Surprising causes of back pain and tips for relief

  • Woman Working With a Sore Back iStockphoto

    Woman Working With a Sore Back

    If you've ever had a bout of back pain, you're not alone: According to the National Institutes of Health, 8 out of 10 people will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. Most of the time, back pain is set off by something totally minor, says Dr. Venu Akuthota, director of the Spine Center at the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, Colorado.

    Besides obvious causes (constantly lugging a too-heavy purse, for instance), experts say that everyday habits like hunching over your smartphone can strain your spine and the surrounding muscles over time, causing pain and making you more vulnerable to serious injury. To stop back pain now -and avoid future agony - try targeting these 6 unexpected culprits from Nicole DeCoursy at