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Can Alcohol Cause Back Pain

What Moderate Drinking Looks Like

Back Pain And Alcohol

Moderate drinking is defined as up to one standard drink a day for women and up to 2 standard drinks a day for men. To get more detailed, a standard drink in the United States is a drink that contains about 0.6 fluid ounces or 14 grams of “pure” alcohol, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Alcoholic beverages vary greatly in terms of how much alcohol they contain. To illustrate this, below are examples of different alcoholic beverages that contain the same amount of alcohol and count as one standard drink:

  • A 12-fluid-ounce regular beer
  • A 5-fluid-ounce glass of table wine
  • A 1.5-fluid-ounce glass of 80-proof distilled spirits

While medical professionals and national health advisory boards generally agree that moderate drinking is a healthy way to consume alcohol, some people should avoid alcohol completely. If you are taking pain medication for a spinal condition, you may be among them.2

What Is The Outlook For People With Lower Back Pain

The outlook depends on the cause of pain. Most people with back strains and sprains recover and do not have long-term health issues. But many people will have another episode within a year.

Some people have chronic back pain that doesnt get better after several weeks. Older people with degenerative conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis may have symptoms that get worse over time. Surgery and other treatments are effective at helping people with a range of injuries and conditions live pain-free.

Alcoholism And Physical Fitness

In addition to looking at why drinking can harm muscles, its also important to consider how alcoholism affects overall fitness levels. Even if you are only a casual drinker, drinking can harm your ability to be physically fit.

Heavy alcohol use or alcoholism can affect your fitness in a few ways, including by impacting your bodys:

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Symptoms Of Hodgkin Lymphoma

Alcohol pain is not a common symptom of Hodgkin lymphoma. However, painful lymph nodes after alcohol use are a symptom that has been seen many times in people with Hodgkin’s disease.

People with Hodgkin lymphoma may develop different symptoms. The most common scenario at diagnosis is enlarged lymph node and nothing else. Lymph nodes may be enlarged in the neck, armpits, or groin, causing a painless lump. They also may be in the chest and found on imaging studies.

Other Hodgkin lymphoma symptoms occur less often and are called B symptoms of lymphoma. They may include:

  • weight loss

Alcohol Abuse And Fibromyalgia

Kidney Pain In Lower Back Alcohol

Though research has found that low to moderate amounts of alcohol use may ease pain and other symptoms of fibromyalgia, an excess could alcohol reverses any benefit. For individuals with an existing alcohol use disorder, the risks of drinking any amount of alcohol could outweigh any benefits it offers.

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The Connection Between Alcohol And Back Pain

Igor 3 years ago 2

Some time ago, I wrote about the connection between smoking and back pain , and today I`ve decided to address another bad habit drinking alcohol and determine whether there is a connection.

When talking about alcohol and back pain, I`m sure many of you will immediately think of falling when drunk and hurting your back, but we are not going to talk about that specific type of back pain, not for now at least.

Signs And Symptoms Of Liver Pain After Drinking Alcohol

Abdominal pain

Pain in the liver can sometimes be confused with stomach pain. Normally, if your liver is painful, you should feel it on the right side of your abdomen. The pain can also occur in the front center of your belly, or just under the lower right ribs. The pain can be throbbing or stabbing, and it may come and go.

Pain in the right shoulder

A problem in your liver can also cause pain in your right shoulder. A doctor will have to rule out polycystic liver disease, or the presence of cysts in the organ.

Enlarged liver

Drinking a lot of alcohol may cause the liver to swell. An enlargement that is accompanied by pain or other symptoms like nausea and vomiting needs to be checked by a doctor.


Sometimes, pain in the liver is accompanied by a fever. Although this could be a sign of more than one condition, it could mean that your liver has an abscess or a pocket of pus. Cysts or pockets of fluid in your liver can also give you a fever, discomfort, and pain in the upper right side of your belly or shoulder.

Nausea and vomiting

When you feel like vomiting or actually vomit after drinking alcohol, it could mean that your stomach is irritated or your liver is in danger. Vomiting is your bodys way of getting rid of harmful substances. Instead of overworking the liver with too much alcohol, your body decides to get rid of some through vomiting.

Unexplained vomiting could mean that there is something wrong with your liver, and it should get checked by a doctor.

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Get Help For Alcohol Addiction

Maybe you have chest pain after drinking alcohol but you still cant seem to moderate your drinking or stop altogether. If this sounds like you, you may have alcohol use disorder . Alcohol addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease that requires more than just your willpower to overcome it. Youll likely need professional detox to stop drinking and residential or outpatient rehab to make positive behavioral changes that will help you stay sober.

Quitting alcohol and staying sober isnt easy, but its a life-changing decision that you surely wont regret. A medically-assisted alcohol detox program can ensure that you get sober safely and comfortably with professional support.

Start your new sober life today by calling 857-0557. A Briarwood admissions representative is waiting to take your call and answer any questions you have about alcohol detox treatment.


When Does Alcoholic Myopathy Occur

Dehydration Can Cause Back Pain

Approximately one-third of individuals who drink heavily on a regular basis will experience alcoholic myopathy, making it far more common than some people might think. Alcohol Research: Current Reviews indicates that about between 0.5 percent and 2 percent of individuals struggling with alcoholism experience acute alcoholic myopathy, while 200 individuals in 100,000 of the general population develop chronic alcoholic myopathy more than any type of inherited myopathy.

Acute alcoholic myopathy can occur after consuming more than 4-5 alcoholic beverages in one sitting . On the other hand, those who develop chronic myopathy generally do so slowly over the course of several weeks or even months of regular, heavy drinking, gradually losing muscle strength. In some cases, muscle twitching, pain, or atrophy will also occur with chronic alcoholic myopathy. Chronic myopathy can also result in occasional bouts of acute myopathy, with muscle pain and weakness and darkened urine occurring after the person binges on alcohol.

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The Effect Of Drinking Alcohol On Internal Organs


Liver diseases are the most common problems related to excessive alcohol use because the liver is responsible for metabolizing alcohol.

When a person drinks more than the liver can process, lesions begin to form. Alcohol-related liver disease progresses from a buildup of fat cells known as fatty liver to more serious inflammation and finally permanent scarring .

Both hepatic steatosis and alcoholic hepatitis are reversible conditions that in some cases may improve without long-term consequences if the person stops drinking completely. If drinking continues, the once-reversible conditions develop into severe hepatitis or cirrhosis in 25 per cent of cases.


In 80-90 per cent of all cases, alcohol is the cause of both acute and chronic forms of pancreatitis. Acute pancreatitis can be treated and healthy function restored, but chronic pancreatitis causes permanent scarring and results in long-term impairment and the possibility of multiple complications.

Some people may develop pancreatic disease from drinking moderately , while others may drink excessively before the symptoms appear. Others will never develop pancreatitis, no matter how much they drink.


People who drink excessively are at risk for developing a condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD . Gastric reflux causes a back flow of acidic fluid from the stomach into the esophagus, resulting in an uncomfortable burning sensation.



Drinking The Pain Away

One benefit of moderate drinking is that it can help the body relax and reduce stress. This can help manage and prevent back pain. However, it is estimated that around 28% of individuals with chronic pain begin to turn to alcohol to manage the pain. This can lead to various problems.

  • Alcohols pain-numbing effects activate when drinking beyond the recommended moderate drinking. This can lead to excessive alcohol consumption.
  • The more alcohol consumed to relieve pain, the more likely a tolerance will develop that can lead to dependence.

However, chronic drinking to dull back pain can cause the body to develop increased sensitivity to pain. If there is withdrawal from alcohol after months or years of use, an individual may feel pain to a greater degree than before. Because of this, many go back to drinking for pain management. Excessive use can cause significant health issues.

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Long Term Drinking And Alcohol Myopathy

If youre more than just a casual drinker you should be aware of the significant way that alcohol can affect your body. Individuals who have a history of prolonged and excessive alcohol use can have damage to their liver, be malnourished and be at risk for developing alcohol myopathy.

Alcohol Myopathy is a serious condition in which the individual can have reduced muscle mass. This can result in muscle weakness, twitching and pain. As your muscles weaken your spine plays a bigger role in supporting your weight. The additional strain on your cervical spine can result in neck pain.

Drinking Away The Pain: A Slippery Slope

What Are Some Causes of Pain on the Upper Left Side of ...

One of the benefits of moderate drinking is that it may help you relax and ward off stress, which helps manage and prevent back pain.

However, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates that about 28% of people with chronic pain turn to alcohol to manage their pain. This presents several problems.

  • First, alcohols pain-killing effects kick in when you drink beyond the recommendations for moderate drinking. This may lead to excessive alcohol use.
  • Secondly, the more alcohol you drink to relieve pain, the more likely you are to develop a tolerance and dependence on alcohol.
  • Ultimately, chronic alcohol use to dull back pain can cause you to develop a greater sensitivity to pain. If you withdrawal from alcohol after months or years of abusing it, you may feel pain to a greater degree than you did before. Because of this, many people go back to drinking as a form of pain management. This long-term, excessive use of alcohol causes significant and harmful problems for your overall health and safety.

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    What Are The Effects Of Alcohol On The Body

    The risks associated with drinking a high quantity of alcohol is a topic that receives much attention. We are often told how it can increase the risk of various health problems, including heart and liver disease. However, alcohol can affect the function and health of the muscles and joints too. For example:

    • Alcohol is inflammatory
    • Alcohol makes it harder to build muscle
    • Alcohol can make the body ache
    • Alcohol hinders muscle recovery
    • Alcohol relaxes the muscles.

    Alcohol And Back Pain: The Best Thing You Can Do

    So, is alcohol good or bad for your back pain? Your doctor can tell you the answer.

    Having an honest conversation about your drinking habits with your personal doctor is the best way to safely enjoy alcohol while protecting your overall health. National alcohol guidelines are general and may not be safe for people with chronic back pain. Your doctor will help you understand how alcohol relates to you, as he or she best understands how alcohol affects your specific spine condition and interacts with your treatments.

    Most importantly, dont ignore it if alcohol interferes with your life, your health, and your relationships. If you have problems with alcohol abuse, talk to your personal doctor about how to get help and regain control of your life.


  • Ferreira PH, Pinheiro MB, Machado GC, Ferreira ML. Is alcohol intake associated with low back pain? A systematic review of observational studies. Man Ther. 2013 18:183-90. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2012.10.007.
  • Centers for Disease Control. Alcohol and Public Health. Last reviewed: October 18, 2016. Last updated: July 25, 2017. Accessed March 30, 2018.
  • Imhof A, Woodward M, Doering N, et al. Overall alcohol intake, beer, wine, and systemic markers of inflammation in western Europe: results from three MONICA samples . Eur Heart J. December 2004 25:2092-2100.

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    Kidney Stones Caused By Excessive Alcohol Use

    Another potential cause of back pain linked with heavy alcohol consumption could present in the form of kidney stones. These pesky precipitates are able to form during times of low water status.

    Alcohol has an effect on the ADHD channel to cause you to urinate more when you are drinking. This can potentially lead to kidney stone formation on its own, but numerous other investigations have also shown that drinking fruit juices can predispose a person to kidney stone formation during times of drinking, as well.

    When drinking hard liquors like vodka or whiskey, some users of this type of alcohol may turn to sodas or fruit juices to take the edge off of the drink and make them smoother. These studies show that the more juices you drink while you are consuming alcohol, the more likely you will be to develop kidney stones and potentially very severe back pain.

    Kidney Issues Unrelated To Alcohol

    Does alcohol cause arthritis inflammation and will quitting drinking help with pain?

    Drinking does not cause all types of kidney pain. The timing of the pain could be a coincidence, or the alcohol could have intensified an existing problem.

    Kidney stones are another possible cause of pain. A person may feel intense back pain or pain in their genitals or stomach as the body attempts to pass the stone. Some people also develop a fever. If the body does not pass the stone, a person can develop a severe infection or blockage.

    Sustaining a physical injury to the kidneys, such as by falling from a height, may also cause kidney pain.

    It is important to see a doctor for any and all kidney pain, whether it is related to alcohol consumption or not.

    A person is at risk of different complications depending on the underlying cause of the kidney pain.

    For example, a person with a UTI that spreads to the kidneys can develop , a dangerous infection of the blood.

    The possible complications of uncontrolled or untreated kidney disease include:

    • gout, a type of arthritis that occurs when uric acid accumulates in the blood
    • anemia, which develops when the body does not have enough red blood cells
    • high levels of phosphorous, which may cause bone conditions such as osteoporosis
    • dangerously high potassium levels

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    Possible Causes Of Chest Pain After Drinking Alcohol

    Some people may experience chest pain when drinking alcohol and it can be mild or severe. Not surprisingly, consistent alcohol abuse can cause serious and common heart problems, so any chest pain could be an indicator of a health problem or even a potentially life-threatening health condition. Here are some of the possible causes of chest pain after drinking alcohol.

  • Alcohol Cardiomyopathy
  • Alcohol cardiomyopathy is a form of heart disease that is caused by alcohol abuse. It occurs when long-term alcohol abuse weakens and thins the heart muscle, which inhibits your hearts ability to pump blood efficiently. The disruption of blood flow affects lots of major bodily functions and can lead to serious health problems or even heart failure. Most men and women who suffer from alcohol cardiomyopathy have abused alcohol for 5 to 15 years.3 Although its a very serious health problem, prompt treatment and giving up alcohol completely may prevent it from getting worse.

  • Hangover Anxiety
  • Hangover anxiety, also known as hangxiety, involves experiencing the usual symptoms of a hangover but with additional psychological symptoms too. Anxiety, in particular, is a commonly reported symptom and may also present with chest tightness or chest pain. Alcohol-induced anxiety during a night of drinking may also be a culprit of chest pain.

  • Pancreatitis
  • Alcohol and Drug Interactions
  • Acid Reflux
  • Dehydration
  • Undiagnosed Cancer
  • You Can Build Up A Tolerance For Alcohol

    The continual use of alcohol to lessen pain can cause problems if the amount of alcohol used becomes excessive and if it is used in conjunction with other pain-killing drugs.

    One problem is that the body begins to build up a tolerance to the effects of alcohol. In other words, it takes more alcohol to produce the same results over time.

    Even without the tolerance factor, the amount of alcohol it would take to actually relieve severe pain would probably be more than the recommended guidelines for safe alcohol consumption.

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    Alcohol Abuse Can Aggravate A Preexisting Condition Or Disease That Causes Joint Pain

    A variety of illnesses and diseases can cause joint pain that ranges from mild to severe. This pain may be accompanied by inflammation, swelling and tenderness. With certain illnesses and diseases, alcohol abuse may cause a persons condition to become more severe.

    Joint pain caused by the following conditions may be exacerbated by alcohol abuse:

    • celiac disease
    • other types of arthritis
    • rheumatoid arthritis

    Individuals with these conditions may want to consider speaking to their doctor prior to consuming alcohol, this could be especially true if they take any pain relievers or other medications to manage their symptoms.


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