Identifying The Symptoms Of Back Pain

Most of us have experienced that unexpected jolt of pain after bending to fast or standing from a sitting position too quickly. It comes on strong and then just as quickly, it’s gone. It’s scary and you have no idea what to do; does it mean you are developing back pain or was it just a fluke? The honest answer is that you can’t simply tell based on one incident. Back pain comes in a variety of places and many different degrees of pain. The one thing that is important is to understand that pain is the body’s way of alerting us that something is wrong and needs to be checked out.

You may experience back pain in the neck, upper back, shoulders, mid-back and lower back. But if you suffer from a compressed or pinched sciatic nerve, you may also experience pain down the hips, buttocks and legs. Identifying the symptoms of back pain will help your physician diagnose the source of the back pain, which is the first step to getting the most effective treatment possible. 

Recognizing Pain

One of the keys to identifying back pain and therefore starting an effective back pain treatment, is to recognize your pain. Sure it’s painful, but what kind of pain is it? Your ability to describe your back pain will help during the diagnostic phase, and keep you alert to the intensification of pain.

Some back pain is localized in just one place such as the neck or the lower back. Other times however, back pain can radiate or shoot up the back or down the legs. Then there is the intensity of the pain. Is it mild or severe? Is the pain a dull ache that feels as though it is several layers below the surface or is it sharp, making your skin tender on the surface? Is the pain tingling or do you feel periods of numbness between bouts of pain?

Since it is your body, only you can describe the pain accurately to help your physician make the proper diagnosis. If possible take notes about the pain, including when it is the worst and when you experience virtually no pain.

Common Symptoms Of Back Pain

There are many symptoms of back pain and many of them are common to more than one back problem. Since lower back pain is the most common form of back pain, you will notice many of the same symptoms as other back issues. The symptoms of back pain will depend on the underlying cause of the back pain as well was the activity or movement you were engaging in prior to the onset of pain.

For example if you suffer from chronic pain, you may feel an ache in your lower or middle back after spending a great deal of time standing or sitting. This is particularly true if you sit at a desk all day long or spend long periods of time driving. Many assembly line workers who spend all day standing also experience this type of chronic pain in the middle and lower portion of the back.  

Back pain that is related to sciatica will often cause symptoms such as a radiating pain from the lower back to the buttocks and hips, and often down the leg. In most cases the pain may occur in both legs simultaneously, but sometimes it can occur in both legs.

Some back problems present with sharp pain that makes even the simplest movements difficult. Limited range of motion and mobility is common to back problems. Upper spine problems can make it difficult to move your neck from side to side, while middle and lower back problems can cause a sharp shooting pain when bending and sometimes when breathing.

It isn’t just the pain that is problematic with back ailments; it is also the muscle and joint stiffness. This can also lead to limited mobility.

When you begin to experience two more symptoms of back pain and the pain lasts for longer than two weeks, see your health care provider as soon as possible. If you experience severe and debilitating back pain accompanied with limited mobility do not wait to see your physician as this pain can quickly worsen. Severe back pain can be a sign that you have a serious underlying problem and waiting is ill-advised.

To learn more about back pain symptoms and treatments, please CLICK HERE, to receive a FREE copy of “The 7 Day Back Pain Cure” book. Be sure to check out our conditions page to learn more about your specific type of back 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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