Creatine is a common supplement taken by fitness enthusiasts to increase the intensity of their workout and shorten recovery time. While creatine generally provides energy to the muscles, some aspects of its use can lead to back pain. If you take this supplement and start experiencing back pain, there may be a link between the two.


Creatine helps facilitate the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which provides energy for muscles to contract. Creatine is produced by the body, but is also found in protein-rich foods like lean red meat and fish. The pills and drinks are available as supplements.

Supplementing creatine, usually in combination with a simple carbohydrate to increase its effects, means your muscles will have more energy to work. Whether you’re running or lifting weights, you’ll be able to perform harder because your muscles are equipped with more power.

Suggested dosages of this supplement vary widely. Generally, there is a loading phase in which the muscles are saturated with creatine. This takes about a week and involves high doses, averaging around 20 grams per day. After this time, a maintenance dose of about 5 grams per day can be taken to keep levels in the muscles high. Although there is no strong evidence that it is necessary, most users of the supplement use it for 2-3 months and then resume after a month off.

In addition to enhancing workouts, the supplement is used to treat muscle weakness related disorders such as heart failure, muscular dystrophy, ALS, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s disease.


Creatine causes muscles to retain water. The more the muscles work, the more blood supply they need. Blood contains fresh water, electrolytes, nutrients, and oxygen. An inadequate amount of fluid in the body reduces the amount of blood and electrolytes delivered to and absorbed by the muscles. Muscle cramps can develop due to insufficient fluid intake while using creatine.

You may feel muscle cramps anywhere, but the lower back is a common site for muscle pain in general. Whatever your activity, the lower back is highly mobile and resilient. Lower back cramps can be a sign that you are not drinking enough fluids while taking creatine. If you drink at least 64 ounces of water a day and still experience cramping, your dose may need to be reduced.

To prevent dehydration, avoid exercising in hot environments or for long periods of time after taking creatine.

kidney problems

Although there is no conclusive evidence, it is possible that drastically increasing the level of creatine in the body could damage the kidneys. Creatine creates a substance called creatinine that the kidneys must filter. It is believed that a dramatic and prolonged increase in creatinine can overload the kidneys and cause damage.

There are only a handful of case studies linking kidney problems to creatine, and some of them involve people who already had kidney dysfunction. However, just because it’s rare doesn’t mean the possibility should be ignored. It is recommended that people with kidney problems, taking medications that can cause kidney problems such as NSAIDs, those under the age of 18, and pregnant or lactating women should not use creatine.

Kidney pain is felt in the flank area of ​​the back, between the rib cage and the hip bone. It is generally sharp and tender to the touch. You may also experience muscle pain if the kidney is inflamed and pressing on the muscles in your lower back. If you experience sharp pain in your lower or mid back along with changes in your urine, seek medical attention and discontinue creatine use.

Creatine is a reliable supplement to boost your training, but it does come with some risks. Make sure you are aware of the potential drawbacks of any supplement and practice safe use.

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