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


Symptoms of back pain

Depending on the cause, back pain may have its own characteristics. In rheumatic diseases, the following symptoms are distinguished:

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

With infectious processes:

  • sharp back pain;
  • with a lesion in the lumbar region, the pain radiates to the buttocks, legs;
  • pain increases with pressure on the affected area;
  • swelling and redness of the skin in the affected area is often observed;
  • the process is often one-sided (on one side of the spine).

With muscle pathology:

  • with fibromyalgia, the pain is constant, diffuse, covering the right and left halves of the body above and below the waist. It intensifies with emotional and mental overload, with the action of cold temperatures, sudden climate changes. Painful spots appear in various anatomical areas, which are detected when pressed on them;
  • affected muscle tension;
  • decreased muscle strength.

Disc herniation (osteochondrosis), spondyloarthritis:

  • back pain that comes from stress on the spine (for example, prolonged standing in a vertical position), aggravated by turning and leaning back, passing at rest;
  • discomfort may occur during prolonged stay in one position;
  • possible nerve compression from hernia or subluxation in joints. In such cases, pain may be given in the arm, occipital region (with damage to the cervical spine), in the leg (with damage to the lumbar spine), accompanied by numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness in the leg or arm;
  • subluxation of the joints in the cervical spine can squeeze the vertebral artery, causing headaches, dizziness, impaired coordination of movements, vision, hearing;
  • the stiffness of the spine is removed after heating.

With damage to internal organs:

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


The causes of the disease are very different.

  • Back pain caused by pathology of the spine (bones, ligaments, tendons, intervertebral discs):
    • osteomyelitis (an infectious and inflammatory process that affects an area of bone marrow and then bone tissue elements);
    • spinal tumors and metastases ("examinations" of a tumor of any organ that have spread to the spine with the formation of a new focus);
    • disc herniation (osteochondrosis);
    • osteoporosis (a disease characterized by increased fragility of bone tissue);
    • spondylolisthesis (displacement of one vertebra relative to others);
    • scoliosis (curvature of the spine);
    • spondyloarthritis (a disease based on damage to all components of the joint, mainly articular cartilage);
    • fracture;
    • spinal canal stenosis (obstruction).
    • Back pain due to muscle abnormalities:
      • fibromyalgia (symptom complex, manifested by chronic generalized muscle pain (spread to many muscles), depression, sleep disturbance, morning stiffness, rapid fatigue);
      • muscle cramps;
      • muscle extension.
      • Back pain due to other conditions:
        • pelvic bleeding;
        • aggravated hematoma (accumulation of shed blood) of the retroperitoneal space;
        • diseases of the pelvic organs;
        • aortic dissection;
        • kidney disease;
        • diseases of the abdominal organs;
        • rheumatic diseases (ankylosing spondylitis (disease characterized by an inflammatory process in the spine and joints), reactive arthritis (inflammatory diseases of the joints of an infectious nature), psoriatic arthritis (inflammation of the joints, combined with the appearance of scaly plaques on the skin));
        • shingles, shingles.
        • Provocative factors may be:
          • injury;
          • weight lifting;
          • unprepared movements;
          • prolonged stay in an abnormal (uncomfortable) position;
          • hypothermia.


          • Complaint analysis (back pain, back discomfort with prolonged exposure to one position, morning stiffness; numbness, tingling sensation, muscle weakness in the arm or leg).
          • Analysis of the anamnesis (history of development) of the disease - the question of how the disease began and continued.
          • General examination (examination and palpation of the spine, determination of the range of motion in the spine).
          • General blood and urine tests to identify the infectious process and kidney pathology.
          • X-ray of the spine - allows you to detect pathological changes in the vertebrae.
          • Computer imaging, magnetic resonance imaging of the spine - allows you to determine in more detail the nature of the lesion of the spine and surrounding tissues.
          • Electromyography - to detect muscle pathology.
          • Radioisotope bone scintigraphy is a contrast study, which is based on observing the distribution features of a contrast agent inserted into the body into the bone. Focuses 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.

          Treatment of back pain

          • Treatment of the underlying disease that causes back pain.
          • Rest for a few days (2 to 5).
          • Wearing a bandage (corset) to lighten the spine.
          • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (oral), 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 the pain - for example, removal of a purulent focus on the spine; installation of a prosthesis between the vertebrae to restore the normal distance between them with a narrowing of the intervertebral fissure and compression of the nerve trunks.
          • After the disappearance of acute pain - physiotherapy procedures (consultation with a physiotherapist is required), massage, physiotherapy exercises.

          Complications and consequences

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

          Prevention of back pain

          • Treatment of the underlying disease.
          • Elimination of injuries, physical overload, hypothermia.
          • The right attitude.
          • Precise adjustment of the workplace and sleep (to exclude the abnormal position of the spine, in which it is subject to curvature).
          • Correction of excess body weight.