Shooting Back Pain

Shooting back pain can be one of the most painful injuries a person can face. Often appearing with little warning, sufferers are sometimes left wondering what has caused their debilitating pain. There is no denying the pain of an acute back ache, but learning the causes and the ways to alleviate it can help.

Acute back pain is often described as ‘shooting’ or ‘stabbing.’ Unlike chronic back pain which tends to be less intense and generalized, shooting back pain is typically located in the lower back with the pain ‘shooting’ off, many times down one leg. In many cases, this pain occurs suddenly and can sometimes disappear as quickly as it arrived.


It is important to understand just why you are suffering from shooting back pain. Among women, the most common cause is pregnancy. As the fetus continues to grow, many times it comes to rest upon the sciatic nerve. This increased pressure can cause shooting pain not only in the back but down one or both legs. Other causes of shooting back pain include:

      1. Injured ligaments or muscles: Lifting heavy objects, accidents, twisting motions and overtaxed muscles can often be the cause of shooting back pain. Luckily, pain due to injury or overuse can often be easily addressed.

2. Medical conditions: some medical conditions such as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, kidney stones or Diverticulitis can often cause acute shooting back pain. Medical intervention is necessary in these cases.

In order to treat your particular case, it is important to visit with a doctor. They will typically perform tests including mobility and flexibility work-ups. X-rays and other scans may also be ordered. A detailed history will be taken. This information will be used to determine the cause of the pain and to develop a relevant treatment plan. Other than cases of pregnancy related back pain, there are typically three schools of thought on treatment.

      1. Therapy: Using a combination of physical therapy, massage and chiropractic care, the patient works to strengthen the muscles of the back, improve flexibility and learn proper movement and posture.

2. Medication: More severe cases of back pain are treated with medication. Under a doctor’s care, pain relievers and muscle relaxants are used to ease the pain, allowing the body a chance to heal itself naturally.

3. Medical Intervention: The worst cases of shooting back pain, or those caused by a severe medical condition are treated with surgery.

Patients who suffer from recurrent bouts of shooting back pain are further counseled in behavior modification. Often, repetitive movements at work can lead to pain. Increasing flexibility and taking proper precautions at work often serve to prevent reoccurrence. Thousands of adults suffer from back pain each year. The battle to overcome the pain is one that can be won. Visit with your doctor, discuss your options and follow your treatment plan completely. It may take some time to see improvement, but eventually your pain will subside. Continue precautions will protect you from further incidences of pain.

Filed Under: Back Pain
Written By:  Updated:
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Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS, MFT

Jesse is the co-founder and visionary CEO of The Healthy Back Institute®, the world-leading source of natural back pain solutions. His mission as a former back pain sufferer is to help others live pain free without surgery and pharmaceuticals.

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2 thoughts on “Shooting Back Pain”

  1. g.sisay says:

    i have lower back pain shooting once a while it is not percestant

  2. Admin says:

    Hi g.sisay,

    You may find it useful to get a copy of our back pain book The 7 Day Back Pain Cure. It has a lot of information regarding the back, treatment options and pain relief plus other useful aspects of back issues for you to read and consider. We do hope you find it helpful.

    Thank you
    (The Healthy Back Institute)

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