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Lower Right Back Pain | Causes, When to Worry, & Treatment

Unexplained acute low back pain

Unexplained low back pain means chronic pain that comes on gradually, over time, with no specific injury, event, or illness causing it.

Common causes:

  • Prolonged sitting and lack of fitness can weaken back muscles and cause pain from lack of support.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis, a form of arthritis.
  • Spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal column that puts pressure on the spinal cord.
  • Certain types of cancer, in rare cases.

Those most susceptible are over 30, overweight and/or pregnant, and not physically fit. Smoking interferes with healing after any sort of stress to the back.

If there are additional symptoms, medical care should be sought: fever, unexplained weight loss, leg weakness or numbness, or trouble urinating.

An exact diagnosis is made through blood tests and through imaging such as x-rays, CT scan, or MRI.

Once more serious causes are ruled out, treatment may include medications to ease pain, swelling, and inflammation. Steroid injections are useful in some cases.

Overall, exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can be very helpful with easing chronic low back pain.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: lower back pain, back pain that shoots to the butt, fever, back pain

Symptoms that always occur with unexplained acute low back pain:lower back pain

Symptoms that never occur with unexplained acute low back pain:buttocks numbness, thigh numbness, involuntary defecation, fever

Urgency: Self-treatment

Herniated (slipped) disk in the lower back

The backbone, or spine, is made up of 26 bones called vertebrae. In between the bones are soft disks filled with a jelly-like substance. These disks cushion the vertebrae and keep them in place. Although people talk about a slipped disk, nothing actually slips out of place. The outer shell of the disk ruptures, and the jelly-like substance bulges out. It may be pressing on a nerve, which is what causes the pain.A slipped disk is more likely to happen due to strain on the back, such as during heavy lifting, and older individuals are at higher risk.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: lower back pain, moderate back pain, back pain that shoots down the leg, back pain that gets worse when sitting, leg weakness

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Iliolumbar syndrome

Iliolumbar syndrome is also known as iliolumbar ligament sprain or iliac crest pain syndrome (ICPS.)

The iliolumbar ligaments are tough, fibrous bands that brace the iliac crests – the tops of the “wings” of the pelvis – to the back of the lower spine. If these ligaments are overstretched or torn, pain can result.

The syndrome may be acute, which means the pain starts suddenly after some sort of trauma such as a car accident or sports injury. It may be chronic, where it begins gradually and is usually caused by repetitive bending or twisting movements. In both cases, it is often found in patients who already have generalized low back pain.

Symptoms include severe, radiating pain from the low back to the hipbones, especially when bending or twisting

Diagnosis is made through physical examination and simple neurological tests such as leg raises.

Treatment involves rest, ice, and the use of over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain and reduce swelling. Steroid injections can also be tried in some cases.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: lower back pain, back pain that shoots to the butt, severe back pain, back pain that shoots to the groin

Symptoms that always occur with iliolumbar syndrome: lower back pain

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Chronic low back pain of no specific origin

Low back pain is defined as pain, tightness, and stiffness between the lower end of the rib cage and the buttocks. “Chronic” means the pain has lasted for twelve weeks or longer, and “no specific origin” means the pain cannot be traced to any specific cause, incident, or injury.

Most susceptible are individuals who perform heavy physical work, especially when there is ongoing anxiety, depression, and emotional stress at the same time. The longer the stress and back pain continue, the more difficult it is to ease the symptoms and return the patient to normal functioning.

Treatment involves nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and sometimes opioid medications for pain, though both have risks when used long term. Antidepressants may also be tried, along with psychological counseling.

Corticosteroid injections for the back are effective for some patients, and fusion surgery is sometimes attempted. Lifestyle changes in the form of improved diet, exercise, and stress management are very helpful in most cases.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: lower back pain, unintentional weight loss, back pain that shoots to the butt, fever, involuntary defecation

Symptoms that always occur with chronic low back pain of no specific origin: lower back pain

Symptoms that never occur with chronic low back pain of no specific origin: thigh numbness, buttocks numbness, lower back pain from an injury

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Lower back arthritis

Osteoarthritis, most often simply called arthritis, is a disease of cartilage. In joints, where bones touch and move against one another, cartilage helps provide lubrication for smooth movement, and acts as a shock absorber. Cartilage is also present in between vertebrae, which are the bones comprising the spine. Osteoarthritis of the spine, also known as degenerative joint disease, happens when the cartilage between vertebrae dries out and shrinks. The vertebrae are thus not as able to move smoothly against one another. The ability to walk and perform normal daily activities can be impaired due to inflammation and pain in the lower back.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: lower back pain, spontaneous back pain, back pain that gets worse when straightening it, back pain from overuse

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Lower back (sacral vertebral) fracture

A sacral stress fracture is a small break in the sacrum. The sacrum is a large triangular bone at base of the spine. The sacrum connects to the pelvis.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: lower back pain, back pain that shoots to the butt, back pain that shoots down the leg, severe back pain, lower back pain from an injury

Symptoms that always occur with lower back (sacral vertebral) fracture: lower back pain from an injury

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Spinal stenosis

The spine, or backbone, protects the spinal cord and allows people to stand and bend. Spinal stenosis causes narrowing in the spine. The narrowing puts pressure on nerves and the spinal cord and can cause pain.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: lower back pain, back pain that shoots down the leg, back pain that shoots to the butt, difficulty walking, thigh pain

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Pelvic inflammatory disease

Pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID, is the general term for a bacterial infection of a woman’s reproductive organs.

PID is most often a complication of a sexually transmitted disease (STD) such as gonorrhea or chlamydia. However, it is possible to get PID from other causes.

Any woman can be affected. It is most often found in sexually active women under age 25, especially those who have had PID before, have multiple partners, and/or douche frequently.

Symptoms include fever, lower abdominal pain, foul-smelling vaginal discharge, pain and/or bleeding during sex, and pain on urination.

Untreated PID can cause infertility due to damaged tissue in the reproductive tract, as well as chronic pelvic and abdominal pain. Unprotected sex partners will be infected as well.

Diagnosis is made through symptoms, pelvic examination, vaginal and cervical swabs, and urine tests.

Treatment is with a course of antibiotics. Be sure to finish all of the medication as directed, even when you begin feeling better.

To prevent PID, have all partners (male or female) tested for STDs and avoid unprotected sexual contact.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: fever, abdominal pain or unusual vaginal discharge, vaginal discharge, nausea or vomiting, vaginal bleeding, pelvis pain

Symptoms that always occur with pelvic inflammatory disease:fever, abdominal pain or unusual vaginal discharge

Urgency: In-person visit

Kidney stone

A kidney stone is a stone made up of various possible materials that forms in the kidneys. Factors that increase the risk of forming kidney stones include high levels of calcium, uric acid, and oxalate in the urine, low levels of citrate in the urine, abnormal urine pH, low urine volume, certain urin…

Left side back pain and stomach pain with intense cramps


I’m looking for some reassurance please, I have been experiencing constant pain/ache in the left side of my lower to middle back going round into my stomach. This has been like this for the last 2 & 1/2 months, I’m woke up everyday in the early hours between 2am & 6am with a sharp instnse pain in the same area that I can only describe as like a spasm as any slight movement, coughing, heavy breathing causes this pain to feel like a stabbing pain that quite literaly takes my breath away, this usually passes if i get up and go sit still for a few hours and then I am left with the usual constant pain/ache.

I have been to my GP twice already and he has sent me to out local A & E and requested that they investigate, as the first time round the A & E doctor laughed at me & said ‘he didn’t know why my GP sent me, as It was only a UTI & sent me home with anitbitoics. I went back a second time as per my GP and they did a CT scan as my GP thought it could be a kidney stone, but no stone was found. I have had two blood test’s taken & a CT scan at A & E and was sent home after being told it’s just a back ache!

In1997/1998 when I was 26 I had a Chrondosarcoma removed from my left femur and was discharged from the hospital only a few years ago. Becuase of this I can’t get rid of this nagging doubt in my mind that I might have something serious going on in my back. As I was initially told that the pain in my leg back in 1997 was Sciatica, so I can’t help but feel doubtful of the medical profession, especially as only last year my mother was told that she only had a blood clot in her kidney to then be told 7months later that it was a tumour before they removed her kidney! I am waiting to go back again & see my GP but i feel like a nuiscance and a timewaster.

I am living on painkillers, paying out for massages and I am just so tired from the constant broken sleep. 

Please I am desperate to get rid of this constant pain/ache and get a full nights unbroken sleep any helpful advice is much appreciated.

13th Jan 2020 UPDATE

Thank you everyone for your replies and I hope that all of you are not suffering anymore pain and have found out the cause of your pain.
i just wanted to give an update on my circumstances and that I still haven’t received a formal diagnosis but I have had numerous tests done and the doctors have been investigating me for a possible inflammatory Bowel disease such as Crohns Disease or Ulcerative Colitis as one of the tests revealed ulcers and my bloods showed that something is raised (sorry can’t remember what though) and that there’s inflammation plus that I was anemic and deficient in Iron. I do still have pain but it is not excruciating it’s more uncomfortable and I am sleeping much better but unfortunately because of the impact of covid I am still waiting for a formal diagnosis.  I wish you all well x

March 2021 UPDATE 2

I have now formally been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease & fibromyalgia so at long last over 2 years later I know what is wrong with me ! I still have a constant pain and have been on multiple courses of steroids to try & put this flare up into remission but no such luck yet. The pain is manageable and is more of just a very uncomfortable pain and at least the intense cramping pain has gone (felt like a contraction in labour pain) I hope everyone that has commented has now had there problems resolved or at least treated, thank you for your comments and I wish you all well. Unfortunately my story continues as there’s now a gynaecological issue going on to but thats another story.  


Spinal Conditions – Sciatica | Medtronic


Sciatica, radiculopathy, and herniated discs go hand in hand.

Sciatica is not so much a condition but a symptom. It refers to pain that begins in the hip and buttocks and continues all the way down the leg. This symptom is often accompanied by low back pain, which can be more or less severe than the leg pain.

The term sciatica indicates that the sciatic nerve, which travels from the lower back through the buttocks and into the leg, is thought to be the cause of the pain in this condition.

True sciatica is a condition that occurs when a herniated disc or
osteoarthritic bone spurs compress and pinch one of the contributing
roots of the sciatic nerve. This is known as a pinched nerve. This type
of lower back pain is less common than other causes and conditions that
produce back pain. For instance, sporting activities, recreational
activities, and heavy labor can cause back and leg pain, which is
commonly misdiagnosed as sciatica. The challenge for a physician is to
distinguish between radicular pain (also called radiculopathy), which is
caused by an inflamed nerve root, and referred pain, which is a result
of a musculoskeletal sprain or strain.


Doctors use the term radiculopathy to specifically describe pain, and other symptoms like numbness, tingling, and weakness in your arms or legs that are caused by a problem with your nerve roots. The nerve roots are branches of the spinal cord that carry signals to the rest of the body at each level along the spine. This term comes from a combination of the Latin words radix, which means “roots of a tree,” and pathos, which means “disease.”

This disease is often caused by direct pressure from a herniated disc or degenerative changes in the lumbar spine that cause irritation and inflammation of the nerve roots. Radiculopathy usually creates a pattern of pain and numbness that is felt in your arms or your legs in the area of skin supplied the by sensory fibers of the nerve root, and weakness in the muscles that are also supplied by the same nerve root. The number of roots that are involved can vary, from one to several, and it can also affect both sides of the body at the same time.



Herniation describes an abnormality of the intervertebral disc that is also known as a “bulging,” “ruptured,” or “torn” disc. This process occurs when the inner core (nucleus pulposus) of the intervertebral disc bulges out through the outer layer of ligaments that surround the disc (annulus fibrosis). This tear in the annulus fibrosis causes pain in the back at the point of herniation. If the protruding disc presses on a spinal nerve, the pain may spread to the area of the body that is served by that nerve. Between each vertebra in the spine is a pair of spinal nerves, which branch off from the spinal cord to a specific area in the body. Any part of the skin that can experience hot and cold, pain or touch, refers that sensation to the brain through one of these nerves. In turn, pressure on a spinal nerve from a herniated disc will cause pain in the part of the body that is served by that nerve. Most disc ruptures occur when a person is in their 30s or 40s when the nucleus pulposus is still a gelatin-like substance.

Four Degrees of Disc Herniation


Usually, a person’s main complaint is back pain. In some cases, there may be a previous history of episodes of localized lower back pain, which is present in the back and continues down the leg that is served by the affected nerve. This pain is usually described as a deep and sharp pain, which gets worse as it moves down the affected leg. The onset of pain with a herniated disc may occur out of the blue or it may be announced by a tearing or snapping sensation in the spine that is thought to be the result of a sudden tear of part of the annulus fibrosis.

A person with a herniated disc will usually complain of lower back pain that may or may not radiate into different parts of the body. They will often have limited range of motion when asked to bend forward or lean backward, and they may lean to one side as they try to bend forward. Sometimes, they walk with a painful gait, flexing the affected leg so as not to put too much weight on the side of the body that hurts.


A neurological history and examination performed by a trained physician will provide the most objective evidence of a herniated disc and pinched nerve. There are no laboratory tests that can detect the presence or absence of a herniated disc, but they may be helpful in diagnosing unusual causes of nerve root pain and irritation. An EMG (electromyographic test) may help to determine which nerve root in particular is being pinched or is not working normally in the situation where several nerve roots may be involved. An MRI is the test of choice for diagnosing a herniated disc.


The treatment for the vast majority of people with a herniated disc does not normally include surgery. Many patients will respond to non-surgical treatments. The primary element of non-surgical treatment is controlled physical activity. Usually, treatment will begin with avoidance of exacerbating activities followed by a gradual return to normal activities. Sitting is bad for this condition because the sitting posture puts a large amount of stress and pressure on the lumbar spine, which may increase the pressure on the affected nerve root. The appropriate use of medications is an important part of non-surgical treatment. This can include anti-inflammatory drugs, analgesics, muscle relaxants, or tranquilizers. Physical therapy is also important.

Surgical treatment and chronic pain therapies are reserved for people who have not had success with non-surgical treatment options and a sufficient period of time has passed to indicate that they may need to have surgery in order to help them to get better.

Back pain | Causes, exercises, treatments

Often back pain doesn’t have one simple cause but may be due to one or more of the following:

  • poor posture
  • lack of exercise resulting in stiffening of the spine and weak muscles
  • muscle strains or sprains.

As well as the things listed above, there are also specific conditions which are linked with pain felt in the back. It’s important to remember that severe pain doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a serious problem. Some common conditions are listed below.


As we grow older, the bones, discs and ligaments in the spine can naturally weaken as they age. This happens to all of us to some degree as part of the ageing process, but it doesn’t have to be a problem and not everyone will have pain from this.

As we grow older the discs in the spine become thinner and the spaces between the vertebrae become narrower. Little pieces of bone, known as osteophytes, may form at the edges of the vertebrae and facet joints.

The medical term for this is spondylosis and is very similar to the changes caused by osteoarthritis in other joints.

Keeping the spine supple and the muscles around the spine and pelvis strong, will reduce the impact of spondylosis.


Back pain is sometimes linked with pain in the legs, and there may be numbness or a tingling feeling. This is called sciatica.

This is due to a nerve in the spine being pressed on or squeezed. For most people with sciatica, the leg pain can be the worst part and occasionally they may have little or no back pain at all.

In most cases sciatica is caused by a bulging disc pressing on the nerve. Discs are designed to bulge so we can move our spines about easily, but sometimes a bulge can ‘catch’ a nerve root and cause pain that travels all the way down the leg and foot.

Most people recover fairly quickly, although in some cases it might take a number of months.

Starting gentle exercise as soon as you can will greatly help with sciatica. It is also a very good idea to see a physiotherapist.

Spinal stenosis

Sometimes back pain is linked with pain in the legs which starts after you start walking for a few minutes, and then tends to get better very quickly when you sit down. This is known as spinal stenosis.

This can happen from birth or can develop as we get older.

Problems are caused when something presses on the small space in the middle of the spine, where the nerves are. This space, which is called the spinal canal or nerve root canal, can be squeezed by bone or ligament.

Symptoms often affect both legs, but one may be worse than the other. The pain usually gets better when you sit down and rest, and some people find they have less pain if they walk a little stooped. Like sciatica, the main problem tends to be leg pain more than the back pain.

In most cases, neither sciatica nor spinal stenosis are serious problems. However, if the symptoms cause you a lot of trouble and greatly affect your quality of life then you should see your doctor for further advice and to discuss what else can be done.

Other causes

Other rarer causes of back pain include:

  • bone problems such as a fracture – often linked to thinning of the bones, which is known as osteoporosis
  • an infection
  • a tumour
  • inflammation, for example in the condition ankylosing spondylitis.

Prevent Back Pain – MyHealthfinder

The Basics: Overview

One of the best ways to prevent back pain is to keep your back muscles strong. Follow these steps to help protect your back and prevent back pain:

  • Do back-strengthening and stretching exercises at least 2 days a week.
  • Stand and sit up straight.
  • Avoid heavy lifting. If you do lift something heavy, bend your knees and keep your back straight. This way, your leg muscles will do most of the work.
  • Get active and eat healthy. Being overweight can strain your back. Getting active regular physical activity and eating choosing healthy foods can help you stay at a healthy weight. 

Learn more about back pain.

There are different types of back pain.

Back pain can be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term). It can feel like a sudden, sharp pain or a dull, constant ache.

Acute back pain lasts from a few days to a few weeks. It’s often caused by an accident, fall, or lifting something that’s too heavy. Acute back pain usually gets better on its own, without any treatment. But there may be times when you need to get medical care. Find out when to call a doctor or nurse about back pain.

Chronic back pain lasts for more than 3 months. It’s much less common than acute back pain. Most chronic back pain can be treated without surgery. 

Find out about ways to treat back pain.

The Basics: Am I at Risk?

Who gets back pain?

Most people have back pain at some point in their lives. It’s one of the most common medical problems. You’re more likely to experience back pain as you get older.

Many people hurt their backs when they lift, push, or pull something that’s too heavy.

You may also be at risk for back pain if you:

  • Are pregnant
  • Have poor posture (don’t stand and sit up straight)
  • Aren’t physically active
  • Are overweight
  • Fall or have an accident
  • Have a health problem that can cause back pain (like arthritis or cancer)
  • Smoke

Take Action: Get Active

Take care of yourself to avoid back pain. Preventing back pain is easier than treating it.

Strengthen your back.

Physical activity can make your back stronger and lower your risk of back pain:

If you have an injury, health condition, or disability, ask your doctor or nurse which types of activity are best for you. Get tips on staying active with a disability.

Take Action: Prevent Injuries

Focus on good posture.

Good posture can help prevent back pain.

  • Try not to slouch when standing and sitting
  • Sit up straight with your back against the back of your chair and your feet flat on the floor — if possible, keep your knees slightly higher than your hips
  • Stand tall with your head up and shoulders back
  • If you can, switch between standing and sitting so you’re not in the same position for too long
  • Find out how to have good posture while sitting at a computer

Lift correctly.

Lift things from your legs, not your back. Keep your back straight and bend at your knees or hips. Get help if the load is too heavy for you to lift alone. Get more tips on safe lifting. 

Prevent back injuries at work.

Back injuries are the most common type of workplace injury. Staying safe at work can help you prevent injuries. Learn more about preventing back pain and injuries at work.

Content last updated July 8, 2021

Reviewer Information

This information on back pain prevention was adapted from materials from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

Reviewed by:
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Science Communications and Outreach Branch
National Institutes of Health

December 2019

Why Do I Get Upper Back Pain When Lying Down?

For some people, upper back pain is present all the time. But for others, the pain gets worse when lying down flat or at night when they sleep. They may also only have upper back pain at night or when they wake up in the morning. Finding a comfortable position when resting that is taking less pressure off of your upper back may help you get better rest.

Upper back pain can have many causes. Common ones include muscle strain or overuse, poor posture, or an injury. More serious causes include a spine condition such as a herniated disc or, less commonly, cancer, or infection of the spine.

What is upper back pain?

Upper back pain can occur anywhere from the base of the neck to the middle of the ribs. It can also involve the shoulder blades or the ribs.

The upper back has:

  • Vertebrae, the bones of the spine. There are 12 vertebrae in the upper and middle back (which is called the thoracic spine). The ribs attach to the vertebrae in the back and to the sternum in the front.
  • Spinal (or intervertebral) discs that separate the vertebrae and provide cushioning and support.
  • Muscles and ligaments that hold the spine together.
  • Two shoulder blades that are attached to the upper back and shoulders by muscles and ligaments.

Upper back pain is less common than pain in the neck or low back since the spine in the upper back is less flexible. This is because the upper and middle spine, ribs and sternum form a tough cage to protect the heart, lungs and other vital organs.

What causes upper back pain?

  • Muscle strain or overuse
  • Injuries to the muscles, ligaments or spinal discs that support the spine
  • Poor posture during work or leisure activities, especially for long periods without a break
  • Herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, or another condition that puts pressure on the spinal nerves
  • One or more fractured vertebrae
  • Osteoarthritis in the spine. This occurs when the cartilage of the joints and discs breaks down. It is more common in the neck and lower back.
  • Myofascial pain, which is related to the connective tissue that wraps around and supports the muscles of the back.
  • Whiplash or a motor vehicle accident.

Could upper back pain be caused by something more serious?

Less commonly, upper back pain may be caused by other problems, such as infection or cancer.

A bacterial infection such as a spinal epidural abscess happens when germs and pus form in the space between the bones in your spine and the membrane of your spinal cord. The abscess becomes painful when it swells. It’s treated through antibiotics, but in some cases surgery is necessary to remove the matter.

In rare instances, lung cancer can be the cause of upper back pain. Cancer that has spread don into the bones can create pain in the upper back.

What are the symptoms of upper back pain?

Common symptoms of upper back pain are:

  • A dull, sharp, or burning pain
  • Tightness or stiffness in the muscles of the back

More serious symptoms that should be checked by a doctor right away include:

  • Tingling or numbness in your arms, chest, belly, or legs
  • Weakness in your arms or legs
  • Loss of control of your bowel or bladder
  • Pain or throbbing in your abdomen
  • Fever
  • Unexplained weight loss

Why does my upper back hurt when lying down?

Dr. Alice Holland, a physical therapist at Stride Strong Physical Therapy in Portland, Oregon, says if your upper back pain only happens when lying down or while sleeping, it provides clues as to what’s behind your pain. Some possible causes include:

  • Lying down puts more pressure on the part of the back that is affected, such as the vertebrae, spinal discs, spinal nerves, muscles, ligaments, or connective tissue. Holland says this can happen if you have abnormal rounding of the upper back (kyphosis), which makes lying on your back uncomfortable.
  • Your pillow or mattress aren’t a good fit. “It could hint that your pillow is too high or too low or unsupportive when you are sleeping,” says Holland. Your mattress may also be too hard or not provide enough support.
  • A lack of movement while lying down for a long time may cause muscles to become more stiff or tight.
  • If you toss and turn a lot while sleeping, this can put additional strain on the back muscles or spine.

Dr. Eugene Charles, a chiropractic physician and applied kinesiologist in New York City, says if the pain is worse at night, it could be a serious medical problem, or it is because you notice the pain more because you are less distracted.

When should I see a doctor about upper back pain?

If you are concerned about the upper back pain, you should see a doctor or other health professional. If you have any tingling, numbness or weakness in your arms, chest, belly or legs, or other serious symptoms, see a doctor right away.

What information should I share with my doctor?

To help your doctor determine what is causing your symptoms and the best way to treat your condition, make note of the following:

  • What symptoms you have, including the part(s) of your body that are affected.
  • How severe the pain is, and whether you have upper back pain at night only.
  • If your symptoms get worse while lying down, is it right away or only after lying down for a long time or after sleeping.
  • Does anything make the pain go away, such as changing position while lying down, propping up your back with pillows, etc.

How is upper back pain diagnosed?

Your doctor will first ask you about your symptoms, your overall health, past injuries or surgeries, and your work, and recreational activities. This will be followed by a physical exam.

Your doctor may also have you undergo an X-ray, MRI or another imaging test to see if something such as a herniated disc, compressed spinal nerve, or broken vertebra is causing your pain. Other tests may be needed to determine the cause of your pain or to rule out certain conditions.

How to treat upper back pain

Treatment for upper back pain depends on the cause. Mild to moderate back pain can often be managed with:

  • Rest
  • Ice or heat packs
  • Over-the-counter medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Advil, Aleve, aspirin, Motrin or others), or acetaminophen (Tylenol or others)
  • Manual therapy, such as physical therapy, massage, Thai yoga massage, chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation
  • Exercise, Pilates, or yoga

Change your sleeping position

If your pain is worse at night or when lying down flat, your doctor or physical therapist may suggest that you try several things to decrease your upper back pain in bed, such as:

  • Keep your spine in a neutral position by using a different mattress or foam mattress topper for additional support or using pillows to support your spine.
  • Sleep in a different position, such as sleeping on your back or alternating sides if you are a side sleeper.
  • “Invest in a supportive and just-right pillow for your head and neck curvature,” says Holland. 

Stretch your upper back

Strengthening and stretching your back muscles may also provide some relief because they can help balance the spine. Holland says you can also use a foam roller to increase the flexibility of the upper spine.

“As your spinal curve improves, you may to readjust your pillow again,” says Holland. “The height of it could be a moving target depending on whether you can change the way you sleep or your curvature.”

Consult with your doctor if problems persist

If your pain is severe enough that you have difficulty doing your daily activities, your doctor may recommend a prescription pain medication.

Surgery is a less common treatment for upper back pain, but may be used to treat some spine conditions, such as a herniated disc or degenerative disc disease.


Many things can cause upper back pain when lying down or while sleeping. If you are concerned about your pain, you should see a doctor, especially if you have any tingling, numbness or weakness in your arms or legs, or other serious symptoms.

A doctor can help you determine the cause of your upper back pain and the best treatment. Many cases of upper back pain can be treated with rest, heat or ice packs, over-the-counter medications or manual therapy. Other treatments may needed for more severe conditions such as spine conditions.

Sudden, Sharp Pain in Your Back or Lower Abdomen?

Kid­ney and ureter­al stones are com­mon, in fact, 1 in every 10 peo­ple will devel­op a stone at some point in their life­time. These stones form when urine becomes too con­cen­trat­ed, caus­ing salts and min­er­als to build up in your kid­neys and form hard deposits.

You may be at a high­er risk of devel­op­ing a stone if:

  • You aren’t drink­ing enough water or tak­ing enough bath­room breaks through­out the day
  • You are inac­tive or overweight
  • You fre­quent­ly drink alcohol
  • You have a chron­ic health con­di­tion like dia­betes or hypertension

Com­mon stone symp­toms include:

  • Sharp, cramp­ing pain in the back, side, or low­er abdomen
  • Blood in your urine
  • Painful uri­na­tion
  • Increased urgency to urinate
  • Nau­sea and/​or vomiting

If you sus­pect you have devel­oped a stone, our Imme­di­ate Care Cen­ters, led by board-cer­ti­fied Emer­gency Med­i­cine physi­cians, are avail­able to pro­vide care for you today.

If you are diag­nosed with a stone, our Imme­di­ate Care Cen­ter team will deter­mine how to man­age your symp­toms, and what treat­ment option is most appro­pri­ate for you. In some cas­es a stone can be passed sim­ply by increas­ing your water intake and tak­ing pain med­ica­tions, as pre­scribed, if need­ed. When the stone is larg­er, it may become lodged in the uri­nary tract, or if an infec­tion is present, surgery may be nec­es­sary to remove the stone.

Pass­ing a kid­ney stone can be painful, but typ­i­cal­ly does­n’t cause any long-term dam­age if they are diag­nosed and treat­ed quick­ly. Should surgery be rec­om­mend­ed for you, our high­ly-skilled urol­o­gists are able to per­form surgery on an out­pa­tient basis, at our Sur­gi­cal Cen­ter in Lom­bard, often in as lit­tle as 48 – 72 hours from the time of your diagnosis.

Learn more about the con­di­tions treat­ed, hours and loca­tions for our Imme­di­ate Care Centers.

90,000 what to do in case of acute back pain “

Dr. Ivanov knows what should be in a home first-aid kit, if he suddenly “shot” in the back

Many people, especially in old age, experience the so-called lumbago – a very severe sharp pain in the back, which does not allow to straighten. How to relieve this unbearable pain if the doctor is not around? In his new article, Dr. Alexander Ivanov gives an algorithm of actions for acute back pain and tells what medicines should be in every home medicine cabinet for such a case.

“Many people, especially in old age, have so-called lumbago – very severe acute pain in the back, which does not allow to straighten out”
Photo: pixabay.com


In this article, I do not call for self-treatment, but give practical advice that will help you when you suddenly “shot” your back, and the doctor is not around.


After the onset of acute back pain, give rest to your body, try to move less. During the acute period, movement can increase pain. If your lower back is stuck, lie on your back, bend your knees and place pillows under your knee joints to reduce sciatic nerve tension and pain. Sometimes the “lying on your stomach” position can bring relief, you can also put a pillow under your stomach – this way you will reduce the deflection in the lower back and muscle tension.


To do this, first roll over on your side, bend your knees, bring your legs over the edge of the bed and immediately push off the bed slightly with your hands and sit down.The weight of the legs under the influence of gravity helps to sit down without tension in the muscles of the back. The loin is straight. You should go to bed in the same way, but in the reverse order.


To reduce local movement in the back and exacerbate pain, you can use a semi-rigid corset, but not more than three to four hours a day! I recommend keeping it in your home medicine cabinet.

“You can use anti-inflammatory ointments or a pepper patch to reduce pain.”
Photo: pixabay.com


Anti-inflammatory ointments or pepper patch can be used to reduce pain. The latter has proven itself well, it contains a substance from red capsicum – capsaicin, which has a pronounced anti-inflammatory effect. You must first degrease the skin and stick the plaster for 5-7 days.

An alternative to the patch can be an anti-inflammatory ointment, for example, “Diclofenac-gel” or “Fastum-gel”.These ointments and gels must be in everyone’s home medicine cabinet.


If the patch and ointment were not found, you can make a cold compress – apply an ice pack to the painful area. You need to influence the cold for 10 minutes. As practice shows, such a compress is good for pain relief, it can be done several times a day.


To relieve muscle tension in the acute and subacute period of pain, use the Kuznetsov needle applicator or any of its analogs.It is necessary to act on the painful area for at least 20 minutes in order to obtain a relaxing effect. Place the applicator on a flat and firm surface and lie on top of it. It is desirable that the effect of the needles be directly on the skin, without clothes. The first 3-4 minutes there may be mild discomfort that goes away quickly.

“Everyone in the medicine cabinet should have anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)”
Photo: pixabay.com


Everyone in the medicine cabinet should have anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), for example, Nise, Nimesil, Meloxicam.These medications must be used with caution due to their toxicity and side effects. Follow the instructions and recommendations of your doctor, as there may be contraindications. Medications should be used if, as a result of the above measures, the pain syndrome has not decreased.


In any situation, you should consult a neurologist or osteopathic doctor as soon as possible to find out the cause of the pain and make a diagnosis. Correctly carried out treatment will help to avoid exacerbations in the future.


1. Massage as this will increase swelling and pain. Light massage is indicated only in the subacute period.

2. Warm up in a steam bath or sauna. Warming up can increase the swelling and pain of sciatica, but can help relieve muscle pain if it is painful. Since you don’t know the exact cause of the pain, it’s best not to experiment.

3. Move through pain. With inflammation and swelling, movement can aggravate the process and increase pain. Shown bed rest.It is better to take sick leave for two or three days than go to work through pain, and then get a complication.


So, let’s summarize what should be in a home first-aid kit for recurrent back and neck pain:

1. Kuznetsov’s applicator or its analogue (Lyapko, Redox, etc.)

2. Semi-rigid corset.

3. Pepper plaster.

4. Ointment with NSAIDs (Diclofenac, Fastum, Dolobene, etc.).

5.Ice pack

6. NSAIDs (Nimesil, Meloxicam, etc.).

Be healthy!

Sincerely yours,

Ivanov Alexander Alexandrovich – candidate of medical sciences, osteopath, neurologist, naturopath, member of the Russian osteopathic association, popularizer of a healthy lifestyle and a conscious approach to health.

Personal site www.osteopat-ivanov.ru

The opinion of the author may not coincide with the position of the editors

90,000 Doctors treating acute lower back pain in St. Petersburg: reviews, doctors and clinics

Therapists of St. Petersburg – latest reviews

Everything went well.The doctor is very polite and pleasant. She gave me ample time and prescribed treatment. If necessary, I will contact again and recommend to friends.


October 27, 2021

Karine Oganesovna is a good doctor. At the reception, the doctor conducted an examination, consultation and prescribed tests. Everything went great. As a result, the specialist helped me. The reception went well.


October 27, 2021

The doctor is good, it is clear that he is experienced, he also has knowledge.But I didn’t like that I couldn’t get the answers to my questions that I needed. And so Valery Nikolayevich examined, the treatment prescribed everything well. Unfortunately did not help in solving my question. I need a cattle to prescribe hormonal treatment, which is better to take, but he said that he had already made the decision, I had to get up and go out. In time, the consultation lasted 10-15 minutes.


October 11, 2021

At the reception, the doctor listened to me and prescribed tests.We also agreed with her about a second appointment. The reception lasted about fifteen minutes. This time was enough to resolve my question. The doctor is attentive, pleasant in communication, explains everything clearly and easily. I can recommend this specialist to my friends, if necessary, and if necessary, I can apply again. I was pleased with the quality of the reception.


October 19, 2021

This is not the first time I have applied to this specialist. At the reception, the doctor listened to me, took tests and recommended treatment. After receiving the test results, the treatment will also be additionally adjusted. The doctor is attentive, treats the patient well, knows how to listen, explains everything clearly and easily. I can recommend this specialist to my friends, if necessary. I initially chose this doctor for a convenient location for me. I was pleased with the quality of the reception.


October 13, 2021

Ruslan Valentinovich is a very polite and pleasant doctor.At the appointment, the doctor conducted a preliminary examination to make a conclusion whether I can be vaccinated or not. He told everything clearly, according to the protocol. Then he allowed it to be done. Then I called the nurse who vaccinated. They showed me a bottle of vaccine, told me what and how, what to prepare for and what to expect. I got everything I wanted. There were no problems. The reception left an extremely positive impression.


04 November 2021

At the reception, the doctor listened to me, examined me, made a diagnosis and prescribed treatment.They also tried to impose on me some paid services that I do not need. The doctor is attentive, scrupulous, impaired in the process, he explains everything clearly and easily. In general, I was satisfied with the quality of the reception.


October 20, 2021

A very wonderful doctor, an excellent specialist.Looking forward to the next appointment. Tatyana Sergeevna conducted an examination, the necessary manipulations, ordered to pass the tests and the necessary examinations. The doctor is friendly, correct, knowledgeable.


October 10, 2021

Galina Sergeevna is a polite, enthusiastic and interested doctor. He spoke well at the reception. The doctor examined and ordered an examination. I got everything I wanted. There are no complaints. I will recommend the specialist to my friends


October 26, 2021

Pavel Sergeevich is a good doctor.He was very polite to me. During the appointment, the doctor gave some recommendations and sent for tests. After passing the examinations, I will make an appointment. I found a specialist via the Internet at a convenient time for myself. Perhaps I will recommend a doctor to my friends.


October 18, 2021

Show 10 reviews of 2,148 90,000 Backache: Causes and Treatment

Back pain can occur for a wide variety of reasons and absolutely at any age. A lot of people at different stages of life notice pulling, cutting, stabbing, aching, shooting, sharp, dull pain in themselves. The back often hurts in the lumbar region, between the shoulder blades, on one side or the other. Pain is not always harmless, so at the first discomfort you should pay attention to it.

Causes of back pain

Factors provoking unpleasant sensations in the back, an almost endless number.

  • Temporary – usually go away on their own.These include:
    – a long stay of the body in an uncomfortable position. Predominantly pulling pains in the back of the back are observed, caused by prolonged muscle tension and improper deflection of the spine;
    – pregnancy. Most often, during preparation for childbirth, women suffer from lower back pain, which is associated with the production of a special hormone by the body, designed to soften and stretch the ligaments, thereby allowing the child to pass through the birth canal.
  • Degenerative – More serious and requiring treatment. These include:
    – osteochondrosis. The intervertebral discs are destroyed. A person has a backache, often headaches, dizziness, hearing problems are added to the symptom, lameness may occur;
    – intervertebral hernia. It appears as a result of a change in the position of the intervertebral disc. The back hurts with a uniform, aching pain, aggravated by moments of physical exertion or coughing. Lack of timely competent treatment can lead to paralysis;
    – displacement of the vertebra.The back hurts in the lower back, it can give to the legs. Occurs due to a congenital anomaly or unnatural changes in the spine;
    – disc loss. One of the further stages after the formation of a hernia. The patient experiences severe acute back pain;
    – sciatica. The roots of the spinal cord are pinched, after which the back hurts between the shoulder blades and below. If you do not respond for a long time, there is a decrease in the general sensitivity of the back, as well as severe shooting pain;
    – osteoporosis. There are two reasons for this phenomenon: natural age-related and hormonal changes. Bone tissue loses its former structure, becoming more fragile. As a result, the back hurts on a sharp change in weather or during a long stay in one position;
    – ankylosing spondylitis. The joints are weakened, and the back hurts in the spine. In particular, sensations are pronounced at night.
  • Infectious – caused by infectious diseases:
    – tuberculosis – often directly affects the spinal column, is accompanied by severe pain, long-term treatment and often leads to the patient’s disability;
    – osteomyelitis – a disease of bone tissue and bone marrow with the appearance of pus and fistulas on the surface of the body.As with tuberculosis, it is characterized by severe pain in the back, head, increased body temperature, nausea, and diarrhea.
  • Irradiating – provoked by pathologies of internal organs:
    – kidneys. Due to inflammation of the kidneys or the appearance of stones in them, the back in the lower back hurts: the pain is encircling, supplemented by strongly yellowed urine and frequent trips to the toilet, the body temperature may rise;
    – Gastrointestinal tract. The back hurts in the area of ​​the shoulder blades and slightly below due to gastritis or stomach ulcers.The sensations are exacerbated if the person is hungry or has just eaten, may be accompanied by bloating, belching, diarrhea, or constipation;
    – female genital organs. There is discomfort in the lumbar zone, it can be supplemented by malfunctions of the menstrual cycle and abundant discharge with an uncharacteristic color and smell;
    – lungs. The back hurts under the shoulder blades and in the chest with increased inspiration, accompanied by rapid breathing, palpitations, shortness of breath even at rest, dizziness, increased fatigue;
    – heart.The back hurts, the shoulder blades, the thoracic region, mainly on the left, can be given to the left hand. Often the symptom is accompanied by a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, shortness of breath.

Back pain treatment

There is no single scheme that would help to cope with discomfort in the back area, as well as one specific specialist who would solve all possible problems in this area. It all depends on the reason that provoked the appearance of the pain syndrome.

Therefore, when the first symptoms appear, do not wait until they get worse, contact the Pain Treatment Center.If you do not know why your back hurts, and what kind of specialist you need, you should visit a therapist. In addition to him, an orthopedist is involved in back problems, surgeons and other narrow-profile specialists.

You can get a detailed consultation with any of the listed and many other specialists by making an appointment at Medicina JSC (Academician Roitberg’s clinic). The multifunctional medical center has gathered highly qualified specialists within its walls. Thanks to modern equipment of the highest class, any analyzes and diagnostics will be carried out quickly, comfortably and demonstrate the most accurate results.

The clinic is located in the central district of Moscow at 10 2nd Tverskoy-Yamskaya lane, near the Mayakovskaya metro station. The registration is carried out by telephone round-the-clock +7 (495) 775-73-60.