Usually, the back pain symptoms are quite obvious and include tension, stiffness and soreness. However, the symptoms of back pain can also be felt in the thighs, buttocks, shoulders and the neck.
The causes for this pain can differ. Some of them are self-inflicted, while others are injuries. Regardless of the cause, the symptoms of back pain are usually similar in all cases.
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Signs and Symptoms of Back Pain
When it comes to back pain, there are few signs of warning that can indicate back pain.
- Consistent, persistent stiffness and aching along the spine
- Sharp neck pain
- Localized, sharp pain in the upper or lower back
- Pain that increases after strenuous activity
- Pain that increases after lifting heavy objects
- Chronic aching in the lower or middle back
- Pain that occurs after standing or sitting for longer periods of time
- Radiating pain that moves from the low back to the buttock
- Muscle spasms or pain in the lower back when standing straight.
More Serious Back Pain Symptoms
In some cases, the back pain is caused by more serious conditions that may or may not require an immediate medical help. Sometimes you may experience some symptoms aside from the back pain or as a result of back injury. If you notice these symptoms, you should immediately consult a doctor. Some of these symptoms include:
- Unexplained loss of weight
- Back swelling
- High fever
- Constant pain in the back
- Pain in the higher part of the back or in the chest
- Pain down the legs, below the knees
- Loss of bladder control
- Pain caused by an injury to the back
- Inability to urinate
- Pain that worsens during night period
- Numbness around the anal area, buttocks and the genitals.
The pain in the back, the shoulders and the neck can be back pain, but can also be misdiagnosed with other conditions such as:
- Sciatica – the pressure on the spine’s nerve endings that can cause pain in the lower back. This pain may move down the buttocks or into the legs
- Slipped disc – this condition may result in lower back soreness and weakness, loss of bladder control or tight muscles
- Ankylosing spondylitis can cause back pain, swollen tendons and joints, tiredness and buttock pain
- Arthritis can cause back joints pain, especially when walking. It can also result in morning stiffness
- Frozen shoulder which may result in shoulder stiffness
- Whiplash which may result in headaches, lower back pain, neck pain and stiffness
When to Call the Doctor
If you are feeling weakness, numbness or tingling in the arms, the legs and the groin, you may be suffering from some spinal cord damage.
In addition, if you are feeling a pain that extends from the back along the leg’s back, this may be a sign of sciatica.
When you are feeling back pain, but it increases when you bend forward at the waist or when you cough, you may be having a herniated disc.
If you are having a fever or experience a burning sensation while urinating, you may be suffering from an infection.
Additionally, you may want to consider the following factors as serious when accompanied with back pain:
- Unexplained weight loss
- History of cancer
- History of trauma
- Weakened immune system due to medication or even steroids
- Nighttime increased back pain
- Chronic pain
- Never-ending pain
- Unresponsiveness to therapies that worked in the past
- Pain that lasts for more than 30 days
- History of IV drug use
The truth is, back pain is a common occurrence. However, this does not mean that you should take the pain as something that is not serious. Some symptoms of back pain can point out to other conditions, which may be more serious and need to be treated as soon as possible.