If you wake up each morning and find yourself asking “why does my back hurt?” you’re not alone. Chronic back pain is a major issue affecting more than 29 percent of the population ages 18 and over.

Unfortunately, pinpointing what causes your back pain can be tough. It’s rare that anyone can identify precisely what causes their back pain to flare up. But if you can recognize the common causes, you’ll be better able to prevent that pain from coming back.

Here are some of the most common (and most surprising) causes of back pain.

1. Muscle Strain

Hands-down, the most common cause of back pain comes down to muscle strain. How many times have you gone to pick something up and felt an almost-immediate ache in your back?

This is because you’re straining the muscles.

Often, this happens because you’re lifting the full load with your back instead of using your knees to lessen the strain. But it can happen because you’re trying to lift things that are too heavy.

You’ll need to wait for those muscles to heal before the aches will go away completely.

2. Bad Posture

Maintaining good posture is tough. But when you start slouching or spend the day staring down at your cell phone or tablet, it becomes a major problem.

Your back stays healthy when your spine is straight, your head sits evenly on your neck, and your shoulders rest without curving forward.

When you lose that good alignment, the muscles in your back start to ache. The pain often lingers and can continue until you start making good posture a habit.

3. Disc Issues

The vertebrae of your spine have cushions known as discs between them which help absorb the shock of your movements. When the discs get damaged, it can lead to back pain.

The only way to know for sure is to speak with a medical professional. Slipped, bulging, or degenerative discs are major conditions that need medical attention.

If you experience sharp or sudden pain in your back, schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

4. Arthritis

More than 54 million people deal with arthritis or chronic inflammation in their joints. And it can impact your back, typically at the sacroiliac joint where your spine and pelvis meet.

As long as the inflammation continues, you’ll experience some discomfort. But with proper treatment, you can help manage your symptoms.

5. Scoliosis

Scoliosis refers to the irregular curve of the spine. It can curve side to side or back to front. And the curve can happen anywhere along the spinal column.

The curve causes the muscles to move in a way that creates strain and leads to pain.

The condition is often mild, but even a slight spinal irregularity can cause your muscles to ache every once in a while.

6. Stress

Think about how you feel when you’re stressed. Your muscles get tight and you carry that tightness around with you all day.

When your muscles get tight, they don’t get the chance to rest. And when they’re tired, they start to hurt.

Mitigating stress will help you reduce your back pain and keep things moving the way they’re supposed to.

7. Your Bed

Believe it or not, the bed you sleep on can contribute to the way your back feels every day. When it’s too soft or too firm, you might find yourself waking up with back pain and achy muscles.

Old mattresses are also a huge issue. The longer you keep a bed, the more the support structure starts to break down. In fact, the average mattress only lasts for 7 to 10 years.

If it’s older than that, you’ll want to replace it with a new and more supportive model. Your back will thank you.  

8. Lack of Exercise

Your body needs exercise to stay healthy. And that includes preventing back and spinal pain.

We’re not saying you should go for a run or hit the gym hard. Just go for a walk, stretch, and move around. You can always work up to a full gym workout.

The last thing you want to do is push yourself too hard right out of the gate. Take it slow, start with low-impact exercises, and get moving.

9. Your Weight

Your weight can make a huge difference in how often you experience back pain. When you’re overweight, it puts strain on your joints. And the more pressure your joints are under, the more likely you are to feel achy.

The best thing you can do is start working on losing those extra pounds. Losing even a little can make a huge difference in how you feel each day.

10. Old Accidents and Injuries

Remember that time you hurt your back in high school or that fender bender you had in your early 20’s? Probably not. But those injuries can have a major impact on your back.

It’s entirely possible that those old injuries never got the chance they needed to heal properly. And that puts your back at a disadvantage.

You’re more likely to get injured again or at least experience some aches and pains. Chiropractic treatments may be able to help you alleviate some of that discomfort and get your body on the right track to recovery.

Tired of Asking “Why Does My Back Hurt?”

Is the question “why does my back hurt?” becoming a daily issue? You don’t have to accept the pain. You just have to be proactive.

Contact us to schedule an appointment today.