Skip Nav
Beginner Fitness Tips
Strength vs. Cardio — Here's How You Should Structure Your Workout
Healthy Eating Tips
A Step-by-Step Guide on the Best Ways to Cook Tofu
Beginner Fitness Tips
9 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting CrossFit

Causes of Back Pain

5 Reasons You Have Back Pain

Lower back pain is a common complaint, and if you suffer from it, the pain can make simple everyday activities like walking, taking the stairs, tying your shoes, and even sleeping unbearable. Although many people have chronic conditions or injuries that cause their discomfort, lifestyle choices may also be the culprit. Check out the list below and see if you can make some changes to prevent the pain.

  1. You sit most of the day. If you sit at a desk or in a car most hours of your day, you're putting 40 percent more pressure on your spine than if you were standing. You're also most likely not taking many breaks to stretch and move around, and as the old saying goes, if you don't use it you'll lose it. Back muscles weaken when they're not used, and the vertebrae lose lubrication, which translates to pain. If you can't break free from your desk job entirely, break free several times a day to walk around and stretch out your muscles.
  2. Your mattress is how old? Mattresses don't last forever and should be replaced every five to seven years. After that time, they're no longer providing you with the best support. Also note that a firmer mattress isn't necessarily the best choice for preventing back pain. It's best to try our different types of mattresses to see which one feels best to you and your back.
  3. You're all about the ab exercises. A strong core protects your back, but crunches and sit-ups only work your abs. If one side of your core is stronger than the other, it creates an imbalance. So be sure to include strength training moves in your weekly routine that target your back muscles such as Superman lifts and opposite limb extensions.

To see what other reasons you may be having back pain


  1. You're not exercising. When you have lower back pain, you're most likely not motivated to work out, but actually exercise can help to alleviate pain. Lack of exercise can delay healing and make your pain even worse. Walking is a great low impact way to get moving, but practicing yoga is proven to improve circulation, reduce stress, and promote back pain recovery.
  2. Fashion is important to you. High heels and over-sized purses are popular, but they are both horrible for your back. The bigger the bag, the more stuff you fill it with, so you end up carrying so much weight around with you, no wonder your back, neck, and shoulders hurt. And heels? They throw your posture all out of whack and can cause a major pain in the neck, back, and legs. If you suffer from this kind of discomfort, try making the switch to some adorable flats instead.

Do you know what causes your back pain?

Join The Conversation
KennyOoi KennyOoi 4 years
Back pain is so common that people think it is okay to ignore the pain and just wait for the pain to go away. Prevention is always better than cure. However, there are also remedies for back pain. 1) See a doctor if pain is severe and persists for more than a week 2) if pain is not severe, get a massage 3) try a back brace for extra back support. I noticed that back braces really helped me with my back pain. I bought mine from BraceAbility. See:
Yesi-Jukebox Yesi-Jukebox 7 years
Thank you for these tips. I work 8am-6pm and sit down nearly the entire time!
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 7 years
Here's another really important reason: It could be because you need insoles. I used to get the worst back pain after walking for a while, no matter whether or not I was carrying heavy backpacks. I went to a doctor and instead of looking at my back, he looked at my feet. Since I got the insoles, I haven't had any problems at all.
inlove23 inlove23 7 years
my damn purse. lol.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
Replace your mattress every 5-7 years? Oh man, guess ours is due for a swapout. Seriously, I think my parents replaced theirs every 15 years or so and it was fine. Mattresses are not cheap! I had a bout of pretty bad back pain a few months ago and found out it was a muscle spasm caused by me trying to mow the lawn with the old, dull push mower. A few days after it happened, it got a lot better.
Asche Asche 7 years
Back pain aside, it's seriously gross to hold onto a mattress for so long! The chances of a 20-year-old mattress not have some form of bed bugs, mites, etc are slim-to-none.
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 7 years
My parents have had the same bed for as long as I can guess is that they've had it for about 40 yrs! Mine is about 10 yrs old and still quite firm and comfy. There's no way I would replace a mattress every 5-7 years. I'd only replace it if it became uncomfortable.
sherina sherina 7 years
I have a bad habit of rolling onto my stomach while I'm asleep which leads to some back pain of the stiffness variety. Luckily yoga has helped get the knots out really well and I have much less pain since starting. @anon - My yoga teacher is a firm believer that tight hamstrings cause back pain as well so that makes sense to me. I have the tightest hamstrings in the entire Universe but I'm working on them! :D
bethinabox bethinabox 7 years
Okay ignore the kissy face! That's weird.
bethinabox bethinabox 7 years
"Mattresses don't last forever and should be replaced every five to seven years." ..Heh. Is it bad that my mattress is older than I am? Yupp... I looked at the tag a while back and it said "Sealy 81st anniversary" and their 125th anniversary was in 2006. :x I'm pretty sure it's the same mattress my mom (or her siblings) used as a kid. Nice, right?
Asche Asche 7 years
@Anon: My back ALWAYS starts to hurt a few days before I get a cold or the flu. It's the main indicator that lets me know that I should rest and OD on vitamin C!
Low-Carb, High-Protein Breakfasts
Essential Weight-Loss Rules That Can't Be Broken
Health Risks of Having Sex in the Pool, Lake, Hot Tub, or Ocean
Celiac Disease Before-and-After Photos
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds