Back pain and soreness are widespread conditions that affect all genders, races, and lifestyles. The causes for back pain are varied from injury, poor posture, arthritis, age, overuse, etc. If back pain is frequent, perhaps the last assumption is that the pain could be caused by cancer. While it’s far from the most common causes, cancer back pain is possible, which makes consulting a doctor that will figure out the root cause, especially if there are other non-related symptoms, and treat the back pain very important.

Cancer Back Pain

Cancer Back Pain

Back pain that could be caused by cancer usually occurs with other symptoms and include:

  • Back pain that is not related to movement.
  • Pain does not get worse with activity.
  • Back pain usually presents at night or early in the morning and fades away or improves as the day progresses.
  • Back pain persists even after physical therapy or other treatments.
  • Changes in bowel movements or blood in urine or stool.
  • Unexplained, sudden weight loss.
  • Unexplained fatigue/exhaustion.
  • Weakness, tingling, or numbness in the arms or legs.
  • Back pain does not have to be severe to be cancer, as it can range in severity.
  • Having a family history of cancer and these symptoms can increase the risk.

Types of Cancer That Can Contribute To Back Pain

Types of cancer that can form around, in, and near the spine can cause back pain. These include:

Spinal Tumor

  • A spinal tumor can grow in the spinal bone or the membranes around the spinal cord.
  • The spine is a common source for bone metastasis, where cancer starts in one location and spreads to others.
  • 30 to 70 percent of individuals with cancer spreads to the spine, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons – AANS.


  • Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers that can spread to the spine.
  • A lung tumor can press on the spine, affecting nerve transmissions.
  • An individual with lung cancer may notice becoming tired/fatigued more easily, shortness of breath, coughing up blood, and back pain.


  • Rare but possible breast cancer symptom.
  • Breast cancers can metastasize to the back.
  • Like lung cancers, some breast cancer tumors can press on nerves connected to the spine, causing discomfort and pain.


  • Cancers of the stomach, colon, and rectum can cause back pain.
  • The pain radiates from where the cancer is to the back.

Tissue and Blood Cancers

Blood and tissue cancers like:

  • Multiple myeloma
  • Lymphoma
  • Melanoma
  • Can cause back pain.

Diagnosing Cancer and Back Pain

Medical treatments for back pain-related cancer depend on its type and how advanced it is. A doctor will consider symptoms and medical history when diagnosing possible back pain causes. Because cancer is a rare cause of back pain, a doctor may recommend various treatments before a full cancer work-up. The doctor may order imaging studies and blood testing if the pain persists after chiropractic, physical therapy, or anti-inflammatory medications. These tests will help identify potential cancer markers causing back pain.

  • Treatments usually include chemotherapy and radiation to shrink a tumor.
  • A doctor will recommend surgery to remove a tumor.


Cancer patients have found chiropractic treatment to be effective for:

  • Pain management.
  • Flexibility improvement.
  • Mobility improvement.
  • Strengthening muscles.
  • Helping to reduce stress.
  • Helping the body function more efficiently.

Chiropractic physiotherapy benefits patients undergoing chemotherapy, as it helps the body withstand the debilitating effects of the treatment based on the whole-body approach.

Body Composition

Don’t Hate Dieting

Individuals hate dieting, usually because they go about it the wrong way. Individuals do not need to starve themselves and live at the gym. Reaching quick weight loss goals might sound appealing; however, going through it for an extended time can make individuals feel:

  • Tired
  • Depressed
  • Unmotivated

Individuals can find a nutrition plan/exercise balance that works for them and their lifestyle. For some individuals, dieting alone is effective, but more than likely, they have increased metabolisms. Trying to lose fat by only cutting calories can be difficult for individuals with smaller metabolisms. The goal is to find a balance between diet and exercise. This does not mean having to go on an extreme diet, skip meals, or cut out entire macronutrient groups like fat or carbs, as the body needs both of these nutrients. Finding a sustainable long-term nutrition plan takes planning and support. A dietician, nutritionist, or health coach can offer a variety of nutrition and exercise plans customized to the individual.


Downie, Aron et al. “Red flags to screen for malignancy and fracture in patients with low back pain: a systematic review.” BMJ (Clinical research ed.) vol. 347 f7095. 11 Dec. 2013, doi:10.1136/bmj.f7095

Mabry, Lance M et al. “Metastatic cancer mimicking mechanical low back pain: a case report.” The Journal of manual & manipulative therapy vol. 22,3 (2014): 162-9. doi:10.1179/2042618613Y.0000000056

Vasser, Melinda, and Matthew Koroscil. “When Back Pain Turns Deadly: An Unusual Presentation of Lung Cancer.” Respiratory medicine case reports vol. 29 101009. 28 Jan. 2020, doi:10.1016/j.rmcr.2020.101009

Verhagen, Arianne P et al. “Red flags presented in current low back pain guidelines: a review.” The European spine journal: official publication of the European Spine Society, the European Spinal Deformity Society, and the European Section of the Cervical Spine Research Society vol. 25,9 (2016): 2788-802. doi:10.1007/s00586-016-4684-0

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Cancer Back Pain" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.


Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*


Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
Texas DC License # TX5807, New Mexico DC License # NM-DC2182

Licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN*) in Florida
Florida License RN License # RN9617241 (Control No. 3558029)
Compact Status: Multi-State License: Authorized to Practice in 40 States*

Presently Matriculated: ICHS: MSN* FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner Program)

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
My Digital Business Card

Previous articleSupplements for Hormone Health | Part 3
Next articleLooking At Peptide Therapies In Endocrine Restoration | Part 1
Dr. Alex Jimenez
Specialties: Stopping the PAIN! We Specialize in Treating Severe Sciatica, Neck-Back Pain, Whiplash, Headaches, Knee Injuries, Sports Injuries, Dizziness, Poor Sleep, Arthritis. We use advanced proven therapies focused on optimal Mobility, Posture Control, Deep Health Instruction, Integrative & Functional Medicine, Functional Fitness, Chronic Degenerative Disorder Treatment Protocols, and Structural Conditioning. We also integrate Wellness Nutrition, Wellness Detoxification Protocols and Functional Medicine for chronic musculoskeletal disorders. We use effective "Patient Focused Diet Plans", Specialized Chiropractic Techniques, Mobility-Agility Training, Cross-Fit Protocols, and the Premier "PUSH Functional Fitness System" to treat patients suffering from various injuries and health problems. Ultimately, I am here to serve my patients and community as a Chiropractor passionately restoring functional life and facilitating living through increased mobility. Purpose & Passions: I am a Doctor of Chiropractic specializing in progressive cutting-edge therapies and functional rehabilitation procedures focused on clinical physiology, total health, functional strength training, functional medicine, and complete conditioning. We focus on restoring normal body functions after neck, back, spinal and soft tissue injuries. We use Specialized Chiropractic Protocols, Wellness Programs, Functional & Integrative Nutrition, Agility & Mobility Fitness Training and Cross-Fit Rehabilitation Systems for all ages. As an extension to dynamic rehabilitation, we too offer our patients, disabled veterans, athletes, young and elder a diverse portfolio of strength equipment, high-performance exercises and advanced agility treatment options. We have teamed up with the cities' premier doctors, therapist and trainers in order to provide high-level competitive athletes the options to push themselves to their highest abilities within our facilities. We've been blessed to use our methods with thousands of El Pasoans over the last 3 decades allowing us to restore our patients' health and fitness while implementing researched non-surgical methods and functional wellness programs. Our programs are natural and use the body's ability to achieve specific measured goals, rather than introducing harmful chemicals, controversial hormone replacement, un-wanted surgeries, or addictive drugs. We want you to live a functional life that is fulfilled with more energy, a positive attitude, better sleep, and less pain. Our goal is to ultimately empower our patients to maintain the healthiest way of living. With a bit of work, we can achieve optimal health together, no matter the age, ability or disability.