Health-Related Tattoo Concerns: Do Spine Tattoos Hurt?

Health-Related Tattoo Concerns: Do Spine Tattoos Hurt?

A lot of people have been dreaming about getting a tattoo around the spine area. Let’s be honest: the curved shape of your back just perfectly lends itself to getting one! However, since the spine is a rather sensitive area, people tend to be a bit anxious and having various health-related concerns and ask do spine tattoos hurt? Let’s take a look at these in detail.


As of right now, tattoo artists don’t really need to be licensed in order to carry on with their activities, which might frighten you a bit. On a positive note, it doesn’t really matter, because those artists tends to a have a lot of experience under their belts, but of course this depends entirely on the artist you choose to go with.

A good rule of thumb is to check what people are saying about a certain tattoo artist before getting a tattoo, just to be on the safe side.  You may also want to check out some of their work related to what you want.  If they can’t draw a picture of Batman, you probably don’t want to get a Batman tattoo!

Signs of a good tattoo artist

Check out this great full back piece. We really like the colors that they chose with this design.
Check out this great full back piece. We really like the colors that they chose with this design.

An experienced tattoo artist will make sure to always use a sterilized needle. There should be no exceptions to this, because if proper hygiene is neglected, you could potentially risk getting an infection. The same goes for every piece of equipment that comes in contact with your skin, as well as the artist’s hands, which must be thoroughly washed! It’s even better if the tattoo artist is wearing latex gloves and changes them after every customer.  If you ask the artist, do spine tattoos hurt and they tell you “no”, then you can move on.

Your medical history

If you have any allergies, you must communicate them to the tattoo artist prior to getting the procedure done. For example, if you’re suffering from haemophilia, you shouldn’t even think about getting a tattoo, since your body likely won’t be able to stop bleeding afterwards! Similarly, pregnant women are often advised against getting a tattoo. If you want to be 100% sure, you should consult your doctor of physician.

Do spine tattoos hurt?

Each and every person is a unique individual. This means that people mostly have different pain thresholds, so if you ask different people who have gone through with the procedure of getting a tattoo, you will likely end up with various different answers.

As stated earlier, people tend to be afraid of getting a tattoo on the spine, because it’s such a vulnerable part of the skeletal structure in a human being. While this is true, any fears that you might damage your spine or experience intense pain while tattooing that area are mostly psychological in nature.

Mixed opinions

As a matter of fact, most of the people are reporting that the procedure wasn’t half as painful as they had imagined beforehand. There is a preconceived notion that getting a tattoo on a bony area hurts like hell, while areas with lots of fat and soft tissue tend to be less uncomfortable. Well, this could be true for you, but some people are actually saying it’s the other way around!

It’s hard to say how your body will react to the needle in advance, so you’re pretty much going to have to find out for yourself. When you do, it’s important to concentrate on your breathing, and if you feel like wondering away to a happy place with your mind, you’re more than encouraged to do so. Actually, taking a painkiller (if you have access to it) before the procedure might be even better, and it will also help you lessen any fears you might have.

Pain also depends on the artist

Those tattoo artists who have truly mastered their craft will always be gentle with you, at least as gentle as the procedure itself allows for. Some might have developed a sense of humor and say “no pain, no gain!” And as far as tattoos go, this really nails it to the core.

Starting small

We really like what they did with this lions mane.
We really like what they did with this lions mane.

We’ve already established that no-one knows your body better than you do, but if you really have no idea where you are with your pain tolerance, a good trick is to just start small. Pick a smaller bony area like your ankle, which is a great place to get a tattoo on and it also looks cool.  Then pick a small design, like the hummingbird design on the right!

That way, the procedure will be over with sooner, and you will be able to gauge whether you tolerate pain when getting a bony area tattooed.

Another great trick is to just try the raw procedure for a few seconds without applying any ink to see how it feels. That way, no ink will actually be applied to your skin, but you will still be able to get a good idea what the whole procedure is all about, and thus, make an accurate judgement on whether you can stand the pain or not.

Your body type

Another important factor that will influence the pain intensity is your body type. Do you have an average weight or tend to be skinny? If you’ve answered “yes”, then the procedure might hurt a bit more than if it was done on someone who has an above-average weight and dense bone structure.

This is just basic physics of the human stature. Thinner materials generally tend to be more sensitive than thicker ones, and the same can be said for your bones. But, again, this is just a general rule. Your body is unique, and only you can best determine how you handle the pain.

Every tattoo is permanent

While true that you can remove a tattoo later on if you don’t like it, the procedure is somewhat unpleasant and complicated, and very taxing on your body. Therefore you really should think your decision through before deciding to really follow through.

As a matter of fact, this is probably even more important than concerning yourself with the temporary pain that only lasts throughout the procedure. Do spine tattoos hurt or not is not the real question here. It’s the permanent tattoo that you should be concerned about, as it will last for a lifetime.

So have you picked a good design and the perfect location? Is it something you’re willing to have on your body for the rest of your life? Tastes can change in as little as few months or years, so it’s really important to use your best judgement and think it through as hard as you can.


Hopefully the tips shared throughout this article will help you on your way and make your decision at least somewhat easier. Be safe, be smart, and good luck with your new tattoo!