back pain

Complaints about back pain are one of the most common reasons to see a doctor. Pain in this part of the body can be a manifestation of both normal fatigue caused by excessive physical exertion, and speak of the presence of serious health problems that require competent treatment.

Causes of back pain

The back can hurt in cases where there is a pathology from the side:

  • spine;
  • musculo-ligamentous apparatus;
  • internal organs.

Painful sensations can also occur in a healthy person due to muscle pain due to significant physical exertion.

Spine pathology

Further, the frequent pathologies of the spine, against the background of which pain syndrome occurs, are considered.


Osteochondrosis is the most common answer to the question: "why does my back hurt? "With this pathology, degenerative changes occur in the intervertebral cartilage, from which the cartilage becomes thinner, the space between the vertebrae decreases, and the nerve roots can be pinched. For pain in osteochondrosis, the following symptoms are characteristic:

  • occur during or after physical exertion, as well as prolonged stay in a static position;
  • may have a shooting or aching character;
  • movement increases pain.

If the sciatic nerve is pinched and sciatica develops, then the pain is given to the buttocks, radiating along the surface of the thigh from behind. Sensitivity disorders (numbness, tingling, burning) may occur. With lumbago, there is often a shooting or throbbing pain, forcing the patient to literally freeze in place. Patients complain that they have been shot or twisted in the back.


Injuries occur more often when falls (during icy conditions, when playing sports) or back stabs in road accidents. Pain can cause both bruises and more serious injuries - fractures and dislocations of the vertebral bodies. The pain of an injury can be of the most varied nature:

  • aching,
  • burning
  • shooting,
  • stupid.

Pain sensations can be constantly disturbing, occur with certain movements, or be felt as pulsation, depending on the nature and location of the damage. It is important to know that serious injuries do not always result from significant impacts.

For example, a compression fracture of the spine in elderly people can be caused by a slight mechanical load, and on the first day after the injury, the vertebra does not hurt much. In the future, if you do not take measures for immobilization and treatment, the pain will increase, possibly damage to the nerves and spinal cord.

Any spinal injury, even a minor one, at first glance, requires a doctor's examination.

Intervertebral hernia

An intervertebral hernia is a protrusion of a fragment of an intervertebral disc into the spinal canal. A hernia is most often the result of degenerative changes in the spine or is the result of an injury. The protrusion of the disc can occur in any part of the spinal column, but much more often it happens in the lumbar spine, since it is he who bears the main load.

intervertebral hernia

At the initial stages of the formation of a hernia, back pain is provoked by physical activity, occurs from time to time and is of a low-intensity nature. With the progression of the disease or a sharp prolapse of a disk fragment, the pain can be very intense, shooting in nature with irradiation to the legs.

Often, patients complain of a feeling of numbness or burning sensation in the problem area, as well as in the lower or upper extremities. This indicates that there was an infringement of the nerve endings. Severe pain provokes muscle spasm, which leads to poor posture, pathological kyphosis or lordosis develops.

Curvature of the spine (kyphosis, lordosis, scoliosis)

With the curvature of the spine, in order to compensate for the pathological bending, there is a significant muscle tension, leading to frequent and sometimes constant dull aching back pain.

Muscle pain

85% of cases of chronic or recurrent back muscle pain are associated with excessive stress on the lower back. Even those who do not carry significant sports loads and do not carry heavy loads, the back muscles experience daily stress. This is especially true for prolonged static loads during sedentary work at the computer.

Cold muscles can be easily injured by a sharp turn, lifting a heavy object, or unsuccessful movement. Pain can occur as a result of inflammatory muscle diseases (myositis) or as a result of severe stress, leading to reflex spasm of muscle fibers.

Infectious diseases

Tuberculosis most often affects the spine. In the vertebrae, the infection enters the hematogenous (through the blood) pathway and causes inflammation, and then necrosis of bone tissue. Pain in the lumbar and thoracic spine is a characteristic symptom of spinal tuberculosis, and in half of patients neurological symptoms appear - a feeling of numbness and weakness in the limbs.

In addition, spinal tuberculosis is characterized by general manifestations:

  • weakness,
  • sweating
  • increased body temperature,
  • fast fatiguability,
  • poor appetite.

Oncological diseases

In most cases, the malignant tumor does not develop in the spine itself. Cancer cells get here with the flow of blood or lymph from other foci. Most often, metastases to the spine are caused by cancer of the mammary glands, lungs, and prostate gland. At first, the pains may resemble the manifestations of ordinary osteochondrosis, but then the back hurts constantly, with increasing intensity.

It is not always possible to remove pain with conventional anesthetic drugs; only the introduction of narcotic drugs brings relief. With multiple metastases, the pain is wandering, covering different parts of the spine. In addition to back pain, the patient feels weakness, an unreasonable decrease in body weight, an increase in temperature to subfebrile numbers. The prognosis is unfavorable.

Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract

The most common back pain occurs with pancreatitis. It is shingles in nature and is quite intense. In acute pancreatitis, pain may be accompanied by a drop in blood pressure and loss of consciousness. Acute pancreatitis is an indication for emergency hospitalization of a patient in a surgical hospital.

In addition to pancreatitis, pain can be given to the back with a peptic ulcer or an attack of biliary colic.

Diseases of the genitourinary system

Kidney disease, especially urolithiasis, with exacerbation often give pain in the lumbar region. If the lower back aches, the pain is accompanied by a violation of urination or is given to the groin area, then a consultation with a surgeon is necessary, and women need to be examined by a gynecologist in order to exclude inflammation of the appendages or the presence of an ectopic pregnancy.

Back pain in pregnant women

Pregnant women often complain of aching or aching back and lower back pain, especially in the later stages. This is due to the fact that in the second half of pregnancy, due to a significant increase in the uterus, the center of gravity shifts and the load on the muscles of the lower back increases. The pain is usually dull aching, aggravated by a change in body position, in particular, when getting up from a chair or chair.

What to do if your back hurts

If your back hurts for more than three days, you need to see a doctor. You should immediately contact a doctor if back pain is accompanied by:

  • poor general health;
  • decrease or sharp increase in blood pressure;
  • an increase in body temperature;
  • disruption of the work of any internal organs.

In addition, it is necessary to call a doctor if the pain was preceded by an injury or with a high intensity of pain.


In most cases, the doctor will be able to make a preliminary diagnosis already during the initial examination. However, in order to establish exactly what the back hurts, additional research is mandatory. In most cases, these are X-rays in two projections, computed tomography of the spine (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

If necessary, the doctor may prescribe a general blood and urine test, an electrocardiogram, an ultrasound of the abdominal or pelvic organs, and a snapshot of the lungs. The examination must be passed without fail, since even the most serious diseases in the early stages of detection, with proper treatment, have a favorable prognosis.

back pain diagnosis


How to get rid of back pain, only a doctor can recommend on the basis of examination data and examination results. The basic principles of therapy: elimination of severe pain and inflammation, impact on the cause that caused the pain, rehabilitation measures aimed at accelerating tissue regeneration processes and restoring normal life (physiotherapy, physiotherapy, massage, proper nutrition).

How to relieve pain

To relieve pain, first of all, it is necessary to limit physical activity. Of the pharmacological drugs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are most often prescribed.

These drugs can be taken as pills or injections, and are also found in topical ointments. Treatment of back pain caused by muscle spasm is carried out with warming ointments, alcohol compresses, and a warm bath. With a strong spasm, muscle relaxants are prescribed.

It is important to remember that in case of inflammatory diseases of internal organs and on the first day after injury, any thermal procedures are contraindicated. They cause a deterioration in well-being and the progression of pathology. After the removal of acute manifestations of the disease, physiotherapy procedures, massage and therapeutic exercises are prescribed. If a pregnant woman has a backache, then the use of medications is undesirable.

For pregnant women, wearing a special bandage and limiting physical activity will help relieve back pain.


Exercise therapy (remedial gymnastics) is the basis for the successful treatment of back pain in any location. A set of exercises can be recommended by a physiotherapy specialist or a rehabilitation doctor. Classes begin with simple exercises, gradually increasing the load on the muscles and ligaments of the back and lower back.

This leads to strengthening of the muscular corset that supports the spine, alignment of posture, activation of blood circulation and metabolism in tissues, improvement of general well-being and mood. It is illiterate to treat your back with medications without regular exercise and proper nutrition. This will only have a temporary effect.


Such procedures as phonophoresis with medicinal substances, magnetotherapy, laser therapy will help speed up recovery. During the period of remission, it is effective to undergo mud therapy and paraffin therapy.

back pain massage


To avoid back pain, it is very important to lead a healthy lifestyle, including:

  • a balanced diet with sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals;
  • maintaining a normal body weight;
  • regular physical education aimed at strengthening the muscles of the back and abdominal muscles;
  • contacting a doctor in the event of any diseases and their timely treatment.

Back pain requires mandatory diagnosis to establish the cause of their occurrence and long-term treatment based primarily on changes in the patient's lifestyle. In the acute period of the disease, the patient is provided with pharmacological drugs. If you follow all the doctor's recommendations, the prognosis is favorable in most cases.