Back Pain While Standing and not While Walking

Back pains are quite common – both the aged people, as well as the younger adults can experience this pain. However, the frequent occurrence of this pain doesn’t make it less painful or less irritating. The discomfort is serious and needs intervention. Some people experience back pain while sitting, some experience it while walking and yet some others experience back pain only while standing and not while walking or sitting. The diagnosis of the condition needs to be done based on the symptoms experienced.

About Back Pain

There are back pains that are chronic and back pains that are acute and then there are the pains that occur only while standing. These back pains are not felt when you walk or sit. This kind of lower back pain occurs when you stand and as you sit down, the pain lessens. At times, running can add to the pressure, as this puts more pressure on the spine. The mechanism of this sort of pain is associated with the pressure that is put on the spine. With pressure on the spine, the muscles receive a lot of pressure. Thus the muscles tighten up and lead to spasms. This spasm of the back muscles around the spine causes the back pain to occur.

Common Causes Behind Back Pain While Standing and Not While Walking

Common Causes Behind Back Pain While Standing and Not While Walking

With ageing, the pressure on the muscles and ligaments increase. Spinal stenosis, ligament and muscle sprains and ruptured discs etc. are the conditions that can lead to experiencing back pain while standing and not while walking. The details regarding these conditions or causes are as follows:

  • Back Pain While Standing and Not While Walking Can Be Caused Due Spinal Stenosis: This condition occurs when the space between the backbone or spine narrows down. As a consequence, the nerve roots as well as the spinal cord, receives more pressure. Those, who suffer from spinal stenosis, experience severe pressure in the lower part of the spinal cord and this causes the pain to occur in the legs, especially while standing.
  • Muscle and Ligament Sprain Can Cause Back Pain While Standing and Not While Walking: Muscle sprain and ligament sprain is the most common cause behind the occurrence of the lower back pain. Sprains can be caused due to number of reasons or activities. These activities include –
    • Working out
    • Getting in or out of the car
    • Gardening
    • Lifting objects.
    • Inappropriate posture while bending
    • Twisting
    • Fall
    • Trauma
    • Sports activities.

Sprains are caused when the ligaments or muscles undergo a minor tear. Many people confuse spasms with sprains. However, it must be understood that the spasm is a symptom of sprain and not the cause.

  • Back Pain While Standing and Not While Walking Caused Due to Ruptured Discs: This is yet another serious cause of lower back pain that affects not only the back, but also the legs. Ruptured or herniated disc can cause back pain while standing and not while walking.

Pathophysiology of the Back Pain While Standing and Not While Walking

Regardless of the cause behind this typical lower back pain, when you experience this pain, it usually concentrates in the lower back and sometimes gets down to the legs. One will experience the back pain to be severe while standing. When you move around or sit down, it will not be too serious. In fact, walking on the treadmill may also not be too difficult. However, while standing in a queue or simply doing some other tasks that requires you to stand for long, will lead to numbing pain or discomfort that may get down to the legs.

How to get Relief from Back Pain that Happens While Standing and not While Walking?

  • Ice and Heat Pack Can Help Relieve Back Pain that Happens While Standing and Not While Walking: When you get a back pain, without a certain knowledge of the cause behind it, you can still try and reduce the pain with an ice pack at first and then with a hot pad. The sequence should carefully be followed in which the ice pack should be applied first and then the hot pad should be applied. Though after any injury or pain, it is more tempting to put a hot pad, this will only increase the release of inflammatory compounds. You should apply ice packs for about 10 minutes at a stretch and then take a break of another 10 minutes and then repeat the process. This process should be continued for 24 to 48 hours. It is only after the ice pack that you should proceed to apply hot pad. None of the ice packs or the hot pads should be applied directly on the skin.
  • Acupuncture is Effective in Providing Relief from Back Pain that Happens While Standing and Not While Walking: The use of small needles being pierced into the skin may seem to be a daunting task at first; the fact is that this procedure can release those compounds that actually cause the pain to occur. You must always seek professional help from a skilled expert, specializing in acupuncture.


Seeing a doctor will help you with short term treatments like taking a pain-relieving medicine or doing the exercises that can help you with reducing your pains. However, sometimes, wrong exercises can worsen the back pain. Hence, it is a must that the proper yoga and exercises are advised by the doctor or the experts and then practiced.

Additionally, the root cause of the back pain while standing and not while walking, such as the sprain or the ruptured discs, should be taken care of at first. Some conditions do not have a permanent cure and some would require you to change your habits and postures. Maintaining a calcium rich diet is always advised. This makes sure that the bones are not damaged or injured easily.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 8, 2017

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