More than 90% of the adult population of developed countries periodically experience pain in the spine. 
The cause of the pathological reaction can be back diseases, but sometimes the appearance of a pain symptom is associated with a malfunction of the internal organs. In this case, a decisive diagnosis is crucial. Only a doctor can differentiate a disease; it is impossible to do this without a medical examination. The treatment regimen is prescribed according to the results of diagnosis and includes pain relief and therapy of the main pathology.

Characterization of pain

Pain in the spine is not the norm and belongs to the category of pathological syndromes. It bothers patients, regardless of age and gender. Pain can occur in any part of the spine but is more common in the most active parts – the lumbar and cervical. The lower back is subjected to tremendous stress, so the lumbar region suffers in the first place.

The pain can be of a different nature and vary in duration. A short-term pain reaction is often physiological. This is an acute pain syndrome that is well stopped by painkillers. This type of pain does not pose a threat to human health and passes on its own in a few days.

Acute pain syndrome, which is accompanied by an increase in body temperature, develops with infectious or inflammatory conditions. If signs of intoxication are absent, perhaps this is the beginning of the development of the pathology of the musculoskeletal system. With constant pain, it can be argued about the chronic course of the disease.

By nature, the pain syndrome is:

  • piercing;
  • acute;
  • pulling;
  • aching;
  • throbbing.

The pain can be point or widespread, radiating from other parts of the body. Should alert:

  • night pain syndrome, which appears at rest;
  • chronic pain, the intensity of which does not depend on a change in body position;
  • a dangerous condition is a violation of the act of urination and defecation when a person does not feel the urge to go to the toilet.

Sometimes severe pain in the thoracic spine occurs against the background of shortness of breath, accompanied by a feeling of squeezing behind the sternum and gives to the left limb, scapula, collarbone. Such a clinical picture may indicate the development of a life-threatening condition in which it is impossible to procrastinate with calling an ambulance.

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Reasons for the appearance

The occurrence of a pain reaction occurs under the influence of pathological and physiological factors.

In a healthy person, pain in the spine may appear for the following reasons:

  • sharp movement (rotation, tilt) – overstretching of muscle tissue occurs, which leads to irritation of pain receptors;
  • intense load – performing unusual movements or physical exercises with high intensity leads to oxidative reactions in the muscles and the formation of lactic acid;
  • spinal injury (fracture, bruise, subluxation of the vertebrae), muscle sprain, ligaments is the cause of sharp pain, which appears at the time of injury and increases with the onset of edema.

Pain during prolonged standing and walking can provoke excess weight. People with obesity often have a backache in the lower part of it. This is due to the increased load, which has extra pounds on the lumbar.

Spinal diseases

The basis of the axial skeleton of a person is the vertebral column. It consists of a movably connected vertebrae between which there are intervertebral discs. With age or under the influence of causative factors, the cartilage tissue of the discs loosens and deforms. Such changes are called degenerative-dystrophic. As a result, osteochondrosis develops. The cause of pain in the spine is complications of a destructive disease – intervertebral hernia and osteophytes (growths on the vertebrae). Formations have a compression effect on the spinal roots.

Other spinal diseases are manifested by pain:

  1. Ankylosing spondylitis (ankylosing spondylitis) – a chronic disease that affects the lumbar spine. It is characterized by pain in the spine, which appears when staying for a long time in a horizontal position, most often at night.
  2. Spondylolisthesis – displacement of the overlying vertebra in relation to the lower. The pain impulse in this disease extends to the lower extremities, which is especially felt after exercise.
  3. Radiculopathy (radicular syndrome) is a complex of pain and neurological symptoms that occurs when squeezing the spinal roots. The pain manifests itself in the form of attacks of lumbago.
  4. Arthrosis of the facet joints is a degenerative-dystrophic pathology that affects small joints connecting the vertebrae. The disease manifests itself in mild pain, which becomes severe if synovitis joins (inflammation of the synovial bag).
  5. Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal, which is manifested by pain in the spine, which passes in a sitting position, alternating with claudication.
  6. Hemangioma is a large-sized benign tumor that causes soreness and burning after exercise or during sleep. The localization of pain depends on the location of the proliferation.
  7. Spinal cancer – primary or secondary malignant neoplasm is accompanied by pulling pain, which with the dynamic development of the disease becomes pronounced.                    Pain in the spine is constantly present, its intensity does not change with a change in body position, as well as when taking analgesics.

Curvature of the spine (scoliosis, pathological lordosis kyphosis) leads to pain with severe deformation.

Pain in the spine

Pathology of the internal organs

Spinal roots emerging from the holes innervate all parts of the human body, including internal organs. Therefore, pain in the spine may be a consequence of the development of a pathological process in a distant focus.

Common causes of pain in the spine is damage to the gastrointestinal tract:

  • gastritis and ulcer of the stomach and duodenum;
  • cholecystitis – inflammation of the walls of the gallbladder;
  • gallstone disease – the appearance of stones in the gallbladder;
  • enterocolitis – inflammation of the small and large intestines.

With gastrointestinal diseases, pain occurs in the stomach or right hypochondrium and extends to the lumbar spine.

Drawing pains in the lower part of the spine indicate inflammation of the urinary system:

  • pyelonephritis – inflammation of the renal pelvis;
  • cystitis – damage to the bladder;
  • prostatitis in men – inflammatory lesion of the prostate gland;
  • adnexitis – a disease of the uterus and appendages in women;
  • kidney stone disease – acute lower back pain appears when stones move (renal colic);
  • ovarian cyst – a benign tumor in women.

During pregnancy, pain in the lumbar region is accompanied by an increase in the load on the spine due to the rapidly growing fetus in the last months of pregnancy, as well as increased production of female sex hormones (progesterone and estrogen).

Pain in the spine may indicate a lesion:

  • respiratory system – pleurisy, pneumonia;
  • heart and blood vessels – myocardial infarction, angina pectoris;
  • nervous system – intercostal neuralgia is manifested by pain in the thoracic region.

Often the cause of pain in the spine, extending to the entire right half of the back, is autonomic dysfunction. This disease is accompanied by frequent changes in mood, insomnia, palpitations, attacks of bronchospasm.


To make the correct diagnosis, differential diagnostic measures are required. An orthopedist or vertebrologist treats pain in the spine. Additionally, you may need a consultation:

  • traumatologist;
  • gastroenterologist;
  • gynecologist;
  • urologist;
  • cardiologist;
  • pulmonologist;
  • oncologist.

In severe cases, the spine is watched by a neurosurgeon, if there is a need for surgical intervention. The examination begins with a visual examination and a medical history with the identification of complaints, the duration of the pathology. Depending on the clinical picture, laboratory and hardware research methods are prescribed:

  • general analysis of blood and urine;
  • electrocardiogram;
  • radiography;
  • Magnetic resonance imaging.

If you suspect damage to the internal organs, an ultrasound examination is prescribed.

Pain in the spine


Therapeutic tactics are selected taking into account the underlying disease. Eliminating the cause of pain is paramount in treating an unpleasant symptom.

To alleviate the condition, drug therapy is performed to relieve pain in the spine:

  • NSAIDs for relieving pain and inflammation – Ketorolac, Diclofenac, Ketoprofen;
  • muscle relaxants to eliminate muscle spasm – Midokalm, Sirdalud;
  • B vitamins to improve the innervation of the affected area – Milgamma, Neuromultivitis.

To enhance the therapeutic effect, muscle relaxants are prescribed in combination with B vitamins. To relieve an acute attack, local blockades are carried out with Novocaine, Lidocaine.

As part of rehabilitation therapy, massage sessions are performed to improve blood circulation and tissue nutrition and restore muscle tissue tone. During persistent remission, physiotherapeutic procedures are indicated:

  • drug electrophoresis;
  • magnetotherapy;
  • ultrasonic wave treatment;
  • mud baths;
  • paraffin baths.

With diseases of the spine, manual therapy by a qualified specialist will help get rid of the pain. To restore the functionality of the spine to strengthen the muscle corset, a set of therapeutic exercises is selected.


Pain in the spine is a dangerous symptom that can significantly worsen a person’s quality of life. Compliance with the rules of a healthy lifestyle will help reduce the risk of its occurrence:

  • eat right;
  • to live an active lifestyle;
  • avoid heavy physical exertion and injury;
  • timely treat chronic diseases;
  • Wear preventive orthopedic insoles and a corset.

When the first symptoms appear, indicating a beginning disease, you can not delay visiting a doctor. Early diagnosis increases the chances of a quick recovery.


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