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Back Pain causes Linked to Medical Condtions

A man with back pain in an office seeks relief through acupuncture in London.

Can Medical Conditions cause my back or Shoulder Ache?

This is a question that I am often asked – the extent to which physical pain and back pain causes can be a manifestation of a medical condition. The answer is that they can, although the overwhelming majority of back or shoulder problems do come from muscular, nerve and joint pain. Still, it is important to be alert to possible medical conditions as a cause.

Should I Worry if I suddenly suffer back pain?

Pain in the shoulder , back, arm or neck can be symptomatic of Heart and angina issues. This can be seen as a viscero-somatic reflex.  This refers to the relationship between the body’s organs (viscera) and the body’s structure (soma). Pain in one area of the body can often be a symptom of a problem in a different area. Thus, a person suffering from heart problems may actually experience pain in their arm, shoulder or mid-back.

Pleurisy, gall bladder problems, kidney infections, pancreatitis, aortic aneurysm and lung conditions can all produce back or shoulder pain. Anyone with a past history of carcinoma anywhere in their body should be alert to the possibility of secondary or metastatic spreads into the bones – which can often cause lower back pain. These can ‘eat away’ at bones, causing them to fracture.

If you are currently experiencing back pain, all of this can seem frightening, but let me reassure you. The chance of your pain being symptomatic of any of these conditions is  actually really tiny. In fact, I would be almost 100% certain that your back or shoulder pain is indeed to do with your back or shoulder.

Is There A Way of Telling if My Back Pain is Caused By Another Medical Condition?

If there is any kind of hint that there is an underlying medical condition, I will certainly be able to point you in the right direction.

It is sometimes difficult to be initially wholly accurate, but a tell tale sign is a worseing pain or indeed a condition that doesn’t respond to treatment.  Luckily we live in an era of imaging and so early MRI scanning is usually sufficient to rule out anything else that might be causing your problem

It is only natural to worry about symptoms that we have, and often the worst thing we can do is to trawl the internet and self-diagnose. The best thing we can do is to get things checked out quickly.

Doing so will almost always reassure us that things are nowhere near as serious as they may appear in our minds.

Also remember that other cuases are thankfully very rare so continue to enjoy yourselves without too much worry.


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Laurens Holve

Laurens Holve has over 35 years experience as a Healthcare Practitioner specialising in both Osteopathy and Acupuncture practicing in North London and Woking, Surrey.

He trained in Osteopathic Medicine in London and studied Acupuncture in London and China where he worked and gained clinical experience in a hospital in Shanghai.

He helps people quickly get back to health by using his many years of study and experience employing different techniques to help reduce pain, increase mobility and improve health.