Back pain: causes and prevention 
Compiled by Walter Sorochan Doctor of Health and Safety Emeritus Professor San Diego State University

Posted January 5, 2020. The information presented here is for informative and educational purposes only and is not intended as curative or prescriptive advice. The statements of this web-site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

backpain As a 91 year old vegetarian, the lubricating capsule between my right thigh bone and hip ruptured and the synovial fluid  leaked out. So for the past 15 years the bones rub against each other in the sacroiliac joint; I limp as I walk with slight discomfort and have had no back problems. But for the past three months I have had lower back pain problems. Some days were worse than others. I experienced moderate to severe back pain after working five to six hours on the computer. When swimming crawl stroke laps three times a week, I felt only slight discomfort  and almost no back pain. I had a hot massaging shower after each swim and this seemed to ease the back pain. But later in the day, my lower back pain would come back. I noticed, with a keen sense of observation, the next day that my lower back pain eased considerably after a morning bowel movement. My bowl movement was soft but not a diarrhea. The pain seems to come back after I eat my veggie meal [nutrient-density] in the mid-afternoon. I had no back pain sitting in a chair or lying in a bed. But all of a sudden about 10 days ago, I felt severe back pain. I stopped swimming. Rest has very helpful. I did not take any pain killer medication. Now, five days after not swimming, my back pain is almost gone. I do work on the computer but take time out every hour, walk a short distance and drink water. I also detoxified on a vibrating machine and do so at least once a day for 8 minutes.  My lower back pain has mostly disappeared.

I visited a chiropractor who re-aligned by vertebrae and joints. A day later, my sensitivity to back ache was gone. Did my body heal itself with rest? Is there a link between bacteria in the colon, food and back ache?  I speculate but do not know! As the reader can surmise, my body heals itself quickly, although it took me three months of research and experimentation to fix it as of now.

With these anecdotal observations, this researcher-author searched the internet for all issues of a sore back. Most of the found articles were of chiropractic nature. While the information was helpful, the internet reports of the real cause of lower back pain was speculative and without research documentation. This was most disappointing!

Below is an example of my findings:

Patrick Giammarise, chiropractor in Chino, California, points out that: "Lower back pain and digestive problems often accompany each other. Many people may experience low back pain as a result of bowel problems such as constipation, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome. This is because the nerves that go to and from the bowel originate in the lumbar spine. These same nerves also go to the muscles and ligaments that stabilize the lower back. When the bowel is stressed, the muscles that share the same nerve root will contract and cause pain". Giammarise: lower back pain and digestion

A website , BetaHealthy, with no author stated: "Infection of the bone (osteomyelitis) ad discs (septic discitis) is one of the uncommon causes of low back pain. The joints commonly involved are lumber vertebra and sacroiliac joints. These conditions are associated with localized pain and fever. The bacteria involved in causing these infections include Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB bacteria) and Staphylococcus aureus. Infection in the spine secondary to TB is called Pott’s disease. Brucellosis is another bacterial infection that can involve the sacroiliac joints and cause low back and associated symptoms."  BeataHealthy: lower back pain

Reporter Hallie Levine points out that "nearly half of healthy, active people over age 60 experience lower back pain, according to a 2018 study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, such flare-ups aren’t necessarily an inevitable feature of aging. Every day, seemingly innocuous habits (hunching over your computer while reading this, anyone?) can trigger the pain, says Joel Press, physiatrist-in-chief at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City." Levine: Causes of lower back pain 2019

Meanwhile Stephanie Watson asserts that lower back pain may be inherited. "If you have chronic low back pain, you've likely inherited the tendency, and you're probably hardwired for it. The lower back contains sensitive receptors called nociceptive fibers, which send pain signals to the brain. "Some people have a lot of nociceptive fibers -- for example, in their discs -- while others have relatively few," Wisneski tells WebMD."  Watson: Genetic trait sore back

Matt Morris, CEO of RelaxBack, a company that specializes in selling back pain relief products, focuses on inflammatory bowl diseases as causing back pain.  Morris: Selling products to relieve back pain

"Eighty percent of the population of the United States, at some point in their life, is going to have back pain," says Ronald J. Wisneski, MD, an orthopedic surgeon, specialist in spinal disorders and spine surgery, and associate in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pa. Most of the time, that pain is centered in the lower back and non-specific, meaning there is no primary cause found."  Watson: Genetic trait sore back

Helpful relief suggestions by Dr. Ronald Wisneski, MD:  Watson: Genetic trait sore back

  • stop smoking
  • practice good posture whenever you sit or stand; lift with your knee and not your back
  • do exercises to strengthen the muscles to support your back ... abdominals, hips, back, pelvic area
  • fight the urge to crawl into bed whenever you experience back pain. Our bodies were meant to be used!
  • see your doctor and get treated for lower back pain as soon as possible

Conclusion:

After searching the internet for cause of lower back pain, I did not really become more informed. Back pain may be caused by a variety of causes that seem plausible and speculative but undocumented. What causes back pain is still a mystery!

The real cause of lower back pain is unknown as of 2020. There appear to be many causes of back pain and a lot of persons with lower back pain. Research finds over 40 % of the population will have back aches in their lifetime. As observed from the above search about back pain, medical doctors do not know the cause of back pain; so they speculate. Although they can use various tests to pin down a single back pain, the general cause of back pain is elusive.

References:

BetaHealthy,  BeataHealthy: lower back pain

Giammarise Patrick, "What’s the Link Between Lower Back Pain and Digestive Problems?" Digestion Relief Center, Chico, California.  Giammarise: lower back pain and digestion

Giammarise Patrick, "What Does Back Pain Have To Do With Indigestion?," Digestion Relief Center, Chico, California.  Giammarise: Back pain linked to digestion

Levine Hallie, "Here's What is Causing Your Lower Back Pain," AARP, February 1, 2019.  Levine: Causes of lower back pain 2019

Morgan William, "Are bacterial infections causing back pain?" American Chiropractic Association, April 2015.  Morgan: Bacteria causing back pain

Morris Matt, CEO: RelaxBack, "Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Back Pain,"  Morris: Selling products to relieve back pain

Watson Stephanie, "Top Causes of Chronic Low Back Pain," WebMD.  Watson: Causes of lower back pain  Watson: Genetic trait sore back

Winsor, Henry, MD, "Sympathetic Segmental Disturbances: The Evidences of the Association, in Dissected Cadavers, of Visceral Disease with Vertebral Deformities of the Same Sympathetic Segments," Medical Times, November 1921, pp. 1-7.  Winsor: vertebral deformities and disease 1921