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What's Causing Your Back Pain?

Back Pain Causes are Numerous, What’s Causing Yours?

Millions of Americans have ongoing back pain. In fact, it’s the number one cause of disability in people younger than 45, and many things can cause it. Back pain is a frequent reason for absence from work and for seeking medical care. It can be both uncomfortable and debilitating, causing lasting problems.

Injury, activity, and some medical conditions can all be the cause of back pain to varying degrees of severity. Back pain can affect any age of person, any gender, for different reasons, and at different times. As people get older, lower back pain issues can increase, due to factors such as previous occupation and degenerative disc disease.

The human back is composed of a complex structure of muscles, ligaments, tendons, discs, and bones. These all work together to support the body and allow us to move around.

The segments of the spine, the vertebra, are cushioned with cartilage-like pads called discs. Problems with any of these components can cause back pain. 

Lower back pain can be caused by issues in the bony lumbar spine, the discs between the vertebrae, the ligaments around the spine and discs, the spinal cord and nerves, the lower back muscles, the abdominal and pelvic internal organs, and the skin around the lumbar area.

Pain in the upper back can be caused by similar issues as well as tumors in the chest and spine inflammation.

With all of this said, the most common causes of back pain are typically those associated with injury or strain and there are several things you can do to help yourself manage that pain, including massage. Let’s take a deeper look at each of these different types.


Some of the most frequent causes of back pain amongst the several we’ve mentioned are strain, tension, and injury. These can include:

  • muscle spasm
  • muscle tension
  • strained muscles or ligaments
  • damaged discs
  • injuries, fractures, or falls

Activities that can cause strains or spasms are:

  • lifting something improperly or that’s too heavy
  • Abrupt, awkward movement or twisting
  • Structural problems

For sprains and strains, massage can be extremely helpful, and having a massage chair right in your home can be a fantastic way to combat the pain on a daily basis.

  • Structural problems can include:
  • Ruptured discs: Each vertebra in the spine is cushioned by discs, and if one ruptures it causes a pressure build-up on the nerves, in turn causing back pain.
  • Bulging discs: Similar to a ruptured disc, a bulging disc can cause more pressure on the nerve.
  • Sciatica: Pain that travels through the buttock down the back of your leg, caused by a bulging or herniated disc pressing on the sciatic nerve.
  • Arthritis: Osteoarthritis can cause problems with the joints in the hips, lower back, and other areas, and in some cases, the area around the spinal cord narrows. This is called spinal stenosis.
  • Osteoporosis: Bones, including the vertebrae of the spine, can become brittle and porous as you age, increasing the likelihood of compression fractures.
  • Abnormal curvature of the spine: If your spine abnormally curves, like with scoliosis, it can cause back pain.
  • Degenerative disc disease: As you get older, the discs between your vertebrae can shrink or tear, which causes the bones to rub together.
  • Inflammation and wear of the sacroiliac joint: Where your spine and pelvis come together, is a joint that doesn’t move much, but it’s important because it transfers the load of the upper body to the lower body. Swelling and wear of the joint cartilage can develop after an injury, because of arthritis, infection, or even pregnancy.

Movement & Posture

How we sit, stand, and walk can also cause back pain, as any fellow desk worker knows. Sitting hunched over a desk when using computers, some everyday activities like lifting or running, and poor posture can all contribute to back pain. In fact, there are several physical things that can cause you to be grabbing your back in pain.

Examples include:

  • twisting
  • coughing or sneezing (it may sound silly, but a sudden twist can tweak something)
  • muscle tension
  • Over-stretching (yes, you can actually stretch too much)
  • bending awkwardly or being bent over for long periods
  • pushing, pulling, lifting, or carrying something
  • standing or sitting for a long stretch of time
  • straining your neck forward, like when driving or using a computer
  • being in the car for a long time without a break, even when not hunched
  • sleeping on a mattress that doesn’t support your body and spine

The good news is that for these types of situations there is usually something you can do about your back pain and massage is a fantastic way to alleviate the discomfort. There is so much to be said about having a massage chair right in your home that you can turn to after a long day. Between the physical benefits and the mental advantages of being more able to relax, massage can be the perfect supplement to your hectic day that allows you to recharge and recover.

For more information about massage and chronic pain click here.

Complementary Therapies

Complementary therapies can be used to help treat chronic back pain alongside traditional medical interventions or by themselves.

Chiropractic, osteopathy, massage such as shiatsu, and acupuncture can help you find relief as well as encourage you to feel more relaxed.

Massage as you’re probably well aware of is the manipulation of the soft tissues like the muscles and ligaments to provide pain relief, a greater range of motion, and relaxation. There are several different types of massage and you can find a number of them in the high-quality massage chairs that we offer here on our website. 

Acupuncture originates from China and the concepts that it follows are often used in acupressure, which can be found in several of the massage chairs we carry as well. These types of massage, including options like shiatsu, are great for relieving trigger points that can cause intense back and neck pain.

Massage also pairs wonderfully with yoga. Yoga involves specific poses called asanas, positions, and breathing exercises that can help to strengthen your muscles, particularly those in your back, and help you find pain relief through gentle stretching. You can learn more about pairing a yoga routine with massage here.

When you are using your massage chair to help with back pain, it’s important to make sure that your back pain isn’t caused by something that would not be helped with massage. Talk with your doctor and once you have the go-ahead, start using your chair to get the relief you deserve.


You can also work to prevent some back pain by using the following.

  • Exercise: Regular exercise can build strength and help to control body weight. Guided, low-impact aerobic activities can improve your cardiovascular health without straining or jerking your back. Check with your health care provider on what types of exercises will work best for you, such as core strengthening and flexibility activities.
  • Quit Smoking: Among the other host of reasons to quit smoking, a significantly higher percentage of smokers experience back pain as compared to non-smokers of the same age, height, and weight.
  • Posture: When you’re standing make sure you have a neutral pelvic position. Stand upright, head facing forward, back straight, and balance your weight evenly on both feet. When you’re sitting, especially for a long time, a good seat should be one that has excellent back support, armrests, and a swivel base. When sitting, try to keep your knees and hips level and your feet flat on the floor. You can also use a footstool. If you’re using a keyboard like I am as I write this, make sure your elbows are at right-angles and that your forearms are horizontal, parallel to your legs.
  • Lifting: When lifting things, use your legs to do most of the work instead of your back. We’ve all been told this before but it really is important when you don’t want to injure yourself or if you’re already dealing with back pain. So, keep your back as straight as you can with your feet apart with one leg slightly in front of the other so that you can maintain balance. Then, bend only at your knees, hold the object close to your body, and straighten your legs while twisting or moving your back as little as possible. If bending your back is unavoidable at first, try not to stoop, and be sure to tighten your stomach muscles. If something is particularly heavy, have someone help you. You’ll also want to avoid craning your neck. Try instead to keep your neck in a straight line with your spine. It’s also better for your back to push things across the floor, using your leg strength, rather than pulling them.
  • Shoes: Flat shoes place less of a strain on the back, so if you’re on your feet for a long time, avoid heels and wedges.
  • Driving: It is important to have proper support for your back when you’re in the car as well. Make sure the wing mirrors are properly positioned so you don’t need to twist around to see and make it so that you don’t need to reach too much for the pedals either. If you’re on a long trip, make sure to take plenty of breaks to get out of the car and walk around.
  • Bed: A supportive bed that keeps your body in alignment is a must as well as making sure that your pillow doesn’t force your neck into a steep angle.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for an in-home way to treat and lessen your back pain, a high-quality massage chair can provide ongoing physical, mental, and emotional relief. There are so many causes of back pain, and you’ll need a physician to provide you with a diagnosis. But the good news is that so many of the acute back pain causes can be aided with massage and other therapies.

If you have chronic pain, numbness, or tingling, you always consult a physician. A doctor can determine the cause and prescribe the best types of treatment therapies. If you and your doctor agree that massage can be great for your treatment plan, you can start your search for a top-tier massage chair right here on MassageChairPlanet.Com. Your back will thank you.

Finished With Your Research?

You can look into the chairs, techniques, and other benefits of massage in the Learning Center on our website, and you’ll be able to see the physical benefits each of the styles offered and what to be prepared for from them. 

If you have any questions or are interested in purchasing your first massage chair, check out our Massage Chair Buying Guide or give us a call. You can even reach out through email at

With all this in mind, don’t forget about our financing options. We understand that investing in a massage chair is a big decision, and we want to help make that process as simple and stress-free as possible. Our sales representatives are ready and excited to get you into the perfect chair!


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