What Causes Pain In The Back Of The Head
There are a number of different causes that can lead to headaches occurring in the back of your head. In many cases, these headaches also cause pain in other locations, or theyre triggered by certain events.
The types of pain, location, and other symptoms youre feeling can help a healthcare professional diagnose whats causing your headache and how to treat it.
How Is Back Pain Diagnosed
To diagnose the cause of your middle back pain, your doctor will ask about your medical history and symptoms. Theyll perform a physical exam. Your doctor may also perform a more specific neurological exam if youre experiencing numbness and weakness.
Your doctor may also recommend one or more of the following tests:
- blood tests
Treatment If Back Pain Is Severe Or Lasts A Long Time
If your back pain doesn’t get better or is severe, your doctor may recommend:
- Prescription medicines.
These may include:
- Muscle relaxants to help reduce pain and muscle tension and help you move better. These can help with severe muscle spasms that happen when the back pain starts .
- Antidepressants, such as duloxetine. They can help treat long-lasting back pain.
- Prescription pain medicines.
- Steroid shots.
They may help reduce swelling and relieve pressure on nerves and nerve roots. But there is little evidence showing that these shots can help control back pain.
In some cases, a back brace may be used to support the bones in the spine after a fracture.
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Can Lower Back Pain Be A Sign Of Something Serious Like Cancer
Lower back pain can be related to cancer. In fact, it is one of the first symptoms of prostate cancer when it metastasizes and creates lesions. Almost any cancer can spread to the back and some, like sarcoma, can originate in the back. Be cautious, especially if you are experiencing other symptoms besides lower back pain. Talk to your doctor if you have additional symptoms or concerns.
Back Pain After A Fall Or Injury: Fractures
Osteoporotic fractures of the vertebral body are the most commonly encountered fractures among primary care doctors. These fractures are not always a result of great trauma and can, in some cases, cause few early symptoms.
Any history of a fall, a lifting injury, a motor vehicle accident or any other trauma, when it is associated with immediate back pain, suggests a muscle or bone injury. If you are osteoporotic, this trauma may be minimal a sneeze, fall from a chair, or slip and fall in the home. Localized pain over the spinal column most commonly the thoracic spine is suggestive enough of compression fracture that x-ray is warranted.
Localized pain over the involved vertebral level is usually present. Even patients with healthy bone can experience a compression fracture if the injury is significant enough. If you fall off of a roof, for instance, and end up with severe back pain in the middle of your lumbar spine, there’s a decent chance you could have a compression fracture, and you should get that x-rayed. Of course, please don’t do that!
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How Is It Diagnosed
Arachnoiditis can be difficult to diagnose because its symptoms are similar to those of other nerve problems in the back. Knowing that youve recently had spinal surgery, an injury, or an epidural injection can help your doctor focus in on arachnoiditis.
To diagnose this condition, your doctor might do a neurological exam. Theyll check your reflexes and look for any areas of weakness.
To confirm the diagnosis, doctors perform an MRI of the lower back. An MRI uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create detailed pictures of the inside of your body. Contrast dye can help highlight the injury more clearly on the pictures.
What Are The Symptoms
Your symptoms depend on which nerves or areas of the spinal cord are damaged by inflammation. Arachnoiditis often causes intense pain in the injured area, which can include the lower back, legs, buttocks, or feet.
The pain may feel like an electric shock or a burning sensation. It can spread across your back and down your legs. The pain may get worse when you move.
Other common symptoms of arachnoiditis include:
- numbness, tingling, or a pins-and-needles feeling
- crawling sensation on the skin, as if ants are walking up and down your back
- muscle cramps or spasms
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The Most Common Causes Of Lower Back Pain Are A Strain Or Sprain
Whether you notice it or not, your lumbar spine gets put to work throughout the entire day.
Amid all of this work and motion, a lower back sprain or strain can result from an acute injury, such as one experienced while falling, lifting something too heavy or playing sports. A sprain or strain can also develop over time due to repetitive movements or poor posture.
“Straining a muscle or spraining a ligament are the most common causes of lower back pain,” says Dr. Palmer. “While they can be serious, these common causes of lower back pain aren’t long-lasting taking anywhere from a few days to heal or, at most, a few months.”
Your doctor can help you determine the particular course of self-care that can help heal your lower back pain.
“The treatment for a pulled back muscle or strained back ligament is fairly simple and can include pain and anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxers, ice to help reduce inflammation, heat to promote healing, and avoiding strenuous activity until the pain recedes,” explains Dr. Palmer. “The best course of care will depend on the severity of your injury as well as your overall core and lower body strength.”
If your lower back pain persists despite treatment, it may be time to consider other causes of lower back pain.
Abdominal Discomfort Mimicking Back Pain
There are a number of disorders involving the abdominal organs that can produce back pain symptoms, and some of these disorders are quite serious. Although rare, they cannot be overlooked.
The most serious vascular disorder presenting as back pain is the abdominal aortic aneurysm. Patients are often difficult to diagnose early on, as initial symptoms may be subtle and non-specific. As the process gets worse, the pain becomes deep-seated and localized to the thoracic or thoracolumbar segments of the spine. If your doctors have already said you have an aneurysm, then intense pain, undiminished by narcotics, should trigger you to go immediately to the emergency room.
Back pain can be triggered by disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. Ulcers, especially those involving the posterior duodenal wall, may cause upper lumbar back pain. A “perforated” ulcer may trigger intense pain and spasm, as well as signs of generalized illness and an acute abdomen.
Any type of kidney disease may cause back pain referred to the upper lumbar junction and flank. Kidney stones are a notorious cause of severe, incapacitating back pain. This kind of pain typically comes in waves, causing intense back spasms and pain for a few minutes, then easing off for a bit before coming back with a vengeance. Pain like this is referred to as colic, and is typical for kidney stones, gall stones and kidney infections.
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What Other Symptoms Might Occur With Middle Back Pain
Middle back pain symptoms depend on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. For instance, if your back pain is due to arthritis, you may experience pain in other joints of your body. Back pain due to a pinched nerve can cause loss of bladder control. Back pain is often a major symptom of fibromyalgia, which is characterized by fatigue and sleep problems.
Other symptoms that may accompany middle back pain include:
What Can I Do For Low Back Pain At Home
If your lower back pain has just started, the best thing you can do is start a log. Record your symptoms, times, dates and which activities trigger the pain or make it worse or better. Take this information to your family physician if the pain doesnt resolve on its own. It will make diagnosing the cause much easier.
Once you know which motion or position causes your lower back pain, try to avoid it and see if you get better. Icing the painful spot can also help. And so can over-the-counter pain relievers that help reduce inflammation. Just remember that pain killers treat only the symptom pain and not its cause.
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When Back Pain Suggests Something Worse
Back pain, whether it’s low back pain, neck pain or pain up between the shoulder blades, affects so many of us that that almost everyone has had an ache or pain that has made them worry. Since the common causes of back and neck pain are typically age-related wear-and-tear changes or minor injuries, 90% of people improve with simple supportive care – rest, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy. However, when pain persists, or presents in an unusual way, you may begin to worry that the pain is coming from something more serious.
While serious, unrecognized diseases are very uncommon causes of back pain, there are some disorders that can seriously impact your health if they aren’t recognized early enough. These kinds of disorders almost always offer a few clear clues to their diagnosis, however. A careful history and physical examination, looking for specific signs and symptoms, and properly selected diagnostic studies, will allow your physicians to confidently rule out important underlying diseases.
There are a few warning signs you should recognize and bring to your doctor’s attention:
What Is Back And Neck Pain
Back pain can range from a mild, dull, annoying ache to persistent, severe, disabling pain. Pain in your back can limit your ability to move. It can interfere with normal functioning and quality of life. Always talk with your healthcare provider if you have persistent pain.
Neck pain occurs in the area of the cervical vertebrae in your neck. Because of its location and range of motion, your neck is often left unprotected and at risk for injury.
Pain in your back or neck area can come on suddenly and intensely. Chronic pain lasts for weeks, months, or even years. The pain can be constant or come and go.
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Sensations That Might Indicate A Medical Emergency
1. Sharp pain rather than a dull ache: This could indicate a torn muscle or ligament, or a problem with an internal organ in the back or side.2. Radiating pain: This pain “moves” or shoots to the glutes or legs, which could indicate a nerve compression condition.
3. Sudden weakness in the legs: Limb weakness can be caused by compressed nerves in the spine due to conditions like sciatica or spinal stenosis. However, sudden leg weakness could also indicate a stroke.4. Incontinence: Back pain paired with inability to control the bowels or bladder might be a sign of serious nerve compression or a spine infection, such as discitis or meningitis.5. Numbness or pins and needles in the groin or glutes: This is known as saddle anesthesia and is also a sign of a serious nerve or spine condition.
If you have leg weakness, incontinence, and numbness together, you might have cauda equina syndrome, a serious illness characterized by spinal cord nerve damage. This is a medical emergency, and patients usually need surgery immediately to decompress the nerves and reduce permanent damage.
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When Should I Worry About Middle Back Pain
There are rare instances in which the underlying cause of middle back discomfort might be potentially life threatening. If you or someone you are with is experiencing middle back pain that is accompanied by chest discomfort, trouble breathing, loss of bladder or bowel control, or numbness or paralysis in the arms or legs, get medical attention right once .
What Are The Symptoms Of Back And Neck Pain
Symptoms linked to back pain may include:
- Dull, burning, or sharp pain in your back. The pain can be limited to a single spot or cover a large area.
- Leg numbness or tingling above or below your knee
- Stiffness or aching that occurs anywhere along your spine from your neck to your tailbone
- Sharp, shooting pain that spreads from your low back to your buttocks, down the back of your thigh, and into your calf and toes
- Consistent ache in the middle or lower part of your back, especially after standing or sitting for a long period
Loss of bladder and bowel control with weakness in both legs are symptoms of a serious condition that needs medical attention right away.
Symptoms linked to neck pain can be:
- Arm numbness or tingling
- Shoulder pain
- Sharp shooting pain or a dull ache in your neck
Pain that occurs suddenly in your back or neck from an injury is acute pain. Acute pain comes on quickly and may leave sooner than chronic back or neck pain. This type of pain should not last more than 6 weeks.
Pain that may come on quickly or slowly and lingers for 3 months or more is chronic pain. Chronic pain is less common than acute pain.
Middle Back Pain: Causes Symptoms And Treatment Options
Pain in the middle of the back can put a damper on your day and affect your ability to complete simple tasks. The middle of the back is made up of 12 thoracic vertebrae and their interlocking facet joints and discs, as well as the different muscles, tendons, and ligaments that allow movement. Because this section of the back is attached to the ribs, it is much more rigid and unable to bend and stretch in the way the upper and lower back can, meaning the discs of the middle back do not experience the same level of degradation as those in other areas. Instead, middle back pain is often a result of strained muscles or stressed joints between the ribs and vertebrae.
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What Is Back Pain
Symptoms of back pain linked to lung cancer may overlap with those of back pain that is caused by other conditions, such as ruptured disc, arthritis, and osteoporosis. If the cancer has metastasized to the spine, symptoms can mimic those of an upper back injury.
However, back pain caused by lung cancer also has distinct differences. These may relate to how and where the cancer causes pain, both directly and indirectly. Lung cancer-related back pain may feel dull like a muscle ache, or it may seem sharp like a pinched nerve.
Red flags that suggest back pain may be due to lung cancer include:
- Back pain that is present at rest
- Back pain that is worse at night
- Back pain that happens without any activity
- Back pain that worsens the longer you lie in bed
- Back pain that gets worse when you take a deep breath
- Back pain that doesn’t respond to physical therapy or other treatment
The back pain may come with other telltale lung cancer signs like a cough that won’t go away or shortness of breath. Unintentional weight loss, chronic fatigue, or coughing up blood may further suggest lung cancer.
A condition called malignant spinal cord compression may develop in some people who have lung cancer that spreads to the spine. These symptoms include worsening back pain, weakness in the legs, and sometimes loss of urinary or bowel control. This is a medical emergency, and immediate treatment is needed to prevent complications such as paralysis.
Dealing With Middle Back Pain Symptoms Causes Treatments
We often hear a lot about neck pain or lower back pain, but middle back pain is relatively common, too. Middle back pain can be just as disruptive to daily life as other types of back pain. Luckily, there are many effective ways to treat middle back pain and get back to normal.
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Let Njss Treat Your Middle Back Pain
The solution to a patients middle back pain depends on the source of the pain, as well as the injury a patient sustained. The first step on the road to recovery involves consulting with a board-certified doctor for effective treatment approaches. Depending on the severity of the middle back pain, a patients spine doctor may recommend physical activity restrictions, lifestyle changes, medication, and physical therapy. For more intense middle back pain, a board-certified spine expert may suggest surgical inversion after exhausting all non-invasive methods.
I am pain free, walking and well on my way to recovery thanks to the help of New Jersey Spine Specialists Robert K
How Can I Tell If My Back Pain Is Kidney Related
Back pain, on the other hand, often originates in the lower back, whereas kidney discomfort occurs deeper and higher up the back. The kidneys are located beneath the ribcage, on either side of the spine, underneath the ribcage. It is common to have pain in the sides or the middle to upper back as a result of renal problems .