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Side Back Pain and What Could be Causing It

Updated on August 21, 2010

Side back pain can differ widely in variety and is the most complicated of all forms of back pain to diagnosis. This pain can be caused by issues with the spine, muscles, kidneys, intestines, liver, stomach or even the heart. Even though overall lower or upper back pain is almost always because of musculoskeletal issues, side back pain can also be caused by a myriad of internal troubles and the pain in this region can differ significantly.

All of this concern on stopping back pain in our society leads many people to ask why our species seems seem intended to continuously endure this pain. There actually is a simple answer to this, it is the fact that we walk on two legs. Our evolution to 2 legs has allowed us to use tools, assemble buildings and communicate through written language, but the downside is that our backs now have to hold us upright. Things such as being overweight, not getting exercise, aging and wear and tear puts additional strain on a back that is already asked to do so much, and this is why back pain is the most widespread form of chronic pain in humans.

Common Causes of Pain

As previously mentioned, the bulk of side back pain is caused by musculoskeletal factors, or in simpler words, pain as a result of bone or muscle issues. The spine is the store house for the nervous system and is particularly complicated. Unlike other bones, these bones house the bulk of the nervous system occasionally meaning pain can take some time to manifest and can last for longer.

Back pain due to no exercise is no shocker to many people. But what many active people don't recognize is that back pain can be brought on by exercise. Many times people just select weight training moves without knowledge or assistance from a professional. This leads to people who select ab and arm exercises while totally ignoring the back which leads to an disproportionate division of strength which increases your likelihood of injury.

Heavy exercise can bring about side stitches. These side pains are not damaging, though they can be very painful. Some people never suffer through them while others experience them anytime they have a hard workout. Staying hydrated, stretching, building into your heavier workouts and breathing correctly will help you avoid side stitches.

Other Side Back Pain Culprits

Besides joint and muscle troubles, side back pain can be a sign of internal difficulties. If you have kidney stones or a kidney infection, the pain is commonly experienced on the sides of the back, right below the ribs. Unlike muscle pain that is usually consistent and blunt, kidney disorders will cause very sharp pains that commonly come in waves. If you have this form of pain, you will want to have it checked out by a medical doctor.

Side back pain can also be an signal of conditions such as pancreatitis, ulcers or digestive troubles or even heart attacks. Again, these kinds of pain are more painful and are felt inside of where the muscles are situated. Heat compressions and massage will help you cope with side back pain from ordinary culprits such as joint or muscle pain. Be sure you have your back pain looked into by a medical professional before beginning an exercise routine that targets the back so as to avoid injury.

You can find out more concerning side back pain and additional ways to decrease this pain.


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