Pinched nerve on your back

PINCHED NERVE ON YOUR BACK

A pinched nerve occurs when too much pressure is applied to a nerve by surrounding tissues, such as bones, cartilage, muscles or tendons. This pressure disrupts the nerve’s function, causing pain, tingling, numbness or weakness.

The pinched nerve on the back can be due to several problems. A herniated disk in your lower spine, for example, may put pressure on a nerve root, causing pain that radiates down the back of your leg. Other conditions that may cause the tissue to compress a nerve or nerves, including:

  • Stress from repetitive work
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Injury
  • Hobbies or sports activities

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

Pinched nerve signs and symptoms include:

  • Sharp, aching or burning pain, which may radiate outward
  • Tingling, pins and needles sensations (paresthesia)
  • Muscle weakness in the affected area
  • Numbness or decreased sensation in the area supplied by the nerve
  • Frequent feeling that a foot has “fallen asleep”

WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR?

See your doctor if the signs and symptoms of a pinched nerve last for several days and don’t respond to self-care measures, such as rest and over-the-counter pain relievers.

Muscle sprain and back pain

MUSCLE STRAIN AND LOWER BACK PAIN

A muscle strain occurs when the muscle is overstretched or torn. This usually occurs as a result of muscle overuse, fatigue or improper use of a muscle. Strains can happen in any muscle, but they’re most common in your lower back, neck, shoulder and hamstring.

Mild to moderate strains can be successfully treated at home with ice, heat, and anti-inflammatory medications. Severe strains or tears may require medical treatment.

In mild muscle strain, a torn muscle may feel slightly stiff, but still flexible enough for use. A severe muscle strain is when the muscle is severely torn. Severe muscle pain results in pain and very limited movement. The symptoms of mild to moderate muscle strains usually go away within a few weeks. More severe strains may take months to heal.

Causes of muscle strains

An acute muscle strain is when your muscle tears suddenly and unexpectedly. Such tears can occur either from injuries or trauma. This can be due to:

  • not warming up properly before physical activity
  • poor flexibility
  • poor conditioning
  • overexertion and fatigue

Symptoms of muscle strain

Usually one feels a muscle strain as it occurs. Symptoms include:

  • soreness
  • sudden onset of pain
  • bruising
  • swelling
  • stiffness
  • weakness
  • muscle spasms

When to see a doctor?

For mild to moderate strains, home treatment should be enough. However, see medical attention if any of the following happens:

  • You can’t move your arms or legs.
  • You can’t walk.
  • The injured area is numb.
  • The pain doesn’t subside after a week.
back pain

BACK PAIN, POSSIBLE CAUSES OF PAIN ON THE BACK, WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR

Back pain is a common problem and will affect many of us at some point during our lives.

CAUSES OF PAIN ON THE BACK

Often back pain doesn’t have one simple cause but may be due to one or more of the following:

  • muscle strains or sprains
  • poor posture
  • lack of exercise resulting in stiffening of the spine and weak muscles
  • sciatica – this is caused by a nerve in the spine being pressed or squeezed. In most cases, sciatica is caused by a bulging disc pressing on the nerve causing pain that travels all the way down the leg and foot
  • spinal stenosis – this is a condition where the space around the spinal cord narrows and compresses a section of nerve tissue. This can happen from birth or can develop as we get older. Like sciatica, the main problem with spinal stenosis tends to be leg pain more than the back pain
  • bone problems such as a fracture on the back bone – often caused by trauma or thinning of the bones called osteoporosis
  • infection in the bones
  • a tumour
  • inflammation, for example ankylosing spondylitis https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/back-pain/causes/

WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR

Although it’s common, most cases of back pain tend to clear up without the need to see a doctor. However, you should see your doctor if your pain:

  • stops you from working or doing the things you enjoy
  • affects your everyday activities
  • gets worse
  • is really bad
back pain

IF YOU WANT TO KNOW THE SECRETS ABOUT BACK PAIN, READ ON …

  • Most back pains aren’t caused by any serious problems hence if you take it easy the back pain usually gets better within two weeks. Taking it easy does not mean bed rest. You might think that lying on the couch or lying on the bed all day will help you relieve your back pain, but the truth is you should keep moving.
  • Exercises and stretches commonly relieve minor back pain. If the back pain gets worse while doing exercises or stretches, stop immediately.
  • Use ice to relieve pain in the first 48 hours following minor back injury. Ice can be applied for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. After 48 hours you can try alternating between ice and heat.
  • The main cause of low back pain is the result of an injury such as muscle sprains or strains due to sudden movements or poor body mechanics while lifting heavy objects. Other cause of low back pain can also be the result of certain diseases such as cancer of a spinal cord, a ruptured or herniated disc, sciatica, kidney infections or infections of the spine.
  • Other conditions that cause lower back pain includes arthritis, fibromyalgia, long term pain and tenderness in the joints, muscles & tendons, spondylitis – inflammation of the joints between the spinal bones, spondylosis – degenerative disorder that may cause loss of normal spinal structure and function. Additional health conditions that can cause lower back pain include: kidney and bladder problems, pregnancy, endometriosis, ovarian cyst, uterine fibrosis, cancer.
  • If back pain does not get better after two weeks of doing exercises and stretches or if back pain gets worse, please go to your doctor for assessment and further tests. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/back-pain/causes/