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Posts Tagged ‘lower back pain’

4 Surprising Back Pain Causes

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013



There are many reasons for back pain, and they’re not always easy to detect. Extreme back pain in the upper, middle, or lower back may be caused by arthritis or degenerative disc disease, but it can also be something much simpler that you’ve been overlooking.

4 Surprising Back Pain Causes

1- Vitamin B12 Deficiency

In a European study that focused on the use of vitamin B12 supplements for people suffering from lower back pain, researchers noted surprisingly good results in test subjects who received regular doses of vitamin B12, compared to a placebo medication for back pain.

Vitamin B12 is crucial for healthy nerve cells and production of red blood cells for oxygen, in addition to regulating metabolism, boosting energy, and preserving cognitive functioning needed for good memory and delaying symptoms of dementia caused by old age.

Besides back pain, other symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency may include:

  • Tiredness
  • Memory loss
  • Painful numbness and tingling in the extremities
  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Gait problems

2- Constipation

Believe it or not, lower back pain may be caused by gastrointestinal problems like constipation or diarrhea.  Sometimes, a blockage in your intestines puts pressure on your back, leading to severe back pain and stomach pain.  To treat naturally, incorporate more healthy fiber into your diet, or ask your pharmacist for gentle digestive aids that balance your intestinal flora.

3- Your shoes

A common and preventable source of back pain is simple footwear. Ill-fitting shoes and high heels disturb your posture, interfering with the natural curve of your spine, leading to back pain and an increased risk for spinal injury.

To check if your shoes are causing your back pain, visit an orthopedist.

4- Your bed

If you still think that sleeping on a stiff mattress is the best cure for back pain, then it’s time to shop for a new bed.  Chronic pain specialists recommend getting a lumbar mattress that provides support while also cushioning your tired muscles and joints for optimal relief from back pain.

Your turn!

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

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Like this? Read more:

Back Pain Exercises and Fibromyalgia- the Do’s and Don’ts

Rheumatoid Arthritis Stinks- 4 Facts about Depression and Pain

40 Things NOT to say to a Fibromyalgia-Chronic Fatigue Sufferer


Vitamin B12 in low back pain: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

Image courtesy of Maggie Smith/freeditigalphotos

Rheumatoid Arthritis Stinks- 4 Facts about Depression and Pain

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011



Are you depressed about pain in the back, shoulders and knees?  Rheumatoid arthritis triggers depression, as swollen, aching joints limit free movement. Learn why arthritis pain makes you sadder…


Rheumatoid arthritis pain and depression

With rheumatoid arthritis, sufferers experience severe muscle pain, inflamed hips, joint pain, and chronic soreness.

Even after a battery of arthritis treatments and knee surgeries, the debilitating pain persists, relentlessly.

As a result, an overwhelming number of chronic pain patients also encounter deep depression.

Some of their explanations for the link between arthritis and depression might surprise you…and motivate you into seeking better pain management.


What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammatory pain in the joints, in addition to producing redness and swelling in the surrounding muscular area and other parts of the body.

Also called rheumatic disease, RA occurs when antibodies in the body attack your immune system.

RA is a degenerative disease that may last for years, and although pain symptoms don’t always surface, the potential for permanent damage of the joints is pervasive.

Fact #1: Depression often accompanies chronic pain illness

According to Elizabeth Lin, MD, a family practice doctor and scientific researcher for the Group Health Research Institute, not only does chronic pain invite depression- the symptoms of depression make the pain even harder to tolerate.

“It has been found to lower the threshold of how we tolerate pain — how easily pain registers in our brain.”

Fact #2: Depression increases your chances of dying from rheumatoid arthritis.

According to a study, conducted by the Indiana University School of Medicine, chronic depression accounted for twice as many deaths during the research period than rheumatoid arthritis alone.

Says Michael Clark, M.D., of John Hopkins Medicine, “Depression is not simply a comorbid condition, but interacts with chronic pain to increase morbidity and mortality.”

Fact #3: Cognitive behavioral therapy can alleviate depression

Several studies that focused on management of depression in rheumatoid arthritis concluded that seeking counseling is an effective way to learn coping mechanisms, reduce the amount of arthritis flare-ups, and fight depression.

Fact #4: Light exercise alleviates arthritis pain and depression at the same time.

Health experts advise anybody suffering from progressive diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis to follow a low-impact workout regimen.  Swimming, tai chi, yoga, and Pilates not only soothe aching muscles and joints, but also relieve stress, inducing feelings of  peace and well-being.

Pain patients who include at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise and stretching report feeling more relaxed, less pained, and demonstrate a higher quality of life than arthritis sufferers who remain inactive.


Related reading:

Back Pain Exercises and Fibromyalgia- the Do’s and Don’ts

40 Things NOT to say to a Fibromyalgia-Chronic Fatigue Sufferer

15 Handy Household Tools for Chronic Pain Sufferers

Chronic Depression, Chronic Pain- It’s All the Same, say Experts


Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Management of depression in rheumatoid arthritis

Coping with Depression, Menopause, and Rheumatoid Arthritis

11 Rheumatoid Arthritis and Depression Facts

Managing Chronic Pain, Depression & Antidepressants


Ed Yourdon, jessiejacobson, Borya

How to Tell if Chronic Pain is Fibromyalgia: 18 Pressure Points

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Has pain become a constant unwanted visitor in your life?

When your doctor asks you, “Where does it hurt,” are you tempted to say, “Everywhere!”

What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia, often linked with Vitamin B12 deficiency (National Institutes of Health), is a condition which causes sufferers to feel chronic pain in various parts of the body at all times. According to the American College of Rheumatology, symptoms of fibromyalgia include severe pain in at least 11 points of the body which doctors access in order to diagnose fibromyalgia.

These 9 pairs of pressure points on your body are are used by physicians to determine a fibromyalgia diagnosis:

  • Pain on either side of the back of the neck could indicate fibromyalgia; neck pain might also be caused by sleeping in an awkward position or by rheumatoid arthritis.
  • The front of the neck is another hot spot for fibromyalgia pain; potential sufferers may feel pain above the collarbone and adjacent to the larynx
  • .Tender spots below the bend of your elbows towards the outside of your forearms are typical for fibromyalgia patients; tendonitis or repetitive motions may also cause elbow pain.
  • Fibromyalgia patients often feel pain in the lower hip areas, close to the buttock muscles, while arthritis patients typically experience pain at the joints of the hips.

  • Approximately 25% of all adults experience lower back pain. Individuals diagnosed with fibromyalgia feel their back pain at the lowest point where the spine adjoins with the buttock muscles.
  • Most people experience upper back pain every once in a while as a result of stress or injury; people with fibromyalgia experience extreme discomfort at the points where the shoulder blades connect with the back muscles.
  • Above the upper back area, where the shoulders meet the lower neck, are some more troublesome tender spots for fibromyalgia patients.
  • Fibromyalgia patients who suffer from knee aches tend to feel tenderness in the inner knee pad areas.
  • Soreness in the chest area, on either side of the sternum, is another telltale sign that somebody might  require fibromyalgia treatment.


Health.com, American College of Rheumatology, National Institutes of Health

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