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Back Pain - What are the possible causes in 2022 ?

Back pain is on the increase and as Chartered Physiotherapists we are always looking at ways to treat and advise.

Covid has meant that more of us are working from home and this has had a huge impact on the increase

It is important to consider all pain in a ‘biopsychosocial framework’.

This means there will be biological, psychological and social factors that can influence each other, and the level of pain.

A biopsychosocial framework of pain:

Cardiovascular fitness (healthy heart)

Poor cardiovascular fitness and low levels of physical activity are closely associated with low back pain. Regular physical activity and improved cardiovascular fitness are important for general health and helps you to carry out daily tasks and leisure activities.

Emotional wellbeing (mood, anxiety, stress)

When living with pain it is normal to notice changes in your mood. Research has shown that they are closely linked. It is common for people to report that it not only impacts on their ability to manage but may also influence pain itself. Your pain is a real physical experience that can also be affected by anxiety and stress. For example, being worried, anxious or stressed can cause physical changes to your body like your heart beating faster and clammy palms. It can also increase the level of pain.

Attitude and beliefs

Your past experiences can influence your body’s interpretation of pain and the way you respond to pain. Appreciating a current understanding of pain can help you make positive steps in your recovery.

Sleep quality

Sleep is an essential part of feeling well and happy. Poor sleep quality and sleep disruption can deprive you of needed rest and recuperation, which can make managing your pain more difficult.


Reduced muscle strength can make daily tasks challenging and contribute towards low back pain. It is important to improve the strength of muscles throughout the whole body.

There is no one form of exercise that is proven to be better than another and the strength you need will depend on what you want to do. 7

Comorbidities (other health problems)

There is a relationship between medical conditions (such as diabetes, hypertension, respiratory and cardiovascular disease) and low back pain. Improving the management of your overall health can have a positive impact on your back pain. Weight There is an association between being overweight and low back pain.

Excess weight can increase the physical demand on the body and contribute towards low grade inflammation.


Smoking increases the risk of developing over 50 serious health conditions including cancer, heart disease and stroke. Research has also identified smoking has an association with low back pain.

Flexibility and stiffness

Everyone is built differently and there is no ideal amount of flexibility. Being able to tolerate what you want to do in life may require more mobility and flexibility.


There is no perfect posture. Having a particular posture does not cause low back pain. However, consistently being in the same position without regularly changing position can contribute towards your pain.


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