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Back Pain Symptoms

Low back pain is extremely common and most people have some experience of it in their life at some time or another. Back pain causes are not completely understood but can be many such as trauma, a fall, a strain on lifting, a turn or just come on gradually over time for no apparent reason. A back pain blog can be a useful source of information about back pain, the symptoms, the treatments including operations and the outcomes as it comes first hand from those with experience. Information-back pain summarises the present self management of back pain

Further information on back pain symptoms is available at NHS Choices and

Insidious onset back pain (slow and sneaky) starts usually as a short period of ache in a physically stressful activity which then relieves quickly when the activity is stopped or changed. This can increase until it occurs during the whole time that the activity or posture continues but relieves on resting, progressing to persisting into the rest periods and eventually becoming constant with worsenings once aggravated.

Sudden onset back pain, acute back pain, often comes on with a severe and very sharp pain which stops the person dead in their tracks. This may last a few seconds or longer and subsides to a strong and unpleasant ache in the low back, punctuated by severe sharp pains when the person does an unwise movement.

The types of pain vary greatly, the sharp strong pain and the strong ache afterwards being the most common, but some people may suffer from electric shock like pains, knife like symptoms, severe muscle spasm like an iron corset around the back, tingling and pins and needles in the buttocks and legs, numbness, difficulty moving about and many other feelings.

As the severe pain of the acute episode eases the most strong symptoms give way with a lesser ache with stronger pain when aggravated but not as bad as before. As it settles the pain becomes more intermittent and only constant if an activity which stresses it is performed.

With time the pain is stimulated less and less and decreases in severity until it only occurs mildly on particularly stressful activities until it settles completely. Neck pain follows a similar course.

Upper back pain causes and middle back pain causes are likely to be related to joint or ligament problems in these areas as disc prolapses are extremely rare. Thoracic pain (upper back pain and middle back pain) like this can be vary achey and persistent in postural situations such as sitting and typing or using a PC.

Lower right back pain causes and lower left back pain causes are likely to be present for similar anatomical reasons, with the symptoms related either to disc degeneration or prolapse, sacroiliac joint pain or facet joint or ligament damage. Back pain diagnosis is not an exact science and many patients find that the exact causes of their lower back pain cannot be pinned down, making treatment difficult.

If a physiotherapist has to decide on the right side back pain causes of a patient they will think along the lines of disc pain, SIJ or facet/ligament pain and give back pain treatment accordingly. Physio treatments can include manipulation, mobilisations, advice, core stability and exercises and while this is unlikely to give a back pain cure it can provide significant back pain relief and the ability to self manage the condition.

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