Back Pain Unrelated To Musculoskeletal Problems

If you experience back pain, then you may believe that it is the result of overuse, a pulled or strained muscle, or a sprain. While these are some of the most common causes of back pain, there are other causes that are unrelated to musculoskeletal problems. Here are some causes of back pain that are not linked to muscle or bone problems and what you can do about them. 

Renal Problems

If you develop back pain, especially pain that is located in the flank area of your back, you may have renal or kidney problems. The flank area refers to either your upper abdomen or the sides of your back. If the flank pain is associated with other symptoms such as frequent urination, burning upon urination, cloudy or bloody urine, pelvic pain, or fever and chills, visit a health care clinic or make an appointment with your primary care physician.

These may be symptoms of a bacterial kidney infection that may require antibiotic treatment. Also, if your flank pain becomes severe or travels down your leg, you may have a kidney stone. While many kidney stones are eventually passed through the urinary system, large stones may need medical intervention. 


Another unusual cause for back pain is an allergic reaction. If you have allergies, your body expresses chemicals known as cytokines, and when this happens, body-wide inflammation develops. This not only may cause a worsening of your allergic symptoms, but may also cause significant muscle and back pain. If you have allergies, consider taking an over-the-counter antihistamine because doing so may suppress the release of cytokines, preventing systemic inflammation and subsequent back pain.

One particular allergy that may be more likely to cause back and other pain is an allergy to nightshade foods, such as eggplant, tomatoes, and green peppers. If you develop pain or muscle soreness after eating nightshades, you may be reacting to a chemical in their skins. You will need to visit an allergist who may be able to determine if you have a real allergy to nightshade vegetables or only a sensitivity to them.

For help with back pain, make an appointment with your physician. Before an effective treatment option can be implemented for your symptoms, your doctor will need to identify the source of your pain. The sooner the cause of your back pain is determined, the sooner your doctor can develop an effective treatment plan to help you feel better.