4 Surprising Causes of Upper Back Pain when Drinking Alcohol

Upper back pain when drinking alcohol 265article - image source Google

After a great party with your family, drink like crazy and you woke up in the morning asking yourself “What happens? My upper back pain? Did I fell from the stair last night?”

Well, alcohol has many side effects. If you consume a moderate amount, you could get some benefits. Several types of alcohol such as wine, may reduce the risk of developing heart disease, managing blood sugar, controlling weight, and fights free radicals. Alcohol also can help to keep your body warm during winter.

However, when alcohol consumed in larger quantities, it acts as a trigger for numerous health problems like liver, obesity (from excessive beer consumption), nerve and kidney degeneration. Upper back pain when drinking alcohol closely related to pain in middle back, neck, and chest as well.


Why does my back hurt after drinking alcohol?

There are several possibilities of the causes why alcohol triggering the pain. Therefore, knowing about the early diagnose of the occurring symptoms is needed to decide the further action.

1. Back muscle tension

As published in NCBI, about the relationship between alcohol abuse and low back pain, researchers did a study on the correlation between low back pain patients and alcohol consumption based on a questionnaire given to the patients who attend the clinic.

What they found out in the percentage result is: The more quantities of alcohol consumption, also contribute to the risk of getting back pain.

Although they did not find the direct correlation, the result indicates that still there is a possibility of alcohol can affect your back muscle. Thus create more of a problem along such as muscle spasm with increase usage.

By doing light exercise or back stretches, proper resting, stopping consumption of alcohol, and drink enough water could alleviate the back muscular problems.

2. Nerve system damage

The worst changes in the nervous system due to regular alcohol consumption are polyneuropathy. In addition to diabetes mellitus, chronic alcohol abuse is the most common cause of peripheral polyneuropathy.

The polyneuropathy is a typical neuropathic pain or nerve pain. In general, neuropathic pain is caused by injury or damage to neurons and/or nerves.

Mainly, polyneuropathy is a damage to the thin nerve fibers and a distal axonopathy. The result is paresthesia, and the following symptoms are sometimes painful body sensations with tingling, numbness, cold-heat perception disorders, and pain in the hands or feet.

3. Pancreatitis

Acute pancreatitis (acute pancreatic inflammation) is in most cases triggered by gallstones or excessive alcohol consumption. The pancreas gets inflamed but not permanent. Instead, it only stays for a few days.

A typical symptom of acute pancreatitis is a sharp pain belt-shaped upper abdomen through the back, fever, vomiting, and nausea. Acute pancreatitis is relatively common, especially for people between the 40 and 60 years of age. Left untreated pancreatitis can potentially become a life-threatening complication.

While chronic pancreatitis is a recurring inflammation of the pancreas and stays that way, lead to a permanent damage. As well as acute pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis is caused by excessive alcohol consumption.

Typical symptoms include a recurring pain in the belt-shaped upper abdomen area, weight loss, digestive problems, yellowish color of the skin and eyes, and a disturbed blood sugar regulation.

4. Hodgkin’s lymphoma (malignant cancer)

After alcohol consumption, enlarged lymph nodes can cause pain (alcohol-related pain disease), which is actually relatively rare in general, but is commonly typical for Hodgkin’s lymphoma causes.

In these cases, it is a typical early symptom and is described such as shortness of breath, abnormal weight loss, and swollen lymph nodes. Lower back pain is often associated with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but the scientific causes of alcohol-related pain in Hodgkin’s lymphoma are still unclear.

Patients often describe, however, that the first sip of alcohol occurs and then often having loss of appetite very quickly.

If there are several weeks of this alcohol caused pain, and you feel any enlarged lymph nodes usually in the throat area, you should consult a doctor immediately.


Causes of back pain when drinking alcohol is should not be underestimated. Although there are some benefits of particular alcohol such as wine, the actual limit or safe amount of the consumption is still debatable.

The wrong assumption, however, developed by many people who think about start drinking because the alcohol has their benefits for the health. In a short answer is yes, it has.

But actually, this is just a tiny fraction of the side benefits which is not to be compared to the greater risk of the overall alcohol consumption. Drinking less is better.

If it still hard to control, try to make alcohol-free days for yourself. You should not drink at all for at least three or two days every week. When the symptoms indicate the damaging nerve system, pancreatitis, and Hodgkin’s lymphoma, you should see a medical doctor.