back pain

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Related to back pain: Lower back pain

back pain

See Low back pain.

back pain

Pain felt in or along the spine or musculature of the posterior thorax. It is usually characterized by dull, continuous pain and tenderness in the muscles or their attachments in the lower lumbar, lumbosacral, or sacroiliac regions. Back pain is often referred to the leg or legs, following the distribution of the sciatic nerve.


Common causes of back pain include pain caused by muscular or tendon strain, herniated intervertebral disk, lumbar spinal stenosis, or spondylolisthesis. Patients with a history of cancer may have back pain caused by metastatic tumors to the vertebrae and should be evaluated to be certain that damage to the spinal cord is not imminent. Patients with back pain and fever (esp. those with a history of injection drug use, tuberculosis, or recent back surgery) should be evaluated for epidural abscess or osteomyelitis.


Depending on the underlying cause of the back pain, treatment may include drugs, rest, massage, physical therapy, chiropractic, stretching exercises, injection therapy, and surgery, among others. Most nonmalignant causes of back pain improve with a few days of rest, analgesics, and antiinflammatory drugs, followed by 2 to 4 weeks of anti-inflammatory treatment, appropriate muscle strengthening, and patience. Pain caused by an osteoporotic fracture may prove more debilitating and longer-lasting. Back pain produced by a spinal metastasis can improve with corticosteroids, radiation therapy, intravenous bisphosphonates, and/or surgical decompression. Patients with a spinal epidural abscess will need surgical drainage of the infection and antibiotics.

Patient care

Prolonged bedrest is inadvisable in most patients with back pain. The treatment regimen is explained, implemented, and reinforced. Factors that precipitate symptoms are identified and preventive actions are discussed.

See also: pain

back pain,

n a pain in the lumbar, lumbosacral, or cervical regions of the back, varying in sharpness and intensity. Causes may include muscle strain or pressure on the root of a nerve.


see also dorsum.

back arched upwards
humped back posture as in subacute abdominal pain.
cold back
horse resents the saddle being placed in position and the girth tightened. May be due to pain in back or to disinclination to wear the saddle.
hollow back
the natural concave line of the backbone is exaggerated.
back muscle necrosis
is characterized by pain and swelling over the backs of pigs. The pigs are reluctant to move and there is arching or lateral flexion of the spine. Subsequently there is atrophy of the muscles. See also porcine stress syndrome.
back pain
pain expressed when pressure is applied to the back. Spondylosis, injury to dorsal spinous processes and muscle sprain are amongst the common causes. A special area of interest in the horse, because of its importance in restricting movement and causing abnormalities of gait.
back raking
manual removal of the feces from the rectum. Performed often in the preliminaries to pregnancy diagnosis in mares and cows. Carried out cosmetically in horses and especially elephants just before a circus or other performing act.
back Shu points
acupuncturese for association points along the back.

Patient discussion about back pain

Q. My son is complaining about back pain. I also see that his back isn't straight. What can we do? My son is a adorable 8 years old. He is complaining about back pain, that bothers him after he walks a little. I also saw that his back isn't straight and looks like a S. is this deformity connected to his back pain?

A. The normal shape of the spine is very similar to the "S" shape as you can see here
But even if his back isn't deformated, he has back pain and you need to take care of that by going to your pediatrician.

Q. I want to know the treatments for back pain

A. well, tester1234, you are asking a very general question. back pain is a symptom. and the best way to get rid of a symptom is by eliminating the cause. back pain have many causes- not sitting right, posture problems, Spinal disc herniation, muscles not strong and long enough, kidney problems sometime feels like lower back problems. i had a problem with posture. so i went to Rolfing therapist- really helped.

Q. I have a lower back pain for more than 3 months what should I do? I am a 55 years old man, and i work as a truck-driver. In the last 3 months i have a back ache that is disturbing my life. Its really annoying me. When I wake up I am usually fine, but after 10 minutes of driving the pain starts and it doesn't stop till I go back to bed. What can I do? my GP told me to take Tylenol, but it's just not helping.

A. A constant low back pain can be a result of a lot of things. A friend of mine (63 years old) had a back pain and she didn't pay enough attention to it assuming its just nothing. In the end it was due to metastatic lung cancer.
here you can see the major "Red Flags" that encourage you take an extra appointment with your GP

More discussions about back pain
References in periodicals archive ?
This "new" philosophy of back pain treatment has actually been part of Department of Defense procedures for about five years, he said.
Less than one per cent of people with low back pain have a serious illness.
Misery of back pain Mike Johnson, 49, has suffered with crippling back pain since his early 20s, when he drove all over the country for his job as a sales rep.
Research indicates people are treating the symptoms, not the cause of back pain," he says.
While considerable debate exists regarding theoretical explanation of these changes, the evidence for changes in muscle recruitment patterns associated with low back pain is consistent with the pain-adaptation model first described by Lund et al (1991).
The results also suggested that acupuncture may provide longer term relief from chronic low back pain.
An estimated 12 million people in the UK suffer from back pain lasting for more than four weeks, according to the charity BackCare.
The most common effects of back pain on flight operations are decreased concentration, shortened or hurried missions, and, to a lesser degree, cancelled flights.
A link between low back pain and bowel motility disorders was suspected because many symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders result from altered sensory perception in the bowels.
Low back pain is sometimes referred to as man's most important non-life threatening disease (1) It is one of man's oldest complaints and a big cause of social distress in many populations (2) Low back pain affects 70 to 80% of the general population at some time in their lives and is a leading cause of disability and activity limitation in persons between 35 and 40 years of age.
For years, we thought bed rest was the ideal treatment for low back pain.