Back pain for no reason that is non-specific is also known as idiopathic, meaning there is no definitive cause like a herniated disc, vehicle accident/crash, falling accident, work, school, or sports injury. An aching sore back that came out of nowhere can be baffling. However, there are reasons for pain, including age, unhealthy posture, work occupation, muscle spasms, lifestyle habits, family medical history, and viscerosomatic reflexes.

Back Pain For No Reason

Back Pain No Reason

Individuals will trace back their steps and often find that there was no heavy lifting of packages, overdoing it working out, or bending, twisting awkwardly, but the pain is present.

Age

  • Age is a primary cause of back pain. After the age of 20, the discs in the spine begin to dehydrate, shrink, and compress/flatten out. This can cause everyday activities to generate back strain and pain as the discs begin to slip, slide, and rub against each other. This is known as degenerative disc disease and is a process that continues as the body gets older.

Back Muscle Spasms

  • Muscle spasms are a common manifestation of back pain and occur when the muscles involuntarily contract. Spasms often happen from bending, heavy lifting, or other physical activities.

Lifestyle Factors

Lifestyle factors can be a causation factor for back pain that comes out of nowhere.

  • Smoking increases the risk as nicotine increases the wear and tear on the discs as well as other organs.
  • The smoke/nicotine causes the discs to age faster because it breaks down the collagen, an essential part of the discs.
  • Individuals that are out of shape, overweight, and/or obese are more likely to have back pain from the added weight.

Unhealthy Posture/Mechanics

  • Practicing unhealthy postures will no doubt begin to cause back or some type of pain from the strain and awkward positioning placed on the muscles being used. Strains, twists, pulls, or tears can occur if repeating the same motion.

Viscerosomatic Reflex

  • Viscera means organ, and somatic refers to the body or musculoskeletal system. A viscerosomatic reaction happens when a pain signal from an organ is transmitted via the spinal cord, where neurons and motor structures like the muscles, blood vessels, and skin are interconnected. The body’s organs can become distressed or suffer an infection/disease that causes signals to be sent that there is something wrong. However, the signal could be pain that materializes in the spine/back muscles but is not a spinal injury or condition.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The first step to successfully treating back pain is scheduling an appointment with a spine specialist or chiropractor. A series of specific questions will be asked to gain insight into the underlying cause of the pain. These include:

  • Location of the pain
  • The intensity of the pain
  • Frequency of the pain
  • Medical history
  • Diet habits

A careful examination is necessary for the doctor to identify the reasons in any individual patient. Once the physician has learned about the symptoms and history, they can determine a possible cause and create a personalized treatment/rehabilitation plan to get the body back to optimal health.


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References

Koes, B W et al. “Diagnosis and treatment of low back pain.” BMJ (Clinical research ed.) vol. 332,7555 (2006): 1430-4. doi:10.1136/bmj.332.7555.1430

Lankhorst, G J et al. “The natural history of idiopathic low back pain. A three-year follow-up study of spinal motion, pain and functional capacity.” Scandinavian journal of rehabilitation medicine vol. 17,1 (1985): 1-4.

https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/sports-injuries

Walker, Bruce F et al. “Combined chiropractic interventions for low-back pain.” The Cochrane database of systematic reviews vol. 2010,4 CD005427. 14 Apr. 2010, doi:10.1002/14651858.CD005427.pub2

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The information herein on "No Reason Back Pain Presentation" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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