cause of back pain because it can limit the blood supply to your spinal discs. As such, the discs can age prematurely and result in severe lower back pain. Other studies have also shown that smoking affects the chemistry of your brain and lowers your resistance to back pain, which causes the pain to impact you more than it should.


Stress is also a cause of many different health problems. Medical experts seem to think that the lower back is a representation of the connection between your body and your mind. Stress can potentially stiffen your muscles and joints and cause the discs in your back to be displaced. When you experience a disc bulge, the pain can become unbearable and negatively impact your quality of life. Similar to smoking, stress can also reduce your pain tolerance and make you more susceptible to back pain. Recommendations to combat stress include a healthy diet, regular exercise, and meditation.


If you do not watch your diet and eat as you please, you might be at a greater risk of suffering from back pain. Over-eating can result in becoming overweight or even obese. When your body weighs more, there is a higher chance that your back will be under more pressure. Research has shown that morbidly obese individuals are 4 times more likely to suffer from lower back pain as compared to the average person. One thing to avoid or reduce in your diet is processed sugar. This means reducing your intake of sweet snacks such as candy or cake.


Humans are not made to be sitting at a table for extended periods of time. Our bodies are adapted to being active and moving about. This is why sitting is so bad for our backs. It increases the pressure on your spinal discs, and this reduces the amount of blood that reaches your back. Hence, it is a good idea to take a short walk after every half-hour of sitting in order to bring some relief to your back.

Contact the Head Pain Institute

If you need relief from neck pain, contact the Head Pain Institute.  Schedule an appointment with one of our medical professionals at 480-945-3629 or email us at