Hypothyroidism and Back Pain

What Is Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism, simply put, means that your thyroid gland is not putting out enough of the thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormone is what controls the way your body uses energy. The most important hormones, T4 and T3, account for more than 99 percent of the thyroid hormones in the bloodstream. They affect the metabolism of the cells themselves, and work with the pituitary gland to maintain a proper level of thyroid hormone and thyroid-stimulating hormone in the system. Hypothyroidism can contribute to the following symptoms:

  • Weakness and exhaustion
  • Elevated cholesterol
  • Dry skin, brittle nails, coarse hair
  • Constipation
  • Poor tolerance for cold weather
  • Muscle pain and stiffness
  • Memory problems
  • Heavy or irregular menstrual periods
  • Back pain
  • Weight retention
  • Low basal body temperature
  • Slow metabolism

Article Con’t…

Recent research also links hypothyroidism to the symptoms of fibromyalgia, such as:

  • Pain in neck, shoulder, shoulder blades, elbows
  • Pain in knees and kneecaps
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches, tenderness of scalp, pain in the back of the skull
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Balance problems
  • Neurally mediated hypotension (blood pressure dropping when you stand up)

It’s easy to see how chronic back pain can actually be undiagnosed or misdiagnosed hypothyroidism. In some cases, hypothyroidism can come from an autoimmune problem and can be manifested in some classic fibromyalgia symptoms. In cases of autoimmune-related hypothyroidism, the cells themselves have a resistance to the thyroid hormones, which then calls for a completely different strategy for treatment.

Women (especially women past the age of 60) are more prone to hypothyroidism than men are. Thyroid health can be sustained through a diet that includes foods that are rich in iodine (spinach, greens, seafood, iodized salt).


The good thing about hypothyroidism is that it is relatively easy to diagnose through blood work, and that most patients start seeing results in a week or two. There are instances, however, where individuals who are “subclinically hypothyroid” can fall through the cracks, as many tests measure only T4 and TSH levels. Subclinical patients’ cells may not be getting enough thyroid hormone, but the tests can’t measure that and physicians may not have an adequate understanding of what those results really can mean.

Natural medicine practitioners feel that patients respond better to natural rather than synthetic forms of the hormone. Other doctors prescribe Synthroid, a man-made thyroid hormone that replaces the T4 hormone in the system. Synthroid’s side effects, however, can include nervousness, heart palpitations and insomnia. Natural medicine and alternative therapies might address the level of T3 as well, which can be important to proper brain function. The blood work is monitored carefully to make sure that the patient doesn’t take on hyperthyroidism symptoms. In cases where patients can’t tolerate the supplemental hormones well, herbal supplements can be used to support thyroid function.

Filed Under: Back Pain
Written By:  Updated:
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Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS, MFT

Jesse is the co-founder and visionary CEO of The Healthy Back Institute®, the world-leading source of natural back pain solutions. His mission as a former back pain sufferer is to help others live pain free without surgery and pharmaceuticals.

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6 thoughts on “Hypothyroidism and Back Pain”

  1. rowshan says:

    i have a test of hTSH=24.63 ..and i have very acute back pain for 7 days now . I went to my doctor because of my back pain ..is it right that my back pain is due to hypothyroidism ?

  2. Steve says:


    The entire philosophy of the Healthy Back Institute is to help people understand that Imbalances in out body/life will cause conditions to develop over time…

    Now in Jesse’s book The 7 Day Back Pain Cure, He talks about the three big ones we feel need attention
    Nutrition, Physical and the Mind Body connection as they all play a role in back pain related conditions , now under each category there are sub categories, and yes imbalances in the thyroid can cause a lot of issues, and we would suggest that you continue to work with your health care providers and continue to look for additional imbalances, as there very well maybe more imbalances that need to be addressed


  3. Dona Wright says:

    I have been suffering for so long flipping and flopping from hypo to hyperthyroidism I think I have taken every mcg available. The more I read the better I undetstand that my back pain and sciatic nerve pain have so much to do with the way.i feel so I am taking .137 and I feel better from taking 0.125. Just by experimenting on my own.

  4. Sithara says:

    I am 24 now..nd i am suffering from hypothyroidism..tz fluctuating mnth to mnth like hypo to hyper..then again to hyper to hypo..like that..yesterday i checked my tsh level and nw it is mre than150.. 2 weekz back it woz 11 nd nw it straightly goes up there to more than 150.actually the testing machine have only its measurement upto 150.mine is numerous dan dat..it unmeasurable..plz anyone guide me wot should i do nw..i am so much worried amd stressed right now..i am nly 24 and i want to b pregnant.but with my tsh like this..how can i??

  5. Sithara,

    In cases like this, we have to suggest that you seek, proper medical attention, please understand that that could include a doctor more inclined to use natural methods…

    PS. This is a great book on the matter:


  6. Ashfaque Khan says:

    I have acute back pain from last 8 years. I have done lot of test everything was normal but recently I checked my thyroid test known Toh that was 247 sir was it cause for back pain.

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