Back pain, can it come from your organs?

Most of us will suffer an achey back from time to time. Maybe you’ve spent your Sunday slouched in the couch watching movies, or lifting heavy bags of cement on and off a trailer. Most commonly, back pain will come on due to a mechanical overload . As physios we are often asked if the cause of back pain could be related to something a little deeper?


The answer is YES.

We refer to this as visceral pain.

Visceral pain refers to pain generated from our internal organs. While our bones and muscles are prone to aggravation through trauma or gradual overloading, our organs can also contribute to our body’s pain response.


When our internal organs are put on excessive stretch, experience a reduced blood supply, or are inflamed, our bodies can elicit a pain response. This pain can be felt in areas away from the organ, giving a dull, vague ache that is difficult to pin point. This can often be misleading, presenting as superficial back pain, rather than something more.


Visceral pain tends to be stubborn and usually responds poorly to physiotherapy treatment, which can be costly and frustrating.Pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas, is a common example of an inflamed organ that can refer pain to the lower back.


At PhysioWest, your physiotherapist will take you through a thorough assessment of your presentation to determine the true source of your symptoms. Where appropriate, our therapists will refer on for further investigation, or make contact with your GP to ensure you have the best management possible.


If you are concerned about your back pain, make an appointment at PhysioWest today.

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