Reasons Your Back May Hurt After Eating

For some, eating may induce painful sensations in various muscles and structures within the back. While it may seem odd to relate the two, pain associated with eating may be indicative of a more serious issue. For many, this type of back pain may truly be nothing to worry about. However, consistent and severe back pain that is triggered by eating should be discussed with a qualified medical professional to rule out the possibility of a serious condition. So, what might be the underlying cause of back pain associated with meal times? Read on to find out.


For many, eating may induce a burning sensation in the throat and chest known as heartburn. While it may seem that this pain only occurs in the chest, often it may radiate into the shoulders, the back, and even the arms. This is known as “referred pain” and may occur in areas that are quite distant from the actual source of the problem. If heartburn pain is experienced during or after eating, consider evaluating the acidity or spiciness of the food being consumed. Often, reducing consumption of these types of foods may lead to a reduction in the occurrence of heartburn.

Poor Posture

While poor posture may occur at any time, eating while seated in an uncomfortable chair may induce uncomfortable aches throughout the back. Alleviating back pain resulting from poor posture is quite simple. Avoiding sitting with the legs crossed or in a hunched position may drastically decrease pain.

Gallbladder Inflammation

The gallbladder functions to help the body digest fatty foods. For those suffering from gallstones or gallbladder inflammation, fattier meals may result in pain. While the gallbladder is located in the abdomen, pain felt in this organ may radiate around to the upper and middle back. If consistent back pain is noted after the consumption of fattier foods, it is important to consult with a medical professional to determine if the gallbladder may be the source of discomfort.


Ulcers may also result in referred pain that is felt throughout the thoracic, or middle, region of the back. Because ulcers typically occur in the esophagus and stomach, a person may also feel pain resulting from these lesions radiating throughout the area. Ulcers are generally caused by a bacterial infection, making it imperative to consult with a medical professional to determine an appropriate course of treatment.


Pancreatitis is a serious and possibly life-threatening condition that may cause referred back pain. Most people report severe abdominal pain as the top symptom of pancreatitis; however, this pain and discomfort may radiate to the middle back. Because the pancreas assists the body in the digestion of foods that contain protein and carbohydrates, inhibition or inflammation of this organ may result in severe pain that occurs during or after a meal. For those who suspect pancreatitis may be the cause of severe abdominal or back pain, it is critical to contact a medical professional who may promptly evaluate any symptoms.

Some back pain and discomfort experienced after or during eating is avoidable, like pain associated with poor posture or heartburn. However, back pain during or after eating can also be caused by serious underlying health issues, like pancreatitis or gallbladder disease. If you experience back pain or discomfort during or after eating, note the type of food that you consumed. In many cases, the discomfort may simply be tied to what you ate. Chronic and severe back pain or discomfort during or after eating is something that should be discussed with a qualified medical professional to rule out the presence of any serious conditions. If your back pain becomes more severe, contact Marc Cohen Spine Center. We offer multiple back pain solutions designed to help manage your back pain.