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Aches and Agony: Unexpected Causes of Chronic Pain

Updated: Jan 16

Aches and pains should not be an accepted part of your daily life! Chronic pain conditions often come from an old injury flaring up or an aftereffect of surgery. However, there are a few other conditions that cause chronic pain that may come as a surprise. Check out these unexpected causes of chronic pain, and if you suspect you may have one of these conditions, give your doctor a call.


Inflammatory bowel disease, or IBS, can flare up after eating a triggering food, like dairy. But even if you follow an anti-inflammatory diet and avoid your triggers, IBS can cause lasting pain in your abdomen and even your back. Bowel problems aren’t limited to your belly but have a doctor check on your intestines if the aches often concentrate there.

Sinus Disease

Have you spent half a year feeling like your head is going to explode? Sinus infections come and go in a few weeks for most people, but they can stick around for months for others. Your throbbing head pain could be coming from something as tiny as collapsing nasal passages. If you’re not getting enough air when you breathe, the mucus from a sinus infection can build up and cause constant, painful pressure. An ENT doctor can ease that pressure for you and get you breathing more freely.

Vitamin Deficiency

If your full-body aches are interfering with your daily life, your bones and muscles might be telling you something. Insufficient vitamin D is the most common deficiency, and it can weaken your bones and lower your pain threshold. Vitamin D deficiency is commonly misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia, as both conditions cause chronic fatigue and weakness. Start taking a multivitamin if you don’t already!

Medication Side Effects

When drug commercials list possible side effects at lightning speed, joint and muscle pain are often among them. If you take bisphosphonate to treat osteoporosis, it can (ironically) cause debilitating bone and joint pain! Another common suspect is the antidepressant Trintellix. Contact your primary care doctor and keep them updated on what meds you take.


We all know it’s bad for you. We all know it causes lung cancer. But smoking can also cause systemic inflammation! Your body may start screaming at you long before you develop emphysema or COPD. Even if they are otherwise healthy, people who smoke have a lower pain threshold. They’re more susceptible to developing other health problems, including chronic pain conditions.

If you have aches and pains every day for months, some surprising factors may be at play. While you should wait for your doctor’s appointment, educate yourself on a few unexpected causes of chronic pain and bring your concerns to the doctor’s office.

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