Suffering from back pain after drinking alcohol?
Do you wake up the morning after with not just a hangover or a fuzzy head but also with aches and pains, particularly back pain? If this sounds familiar then have a read and see some of the reasons you may find you have back pain after drinking alcohol.
1. Vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D aids the immune system and reduces inflammation in the body. Alcohol can be a cause of Vitamin D deficiency in several different ways which can then lead to weaker bones and muscles and inflammation. All of which can be a cause for your back pain after drinking alcohol.
How can alcohol cause Vitamin D deficiency? Can it cause back pain after drinking alcohol?
Liver damage caused by alcohol can have long term effects and prevent your liver absorbing the amount of vitamin D you need.
Poor diet – Alcohol contains “empty calories”, excess drinking can convince your body that it has consumed enough calories This can leave you feeling full and so not eating properly or enough.
Alcohol is also part of a meal for many people around the globe. Do you really fancy a nice bit of oily fish or some poached eggs when you are out drinking and eating with friends? I think not, its more likely to be a curry with all the trimmings, a takeaway pizza or kebab. Which, nice as they may be at the time these foods are not known for their nutrient and vitamin content.
2. Alcoholic Myopathy
Symptoms of Myopathy include muscle spasms, cramping and stiffness. Vitamin D deficiency can also contribute to this condition. It is relatively common amongst heavy, regular drinkers. Sudden or acute episodes of myopathy can occur when binge drinking even if you do not drink regularly.
In the case of an acute episode, the symptoms usually resolve in a few days to a week. This is if there is no further binge drinking during that time. In the case of chronic myopathy caused by regular, heavy drinking, it is reversible! But, only by abstaining from alcohol and improving your diet.
As I’m sure we all know, when drinking alcohol we need to pee more than usual. You are consuming excessive amounts of liquid and your body wants to get rid of it but alcohol is also a diuretic. It supresses the hormone that is needed to control how much water is held in your body. When drinking alcohol your kidneys work overtime to process and filter the alcohol and this can lead to kidney pain which is generally felt in the lower back or flank.
Alongside the possibility of kidney irritation or damage you are also passing water that is needed within the body. The spine for example needs water in the discs. Water prevents the discs rubbing together or pressing on nerves in your back. Dehydration means there is a lack of water within the discs causing back pain after drinking alcohol.
For some people, moderate alcohol use is seen as a way of relieving pain and/or stress and an estimated 28% of people with chronic pain conditions use alcohol as a way of coping with their pain.
The problem with this is that as they drink regularly their tolerance to alcohol builds. They then find that they are having to consume more alcohol each time to have the same effect that initially 1 or 2 drinks would provide.
This can lead to further dependence on alcohol and the initial pain which was being eased can become side-lined as more health conditions relating to alcohol use start to begin.
5. Pancreatitis could be indicated by back pain after drinking alcohol
Symptoms of Pancreatitis include:
- Back pain
- Severe abdominal pain
Acute Pancreatitis can be a cause of back pain after drinking alcohol. It is sudden and painful and often results in an emergency hospital admission. It usually will resolve in a few days. Once you have suffered from Pancreatitis it is more likely to return. The only way to prevent this is no or very minimal alcohol intake.
Chronic Pancreatitis prevents the pancreas from working properly and can last for many years. If you suffer from chronic pancreatitis and continue to drink the pancreas will become more and more damaged which can in turn lead to diabetes or Pancreatic cancer. Chronic pancreatitis sufferers will need to follow a strict diet and take lifelong medication. This will ensure that the pancreas can recover well enough to work as it is meant to.
So going off what we have found here there are indeed links between alcohol and causes of back pain, but on the whole, these causes are reversible or able to be dealt with. Yes the best way to resolve them is to not consume alcohol at all but drinking in moderation and keeping to the recommended limits is certainly one way to reduce the back pain you suffer when drinking alcohol.