Does Coffee Cause Back Pain?

crazy by Editorial Staff | Updated on April 26th, 2023

Do you love your morning cup of joe but dread the back pain that follows? You’re not alone! Many people have experienced similar symptoms after drinking coffee.


This blog post will investigate the link between coffee and back pain and discuss ways to reduce discomfort.

Back Pain

Research on caffeine and back pain

Caffeine and lower back pain

Research has suggested that caffeine consumption may affect lower back pain. However, there may be no direct relationship between caffeine consumption and global experience of pain and disability in patients with a chronic low back. 

Caffeine and upper back pain

Research on caffeine and upper back pain has shown mixed results. While some have indicated that caffeine consumption can increase the risk of upper back pain, others have found no correlation. However, it is certain that consuming large amounts of caffeine may increase the risk of experiencing upper back pain. 

Caffeine and inflammation

What is inflammation?

Inflammation is a natural and complex biological process that occurs in response to injury, infection, or tissue damage. It is a crucial part of the body’s immune response system and is critical in defending the body against harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants.

During the inflammatory response, the body releases chemicals, such as cytokines and histamines, which signal the immune cells to migrate to the site of damage or injury. These immune cells work to remove the offending agent and repair the damaged tissue. As a result, inflammation is characterized by various symptoms, such as redness, swelling, warmth, pain, and sometimes loss of function.

Caffeine and inflammation

Caffeine has been identified as an inflammatory agent, which means that it can worsen the pain associated with chronic low back pain. This can happen when the body is already in a state of stress and inflammation, as caffeine may further aggravate this condition. 

Research has found that caffeine intake can cause elevated cortisol levels, a stress hormone that can trigger inflammation.

Other negative effects of caffeine

Besides causing back pain, caffeine has a few other negative aspects that can affect the body and ultimately contribute to chronic pain. 

Caffeine’s effect on sleep quality

Caffeine can have a disruptive effect on sleep quality, which can lead to chronic back pain. Studies have found that caffeine intake can decrease total sleep time and reduce sleep quality. It is important to note that the effects of caffeine on sleep vary from person to person, so it is important to pay attention to your body and its response when consuming caffeine. 

Caffeine’s impact on anxiety and depression

Studies have found correlations between high caffeine consumption, increased anxiety levels, and increased risk of depression. This could be due to caffeine blocking the adenosine receptors, which can lead to a heightened sense of anxiety and worry. 

Additionally, consuming large amounts of caffeine can lead to chronic insomnia, further contributing to depression and anxiety. That said, it is important to note that caffeine consumption has not conclusively been linked to depression or anxiety; rather, it is one potential factor that may need to be considered to maintain mental health.

How to reduce your risk of back pain

Exercise regularly

Regular exercise is essential for maintaining a healthy back and preventing back pain. Studies have shown that even moderate exercise can help reduce the risk of lower back pain and improve overall health. This includes activities such as walking, swimming, or low-impact aerobics. 

Additionally, regular physical activity has been linked to improved sleep quality and reduced stress levels, which can also help reduce the risk of back pain. 

Maintain good posture

Maintaining good posture is important in protecting your back from pain and injury. Sitting or standing in a slouched position for prolonged periods of time can stress the lower back, potentially leading to pain. Good posture helps to keep your spine in its natural alignment and reduces pressure on your muscles and ligaments. 

Paying attention to how you move when lifting heavy objects is important, as this can strain the lower back muscles. 

Alternatives to coffee

For those who are looking for alternatives to coffee, there are options available. 

Herbal teas

Herbal teas contain naturally occurring caffeine, which can help reduce the sensation of pain. Furthermore, herbal teas such as yerba mate, astragalus, and ginseng can help support the body’s natural healing process and may even help reduce inflammation. 

Additionally, herbal teas have no known negative effects on sleep quality or anxiety levels, making them a healthier option than coffee for managing back pain.

Green tea

Studies suggest that green tea has mild anticancer and antidiabetic properties and can help maintain a healthy weight. It’s an anti-inflammatory that can benefit those with back or neck pain. 

In comparison to coffee, green tea contains significantly lower amounts of caffeine, with a similar-sized cup containing only 48 mg compared to 95 mg in coffee. This means that green tea is less likely to cause the negative side effects of too much caffeine, such as headaches and anxiety. 

Furthermore, drinking decaffeinated green tea is associated with a lower risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Therefore, green tea is a great option for an energizing drink without the potential for back pain.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. Consult a healthcare professional for medical concerns. The author and publisher are not liable for any actions taken based on this article.

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Disclosure: No compensation or free products were received in exchange for writing this review.

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Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.