Lower back pain symptoms are not all the same. Symptoms can vary depending on the cause of your lower back pain. You will want to learn how to identify and understand lower back pain symptoms readily so that you can treat back pain quickly. Once you have pinpointed the lower back pain symptom or symptoms that apply to you, you will be ready to effectively treat your back pain. Your specific lower back pain symptom will offer clues as to the likely cause of your pain. It will also tell you specifically where the pain is originating.
Lower back pain is, in the United States, one of the most common complaints related to the back. Approximately 80% of adults will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives.
Surprisingly, the intensity of the pain may well be unrelated to how much physical damage exists.
- On the one hand, you might have excruciating pain from a muscle spasm you got when you strained your back. Such pain might make it difficult for you to walk, or even stand.
- On the other hand, a large herniated disk, or a disk that is completely degenerated, might cause you no pain at all.
Lower Back Pain Symptom #1
Deep, aching, dull, or burning pain. This pain may be felt in your lower back and/or traveling down your legs. You may find it difficult or impossible to carry on regular daily activities. You may find it difficult or unbearable to work, even if your job requires no manual labor. This lower back pain symptom is usually descriptive of chronic back pain.
Lower Back Pain Symptom #2
Very sharp pain, or dull ache, usually felt deep in the lower part of your back. This pain may be more intense in one place. You may feel it more in your right side, or it may feel worse in your left side. It may be toward the center or in the lower part of the back. If yours is a very sharp pain, it can come or go, but it usually remains steady. This lower back pain symptom is likely to be acute back pain caused by an injury or trauma to the back. However, many times there is not apparent cause.
Lower Back Pain Symptom #3
Mechanical back pain is a third type of lower back pain symptom. The name conjures up images of a mechanical doll or robot, but the pain is real. Acute pain, this one is aggravated when you move. Coughing makes the pain worse. This lower back pain symptom is typical of a herniated disk or a stress fracture in the back.
In addition to the pain in your lower back, you might experience pain that radiates into your upper back, your pelvic or abdominal region, or into your hips and legs. Such a pain may consist of a tingling or burning sensation, a dull ache, or a sharper pain. The type of radiating pain could give your physician a clue as to the possible cause.
Lower back pain symptoms can be the result of injury to muscles, ligaments, and nerves. They may be a combination of factors. Sometimes, even a well-qualified health care provider will be unable to find the cause, but your lower back pain symptoms will still be very real.
Your lower back pain symptoms may consist of shooting pain, numbness or tingling down one or both legs, and even into the feet. Swelling or weakness in one leg will indicate a pinched or compressed nerve somewhere in the spinal area. Inability to flex your foot or raise your big toe as you normally would is another lower back pain symptom. Muscle spasms or stiffness in the back can be very uncomfortable and difficult to manage. Lower back pain symptoms may increase at night or during long periods of sitting.
Action to Take for Lower Back Pain Symptoms
The first step in treating your lower back pain symptom should be to contact a doctor to rule out certain causes for the pain. Your doctor may prescribe bed rest for a day or two. He or she may suggest physical therapy or prescription medication to help manage the pain until treatment begins to take effect.
On the other hand, if your lower back pain symptoms are not caused by a serious condition, your doctor may recommend heating pad application alternating with ice packs. You may be given a series of exercises to do at home, strengthening the back muscles.
Lower back pain symptoms can be uncomfortable enough to cause withdrawal from many activities that you enjoy. With consistent, careful treatment, however, you will soon relieve or even cure many of your lower back pain symptoms.