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Upper Back Pain After Drinking Alcohol: What’s the Connection?

What causes upper back pain after drinking alcohol? Learn of 2 possible causes here.

Do you enjoy a beer (or two) after a long, hard day at work?

If so, you’re not alone.

However, if you’re experiencing upper back pain after drinking alcohol, it might be time to put down the bottle and talk to your doctor.


Upper Back Pain After Drinking Alcohol: How Are They Connected

Alcohol consumption has always been linked to different health conditions and diseases, most especially liver and kidney issues.


However, a lot of people are unaware of the link between drinking alcohol and back pain.

While chronic back pain can lead to alcohol dependency (i.e. drinking the pain away), overconsumption of alcohol can also contribute to back pain.


How? Here are some ways that they are connected:

  • Dehydration. Upper back pain when drinking alcohol is often caused by dehydration.

    Alcohol is a diuretic, which is why you get so thirsty and dehydrated after a night of drinking.

    Drinking alcohol causes you to urinate more, which leads to dehydration, especially when you drink excessively.

Between each vertebra in the spine is a disc, which acts as a type of shock absorber, preventing the bones from rubbing against one another and preventing the nerves from becoming pinched in between the vertebrae of the spine.

The discs are made up of mostly water. This loss of water can cause back pain when the discs press on nerves or allow the vertebrae to feel more shock when you move than they normally would.


For those with spine problems, such as those living with cervical spinal stenosis or vertebrogenic low back pain, the pain felt due to dehydration would be increased tremendously.

  • Kidney stones. Dehydration due to drinking alcohol may lead to the formation of kidney stones. If you already have stones, drinking alcohol can cause them to move quickly and can result in kidney pain, which can then lead to back pain.

It’s important to find out the reason for your upper back pain after drinking alcohol so you’ll know what to do in case it’s a sign of a more serious condition, like May Thurner Syndrome or abdominal aortic calcification back pain.

Consult your doctor if the pain persists even after rest or after you take medications.

Disclaimer: The information on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All information contained on this website is for general information purposes only.

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