Why does my back hurt?

The man's back hurts

Everyone has experienced back pain. For some it is periodic pain, for others it is constant. To get rid of discomfort, many people drink pain relievers and do not pay attention to the true causes of discomfort. This can lead to complications and serious pathologies.

Back pain can be caused by diseases of the internal organs or spine, as well as injuries. Sometimes discomfort is the result of poor posture, physical strain, or sudden movement.

First you need to find out why your back hurts, and only then start treatment.

Types of back pain

The diagnosis can be assumed taking into account the nature of the pain in the back.

For example, if the pain is aching and aggravated by heavy lifting, physical overstrain, hypothermia, or prolonged immobility, then the cause may be myositis, lumbago, or intervertebral hernia.

Acute pain that radiates to the legs or arms can signal radiculitis, intervertebral hernia, or osteochondrosis. Unpleasant sensations are intensified when walking, bending or coughing, and weakness is felt in the limbs.

All the same intervertebral hernia, lumbago and osteochondrosis, as well as spondylosis, can also cause pulsating pain. This is confirmed when the pain does not subside even after analgesics.

If bursting or pressing pain occurs in the chest area, this is a sign of pulmonary embolism or myocardial infarction. Discomfort in the spine speaks of spondyloarthrosis, and in the lumbar region - of intestinal obstruction. Atherosclerosis can be the cause of pressing pain in the neck.

Back pain after sleep

In the morning, the back can hurt, not only because of the wrong mattress or the wrong posture during sleep. Hypothermia, stress or heavy lifting the day before can cause stiffness and pain below the shoulder blades, in the lower back, in the right or left side.

The reasons may be different: curvature of the spine, osteochondrosis, intervertebral hernia or obesity. Also, your back can hurt in the morning during pregnancy.

Spine and joint pathologies

Discomfort in the spine can be associated with diseases of the musculoskeletal system:

  • Ankylosing spondylitis. Due to muscle spasm, the patient bends forward to relieve discomfort. Subsequently, the inflamed vertebrae stiffen and grow together, which makes the spine less flexible.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. The disease begins in the knees, hip joint or shoulders, subsequently moving to the cervical spine. In the morning, patients experience shooting sensations and stiffness: the affected vertebrae put unnecessary pressure on the nerves.
  • Spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis. The patient feels discomfort in the lower back: the vertebrae are displaced and squeeze the nerve endings.
  • Osteomyelitis. Acute muscle pain occurs due to an infection in the bone tissue of the spine.
  • Osteochondrosis. With this disease, the amortization of the spine becomes worse. The discs between the vertebrae are damaged, and the annulus fibrosus breaks: the nucleus of the disc comes out through the cracks and is pinched.
  • Intervertebral hernia. The protrusion between the vertebrae is compressed during movement, as a result of which it is impaired.

Diseases associated with musculature

The source of discomfort can be spasms and indurations in the muscle corset that supports the spine:

  • FibromyalgiaWith this disease, the back hurts from the neck to the lower back, and the discomfort is exacerbated by pressing on certain places.
  • Dermatomyositis. The skin around the striated and smooth muscles becomes inflamed.
  • Polymyositis. The disease occurs due to overstrain or hypothermia: it hurts to turn, and weakness is felt in the muscles.
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica. It is difficult for the patient to get to his feet without someone's help, and asymmetry is clearly visible in his back.
  • Charcot's disease. The peripheral nerves along the spine become inflamed. Sensitivity becomes worse, muscles become weaker, and the patient's gait changes.

Spinal cord diseases

Unpleasant sensations can occur due to the fact that any part of the spinal cord is pinched or inflamed.

Sources of pain in this case:

  • compression of the spinal membranes as a result of a fracture, hematoma, or abscess;
  • inflammation of nearby muscles;
  • circulatory disorders;
  • hemorrhage;
  • lack of vitamins;
  • complication of HIV or syphilis;
  • back tumor of various etiology;
  • multiple sclerosis.


The back can also hurt due to psychological factors: depression, nervous tension, chronic stress or sexual dissatisfaction.

Localization of back pain

Unpleasant sensations in different points of the back are caused by different factors.

For example, pain in the right side occurs due to lordosis, scoliosis, kyphosis, or displacement of the intervertebral disc. The left side hurts due to splenitis, pinching of the spine or duodenitis, and the source of lower back pain can be sciatica, osteochondrosis or intervertebral hernia.

If it hurts just above the lower back on the right - it may be myositis, on the left - osteochondrosis.

Discomfort throughout the spine signals protrusion, which can develop into osteochondrosis.

When should you see a doctor as soon as possible?

If the cause of back pain is strain or stress, it will subside after a few days. However, in the case when the pain only increases, urgent medical attention is needed.

An immediate doctor's consultation is needed in the following situations:

  • cannot find a position of the body in which the pain becomes weaker;
  • have recently had a back injury or contusion;
  • the condition worsens at night;
  • the patient's gait has changed;
  • the patient is in a fever;
  • limbs become weak, numb, tingling is felt;
  • pain relievers don't help.

Back pain diagnostics

To determine the cause of discomfort in the back, you need to make an appointment with a neurologist. If necessary, blood tests should be done to check for infection or inflammation. Examinations may also be required, which will be prescribed by a specialist.

Duplex and triplex ultrasound scanning of the vessels of the neck and brain is needed to diagnose the causes of headache, dizziness or high blood pressure.

MRI allows you to see tumors on the vertebrae, compression of the spinal nerves and spinal cord, herniated discs, narrowing of the spinal canal. CT is needed to detect vertebral fractures.

X-rays help to assess the condition of the bone structures in order to diagnose fractures, spondylolisthesis, arthritis and the degree of poor posture.

Electromyography detects nerve compression due to spinal stenosis or herniated disc.

How to relieve back pain?

First of all, you need to relax. To do this, lie on your stomach on a flat, hard surface, preferably on the floor. After a few minutes, roll over onto your back and lift your legs so that they are at a 90-degree angle. This will reduce the load on the spine.

Anti-inflammatory ointments and creams are also useful. When the pain subsides, you need to gently rise and bandage the sore area with a scarf or towel.

If pain relievers are not available, a cold compress - an ice pack or food from the freezer - will help relieve severe pain. It will not be possible to completely get rid of the discomfort, but he can alleviate the condition. The diametrically opposite option will also help - a heating pad or a heating compress.

A light warm-up or a leisurely walk will help get rid of unpleasant sensations.

Back pain treatment

After examination and diagnosis, the doctor prescribes treatment. To relieve discomfort, the specialist prescribes pain relievers, B vitamins and muscle relaxants. Sometimes bed rest and wearing a special corset are recommended.

An important stage of treatment is physiotherapy. These are electrophoresis with drugs, laser therapy, phonophoresis and magnetic therapy. Electroneurostimulation and acupuncture also help.

For back pain, massage, manual therapy, osteopathy and exercise therapy are effective. They also help with trauma rehabilitation.

Prevention of back pain

To avoid back discomfort, you need to move more. Morning exercises and yoga, contrast shower and massage courses are effective.

It is important to maintain the health of the collagen-producing liver and boost immunity. It is worth keeping an eye on the weight, since every ten extra pounds increases the load on the spine.

But first of all, you need to avoid stress and create an even psychological atmosphere around.