5 Hidden Causes of Back Pain

If you clicked on this link, chances are you’re experiencing back pain.

Let’s begin with some crazy statistics about back pain:

  • Experts estimate that up to 80% of the population will experience back pain at some time in their lives.
  • Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.
  • Worldwide, years lived with disability caused by low back pain have increased by 54% between 1990 and 2015.
  • Low-back pain costs Americans at least $50 billion in health care costs each year —add in lost wages and decreased productivity and that figure easily rises to more than $100 billion.

It’s mind blowing that there’s been a 54% increase in back pain over the last 25 years!  Why?

Look how much society has changed within the digital age. Computers, smartphones, tablets, and those binge watching streaming services.

How much sitting have you done today?

I am going to talk about the physical structure of your body. Yes, there is also an emotional component to pain, but today we are just going to look at the physical reasons of back pain.

You can also watch my LIVE TRAINING on “5 Hidden Causes of Back Pain” here. 

Here we go!

  1. You are how you move.

Sit too much?

Did you know that those simple movements you do throughout the day can impact your muscles (and fascia)? Your muscles and bones take the shape of how you’re using them (or not using them).  

And I’m talking about how you are sitting, standing, driving and even sleeping!

Change up how you sit, walk, stand and you will start noticing more freedom in your body! If you aren’t moving enough, your body can feel tight and stuck… just like an old rusty gate!

  1. Tight stomach muscles, alignment and posture

Muscles begin to take the shape of how you are positioned.

Think about how you are sitting right now.  Are you slumped over? Elbow on the table jamming your shoulder into your neck? Are your legs crossed?  Is the same leg always the one on top crossing over the other?

These postures start to create the shape of your body. I always ask my clients “How have you been using your body?”  We can release all their muscles, but if they keep going back to the same old, same old postures, their alignment gets out of whack!

And I’m talking bones, muscles, organs, arteries, veins and NERVES! Ouch! No wonder you get pain. Your body is being squished by leaning into the chair, by crossing your legs the same way, every day for years!

You can also watch my LIVE TRAINING on “5 Hidden Causes of Back Pain” here. 

  1. Scars!

Yup! If you have had surgery, you have a scar! Gallbladder, appendectomy, hysterectomy, prostate surgery, breast implants, vasectomies or having tubes tied, and especially tummy tucks (please don’t ever have a tummy tuck)!

And even the simplest of scars can be nasty. Scars dig in and root down into the body like tree roots. They create pulls and strains and cause pain. They can even wrap around your organs over time.

Scar release is more than important! It’s an absolute necessity after surgery once the incision is healed. It takes special training to release scars. You can reach out to me and I’d be happy to guide you in the right direction.  Quick massage strokes aren’t enough!

  1. Vaginal tears, C-sections and episiotomies from childbirth!

This might surprise you but it’s true. Hundreds of women that I have worked with have reported complications during childbirth.

Painful tearing, the need for stitches and sutures, and even a sudden rush into surgery for a c-section. Hello Trauma! These scars end up wreaking havoc on the body, even years after they occured.  

Painful intercourse, digestive problems, bowel and bladder issues, and yes, back pain can be related to these scars. When doing trauma work with clients, I have literally felt the scars and muscles release under my hands as we renegotiated the trauma.       

  1.  Falls on your tailbone. Ouch!

Have you have ever fallen on your tailbone?

So many of my clients have slipped on ice, fallen out of a tree, fallen down stairs. I can’t even tell you how many of my clients have fallen off of a horse!!!  

If you have ever fallen so hard on your tailbone (coccyx), there’s a strong chance it contributes to your back pain. I’m talking about the fall that took your breath away and kept you from sitting for a few days!

Well you have muscles down there and chances are your tailbone was shifted causing a lot of pulling and pain.

These muscles get tight (and most often are NOT considered when you talk to your doctor or therapist about your back pain). Have you heard of muscles with the names levator ani muscle, coccygeus, iliococcygeus , and pubococcygeus, anococcygeal raphe.  They need to get released!   

I hope I was able to shine the light on some of the things your doctor may not be telling you could be the cause of your back pain. And it’s not your doctor’s fault.  

You see, I learned the hard way. I have broken so many bones in my body over my lifetime. Just in my car accident alone, my seatbelt lacerated my abdomen so deep (thank goodness my organs were safe) and even today, it pulls on my lower back. I broke my leg so bad (an open compound fracture) that the injury pulls all the way up my spine. The rod in my leg gets cold and I can feel it when it’s cold outside.  

Yes, I have an insider’s view of pain.  I feel all the connections of the scar tissue in my body. And I have used my experience to teach you and to be an example that you can be pain free too! And no matter what the MRI shows.

I hope you found my writing here helpful.  I was given a gift with my accident and it has changed the course of my life. I am grateful for my scars for it has led you and I to connect here today!  

I’m happy to help!

Much love,


If you’d like to learn more from Phaedra Antioco:


  1. Rubin Dl. Epidemiology and Risk Factors for Spine Pain. Neurol Clin. 2007; May;25(2):353-71.
  2. Hartvigsen J et al. Low Back Pain Series: What Low Back Pain Is and Why We Need to Pay Attention. Lancet, June 2018; Volume 391, Issue 10137; p2356-2367.
  3. In Project Briefs: Back Pain Patient Outcomes Assessment Team (BOAT). In MEDTEP Update, Vol. 1 Issue 1, Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, Rockville, MD.
  4. Katz JN. Lumbar disc disorders and low-back pain: socioeconomic factors and consequences [review]. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2006;88(suppl 2): 21-24.

Overcoming challenging health issues

Here’s wishing you a healthy, wealthy and happy new year!

But sometimes it’s not a healthy new year is it?

I’ve lost count of the number of people who have told me they’ve been ill over the holiday season….colds, flu, sore throats.

I remember the last time I felt really ill with a cold. I was travelling to a training convention and I got sick after being in the convention room all day.

They had these air fresheners that were making it difficult for me to breathe and before long I felt a familiar tickle at the back of my throat, I got sick and then it went on to my chest.

Did you know that chest issues are often linked to grief? I’ve been going through the grieving process over the past couple of months so I wasn’t surprised when I got sick.

Now if you’re like me, you’ll fight taking medication. I try and avoid it as much as I can although I’d like to state for the record, that there is often a place for medication. Especially following an operation.

But this time I really wanted to try my go to natural treatments.

So if you’re suffering with some challenging health issues then watch the video below to learn how to overcome them.

What’s stopping you from achieving everything you want in life?

I’m back in my home town in Florida which I moved away from 20 years ago. It seems like yesterday and it’s bringing back so many memories as I drive around my old neighborhood.

It’s also giving me time to reflect on my own journey and the fact I’ve overcome so many things and become a more confident, resilient person.

One of the goals I set with my own personal coach this year was to go sailing. And guess what? This week I’ve been sailing!

I set my goal and I walked towards that goal. And it feels good.

What I’m loving about sailing is that it’s all about being in the flow. You hoist the sails up, you position them to go with the wind and you just keep going.

A bit like life really. Except that sometimes, through our mindset, we don’t position ourselves the right way and we literally loose the wind from our sails.

Then we get stuck.

If you’re feeling stuck I want you to ask yourself these questions:

What do you want in your life?

How do you want to feel when you get up in morning?

What’s stopping you?

There’s going to be a limiting belief that’s underneath that, so I recorded this video last week to help you overcome that.

I deliver live training in my FREE private facebook group every week. Come and join us HERE.

How overcoming your limiting beliefs will help you overcome pain.

I often work with clients who tell me they don’t know how to be positive. 

But I tell them that’s ok because we’re actually wired to be negative. That’s how we survived thousands of years ago.

That’s how we avoided being eaten by the saber toothed tiger, bitten by the snake and being attacked by our neighbour.

In our modern day existence, it’s still relevant to be cautious. If we see a car in front of us, veering across the road, we pull back and keep our distance. 

I don’t know about you, but I would never walk home on my own at night. I’m aware of the danger and realistic about the potential outcomes so I don’t put myself in that situation.

The difference now though, in comparison to thousands of years ago, is that we’re not supposed to be negative all of the time because we’re no longer in danger all of the time.

But because we’re wired that way, our fear and negativity often shows up as limiting beliefs.

Limiting beliefs do have a role and a purpose. They allow us to fail.

For example, I remember a friend of mine at school, failed a really important exam because she didn’t study for it. When I asked her why, she said she didn’t focus because she always got a really bad migraine when she was under pressure. So there was no point trying because she’d get the migraine and fail anyway.

Do you see what she was doing? She was blaming her limiting beliefs for her failure. Failure isn’t nice so she was using her limiting belief to cushion the blow.

Our beliefs are literally the lens through which we view the world. They can influence our perceptions and define for us what is good, bad, true, real and possible.

They can affect our relationships and determine our health.

They can lower or raise our level of happiness.

Our limited beliefs will also keep us in pain.

Imagine, like my school friend, you suffer from terrible migraines. When you get a migraine it debilitates you. The only way to get rid of your migraine is to lie in a quiet, dark room. Sometimes it puts you out of action for days. It’s making you miserable.

You believe that your migraines are triggered when you get really tired so you avoid getting tired at all costs. You used to love taking your grandchildren out for the day but now you don’t because you get really tired and it triggers a migraine.

You say to yourself….I get migraines when I’m tired so I can’t do all the things that I used to. I can’t go on trips or spend time with my family.

But that’s a limiting belief. And if you keep telling yourself you’re going to get a migraine every time you go out and have fun then of course that’s what’s going to happen.

So your limiting belief is stopping you from living your life to the fullest.

You may be reading this and thinking….well the migraine is real….how is that a limiting belief?

Yes I agree, the migraine is real but the limiting belief is that you can’t spend quality time with your family and enjoy life because you might just get a migraine.

And if you tell yourself you’re going to get a migraine over and over again then guess what? You will get a migraine!

Sometimes we might not even know we have a limiting belief. So I have an exercise for you which will help you understand what your limiting beliefs are.

Get a piece of paper and pen and answer these three questions:

What are my limiting beliefs?

Where might these limiting beliefs come from?

What are they stopping me from doing?

Write down whatever comes into your head. Write down your feelings.

Click here to send me an email to share your findings with me.

How listening to your body will get you out of overwhelm.

Last week I shared with you how many of my coaching clients are in overwhelm when they first come to work with me.

So if you’re feeling overwhelmed right now, then you’re not alone.

But have you ever considered the impact that this constant overwhelm and stress has on your body? It makes your muscles tense…really hard. And it can get REALLY bad.

The continuous muscle tension leads to stomach and heart issues. A surge of hormones throwing you into a constant state of FIGHT or FLIGHT!

Your adrenals shut down and you get really sick. You’re tired all the time because it’s as if you are literally running for your life from the modern day stress tigers!

So I want you to ask yourself this:

When was the last time you listened to your body? I mean REALLY listened to it?

Because when you start to notice how your body reacts to different situations you can start to work with it and overcome the stress far more easily.

I recorded a live video last week on this very subject and I invite you to watch it below.

In the video I share some wonderful techniques (that I normally only share with my private clients) that will help you pause the overwhelm.

How overwhelmed are you feeling in your life? Click here to send me an email and share your experiences. Were you able to turn off the switch of overwhelm to a feeling of being Peaceful, Safe and Calm?