Back pain

Back pain is a symptom that occurs with several diseases and conditions. Most often, back pain is a reflection of bone pathology, changes in spinal joints and periarticular tissues, muscles, nerve trunks and skin over the spine. Back pain can also accompany other ailments, including internal organ ailments.

back pain

Back Pain Symptoms

Depending on the cause, back pain can have its own characteristics. In rheumatologic diseases, the following symptoms are differentiated:

  • pain occurs in the lumbar spine, buttocks, in the thigh;
  • pain increases at rest and decreases with movement;
  • pain is accompanied by morning stiffness in the lumbar spine;
  • spinal defeat is bilateral.

With infectious processes:

  • acute back pain;
  • with an injury in the lower back, the pain radiates to the buttocks, leg;
  • pain increases with pressure on the affected area;
  • swelling and redness of the skin in the affected area is often seen;
  • the process is usually one-sided (on one side of the spine).

With muscle pathology:

  • in fibromyalgia, the pain is constant, generalized, covering both the right and left half of the body above and below the waist. It intensifies with emotional and mental overload, with the action of cold temperatures, sudden changes in weather. The tender points appear in different anatomical areas, which are revealed by pressing them;
  • tension of the affected muscle;
  • decreased muscle strength.

Disc herniation (osteochondrosis), spondyloarthrosis:

  • back pain from spinal stress (eg, standing for a prolonged period), made worse by turning and bending backward, passing at rest;
  • discomfort may occur during prolonged stay in one position;
  • possible compression of the nerves by hernia or subluxation in the joint. In these cases, there may be pain in the arm, occiput (with cervical spine injury), leg (with lumbar spine injury), accompanied by numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness in the leg or arm;
  • subluxation of joints in the cervical spine can constrict the vertebral artery, causing headaches, dizziness, poor coordination of movement, vision, hearing;
  • spine stiffness disappears after heating.

With damage to internal organs:

  • with renal pathology, in addition to back pain, abdominal pain, frequent urination may occur;
  • in pancreatic diseases - the surrounding nature of pain;
  • with lung diseases - pain in the back and chest behind or in front, under the scapula, aggravated by coughing.


The causes of the disease are very diverse.

  • Back pain caused by spinal pathology (bones, ligaments, tendons, intervertebral discs):
    • osteomyelitis (an infectious and inflammatory process that affects a site in the bone marrow and then elements of bone tissue);
    • spinal tumors and metastases ("screens" of a tumor from any organ that has spread to the spine with the formation of a new focus);
    • herniated disc (osteochondrosis);
    • osteoporosis (a disease characterized by increased fragility of bone tissue);
    • spondylolisthesis (displacement of one vertebra in relation to the others);
    • scoliosis (spine curvature);
    • spondyloarthrosis (a disease based on the destruction of all components of the joint, mainly the articular cartilage);
    • fractures;
    • stenosis (obstruction) of the spinal canal.
    • Back pain due to muscle abnormalities:
      • fibromyalgia (symptom complex, manifested by generalized chronic muscle pain (spreading to many muscles), depression, sleep disturbances, morning stiffness, rapid fatigue);
      • muscle cramps;
      • stretching the muscles.
      • Back pain due to other conditions:
        • pelvic bleeding;
        • purulent hematoma (accumulation of spilled blood) of the retroperitoneal space;
        • pelvic organ diseases;
        • aortic dissection;
        • kidney disease;
        • diseases of Organs abdominal organs;
        • rheumatologic diseases (ankylosing spondylitis (a disease characterized by an inflammatory process in the spine and joints), reactive arthritis (inflammatory joint diseases of an infectious nature), psoriatic arthritis (inflammation of the joints, combined with the appearance of scaly plaques on the skin) );
        • herpes zoster, herpes zoster.
        • Triggering factors can be:
          • prejudice;
          • lifting weights;
          • unprepared movements;
          • prolonged stay in non-physiological (uncomfortable) position;
          • hypothermia.


          • Analysis of complaints (back pain, back discomfort with prolonged exposure to a position, morning stiffness; numbness, tingling, muscle weakness in the arm or leg).
          • Analysis of the anamnesis (developmental history) of the disease - asking how the disease started and continued.
          • General examination (spine examination and palpation, determination of spinal range of motion).
          • General blood and urine tests to identify the infectious process and kidney pathology.
          • Spine X-ray - allows detecting pathological changes in the vertebrae.
          • Computer magnetic resonance imaging of the spine - allows you to determine in more detail the nature of the injury to the spine and surrounding tissues.
          • Electromyography - to detect muscle pathology.
          • Radioisotope bone scintigraphy is a study of contrast, which is based on the observation of the characteristics of the distribution of a contrast agent introduced into the body in the bones. Foci of excessive accumulation indicate the presence of a pathological process.
          • Densitometry - determination of bone density. It is performed to detect osteoporosis (a disease characterized by increased bone fragility).
          • Consultation with neurologist, vertebrologist, rheumatologist, orthopedist.

          Back Pain Treatment

          • Treatment of the underlying condition causing back pain.
          • Rest for several days (2 to 5).
          • Wear a bandage (corset) to ease the spine.
          • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (by mouth, in the form of injections, in the form of local agents - ointments, gels) - to reduce pain.
          • Muscle relaxants are muscle relaxants.
          • Surgical treatment depending on the cause of pain - eg removal of a purulent foci in the spine; placement of a prosthesis between the vertebrae to restore the normal distance between them with a narrowing of the intervertebral cleft and compression of the nerve trunks.
          • After the acute pain subsides - physiotherapy procedures (consultation with a physiotherapist is required), massage, physiotherapy exercises.

          Complications and consequences

          • It depends on the cause and severity of the illness that caused the pain.
          • The transition from the disease to the chronic form (osteochondrosis) is possible.
          • In severe cases, disability (trauma, rheumatic diseases).

          Back Pain Prevention

          • Treatment of the underlying disease.
          • Elimination of injuries, physical overload, hypothermia.
          • Correct posture.
          • Correct layout of the working and sleeping place (to exclude the non-physiological position of the spine, in which it is subject to curvature).
          • Correction of excess body weight.