Top 4 Hidden Causes of Chronic Pain

Most patients do not seek medical help until they start feeling uncomfortable symptoms, and these symptoms often cause an unbearable amount of pain. While pain tells us that something is wrong within our body, it may not start affecting us as soon as the damage occurs. Pain can be a delayed response, which then makes it difficult for some doctors to determine the root cause of the discomfort. Lasting pain that appears to have no physical causes is commonly referred to as chronic pain. While it may be frustrating to address chronic pain, you can start uncovering the mystery of your condition by considering the following common causes.

Food Sensitivities

Food sensitivities should not be confused with allergies, the latter often having more immediate reactions that are easy to detect. Food sensitivity reactions are usually delayed with difficult to notice symptoms. Joint pain is one such symptom that can occur, but most people do not feel its effects until the pain reaches a breaking point. Rising awareness of food sensitivities is why there are many more labels on products that contain gluten, as gluten is a protein found in many grains that can activate an inflammatory response.

Emotional Effects

Experiencing and handling intense negative emotions is a natural process that everyone must tackle at some point. The difference is how our bodies and behaviors adapt to these emotions. Sometimes, the response is a triggered fight-or-flight response within the nervous system that – if left unchecked for too long – can build an unhealthy amount of stress that leads to chronic pain and other health issues.

Nutritional Issues

Sometimes, many cases of chronic pain are a matter of not maintaining a healthy diet. Many people are not getting the proper nutrients needed to have a healthy body. Lack of vitamins and higher levels of sodium can cause tissue inflammation that wears down joints and increases tension in muscles.


Many people use over the counter painkillers for immediate relief from a headache or achiness, but some of these same painkillers can do more harm than good in the long-term. Constant use of painkillers for immediate release can make your body more sensitive to daily sensations that would not bother most people, and can also mean a dependency to the pills that cause health issues.

If your chronic pain is focused around the lower back, these hidden causes are likely wearing down the vertebrae and other small structures within your spine. Treating chronic pain can be a matter of small lifestyle changes in diet, movement, or sleep, but sometimes surgery is sometimes necessary. To find out the best treatment for your back pain in New Jersey, contact the Spine Institute today to schedule an appointment with one of our experts.