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Why Do I Feel A Sharp Pain In My Back

Fix Low Back Pain In Sitting

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The best way to fix low back pain in sitting is to keep the spine in proper position and alignment. Here’s how.

  • Sit Up Straight
  • Keep the low back extended with shoulders back
  • Sit away from the back of the chair
  • Stand up every 20 to 30 minutes
  • Use a lumbar pillow or towel roll in the small of the back

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.

Back Pain From Other Areas Of The Body

In some cases, the root cause of the lower back pain you feel may not actually be the back. Kidney infections or kidney stones are both known to cause excruciating lower back pain.

When urine becomes concentrated, hard deposits of minerals and salts can form deep within the kidneys, forming a stone. It usually isnt until the stone passes into your ureter that you feel side or back pain.

If you are experiencing this type of pain, your physician may refer you to a urologist. If the pain is severe, however, you should go to the emergency room right away.

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Why Is Back Pain A Big Deal

We know what youre thinking: Why do I need to spend money or seek advice for back pain? Isnt it a common symptom? Doesnt everyone have back pain? Cant I just pop a Motrin and call it a day?

We operate under many mottos, but one we swear by is pain is never normal.

No matter how mild your pain may be, there is always a reason for it. Pain is a signal from your body that something isnt operating the way it should be. Feeling back pain when breathing should prompt you to seek medical treatment before the pain can diminish your quality of life.

Trust us, you never want to be the person that has to say, I wish I had seen someone sooner. If the pain is due to an underlying condition that needs treatment , waiting to seek treatment could possibly injure yourself further. The quicker you are diagnosed, the quicker we can come up with a treatment plan to alleviate your pain.

Disclaimer: Always consult with your doctor if your pain is acute, worsens, or doesnt go away.

When To See Your Gp

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You should speak to your GP as soon as possible if you have back pain and:

  • find it difficult to pass or control urine
  • feel numbness or altered sensation around your back passage or genitals – such as wiping after the toilet
  • have pins and needles around your back passage or genitals – such as wiping after the toilet

If your GP surgery is closed, phone 111.

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Symptoms And Causes Of Back Pain


You may experience upper back pain as localized tightness, throbbing, aching or sharp pain in the thoracic area of your back or in your neck. It can also be experienced as radiating pain in your arms, numbness, tingling or weakness in your arms, headache, or pain in your jaw or occipital area. Because the ribs are attached to the thoracic spine, you may also feel pain when taking a deep breath.


The common causes of upper back pain stem from inflammation and micro-tears in the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the upper back or from arthritis, herniated disks, vertebral stenosis, or misalignments in the thoracic or cervical spine. Repetitive motions and stressful postures, over time, may lead to the development of or aggravation of soft tissue damage or degenerative changes in the spinal column.

Tips for Controlling Upper Back Pain

The following may decrease cumulative trauma and may reduce the amount of your upper back pain:

Seek Medical Consultation

Seek medical consultation for upper back pain, especially in the following instances:

  • After recent significant trauma, such as a fall, a motor vehicle accident or other such accidents.
  • When sleep is disrupted or pain is worse at night.
  • With a history of prolonged steroid use.
  • With a history of osteoporosis.
  • With a recent history of infection or a temperature over 100 degrees F.
  • Numbness or tingling in arms.
  • Severe, sudden headache.

When To See A Doctor

If you have persistent symptoms, including pain in your back that concerns you, make an appointment with a doctor.

If your doctor thinks lung cancer might be causing your symptoms, they will typically use a physical exam, imaging, and lab tests to reach a diagnosis.

If they discover lung cancer, the treatment will depend on its type and stage. Treatment options include:

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What Upper Back Symptoms Warrant A Trip To The Doctor

Most bouts of upper back pain gradually go away on their own or with conservative at-home treatment . However, some symptoms are more serious than others and require swift medical attention.

  • Severe, persistent upper or mid-back pain that develops suddenly

  • Pain that is progressively worsening

  • Pain that hasnt gone away in a week

  • Pain that is interfering with your daily life

  • Pain that isnt responding to conservative treatment

  • Neurologic symptoms

In rare cases, upper back pain is indicative of a serious and/or painful medical problem, including lung cancer, kidney stones, or spinal infection.

Additionally, because the thoracic spine is linked to the ribs, some people with upper back pain report sharp pain when filling their lungs with air to take a deep breath. Though this symptom may be benign, it could also be a sign of a blood clot. If you feel faint, short of breath, or a spike in upper or mid-back pain when you take a deep breath, see your doctor immediately to rule out a potentially life-threatening pulmonary embolism.

Finally, its especially important to see a doctor after youve endured a traumatic injury, such as a fall. Even if you arent experiencing any back pain, you should be evaluated by a physician to ensure your spine did not sustain damage .

When To Call A Doctor

5 Common Causes of Back Pain

911 or other emergency services immediately if:

  • Back pain occurs with chest pain or other symptoms of a heart attack. Symptoms of a heart attack include:
  • Chest pain or pressure, or a strange feeling in your chest.
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded.
  • A fast or uneven heartbeat.
  • A person has signs of damage to the spine after an injury . Signs may include:
  • Being unable to move part of the body.
  • Severe back or neck pain.
  • Weakness, tingling, or numbness in the arms, legs, chest, or belly.
    • You have a new loss of bowel or bladder control.
    • You have new or worse numbness in your legs.
    • You have new or worse weakness in your legs.
    • You have new or increased back pain with fever, painful urination, or other signs of a urinary tract infection.

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    How To Sit On A Chair

    To sit on a chair safely:

  • Feel the chair at the back of your legs
  • Brace your tummy muscles
  • Use the arms of the chair to help you stand down
  • If the chair has no arms, push on your thighs for a bit of extra support
  • To help your back and make sitting more comfortable:

    • Try to get up and change position regularly
    • Try to sit right back in the chair
    • Put a rolled up towel in the small curve at the bottom of your spine

    Back Pain When Coughing Here Are 4 Potential Causes

    A cough can sometimes leave you feeling a little sore. For example, coughing very hard can strain your chest muscles or ribs, leaving you in pain when you breathe, move or cough again. But is it normal to feel back pain when coughing?

    Coughing is a way of getting rid of mucus or bits of dust, smoke or other unwanted material you might have breathed in. When you cough, your body pushes air out of your lungs to help clear away those irritants.

    Back pain when coughing can be caused by a few different things. Here are 4 potential culprits, plus advice on when to see a doctor.

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    How Do You Prevent It

    There are many measures you can take in your daily life to prevent Sharp stabbing pain in the knee that comes and goes, such as the following:

    The following are some ways that may help you treat intermittent leg pain at home:

    • Exercise regularly. Although exercise can contribute to some leg pain, exercise sessions at least twice a week helped to reduce walking pain and increase the distance a person can walk.

    • Stop smoking. Smoking is a major risk factor for sharp pains when walking. Smoking can cause changes to blood vessels and make it easier for the blood to clot, which can contribute to leg pain.

    • Eat a heart-healthy diet. Choosing a heart-healthy diet can help you maintain your weight and blood sugar levels. This can help reduce some of the risk factors that can lead to PAD.

    • Cross-training. If your leg pain is related to overuse from physical activity, try a new activity thats less repetitive on the legs and feet.

    Maintaining a healthy weight and taking care of your body can help reduce sharp, shooting pains whenever possible.

    You’ve Been In Pain For Over A Week

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    Most back pain will subside after a few days, but if you’ve been experiencing pain for over a week, then it’s time to call a doctor. Your doctor will perform any examinations or tests required to help get to the bottom of your pain before it could become a bigger problem. As is the case with many health conditions, prevention and addressing problems early is key.

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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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    How To Get Into Bed

    To get into bed safely:

  • Feel the bed at the back of your legs
  • Brace your tummy muscles
  • Sit down slowly pushing your thighs for a bit of extra support
  • Support your body with the arm closest to the top of the bed and use your other arm to slowly lower yourself down
  • Roll onto the side you feel most comfortable
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    Symptoms Of Back Pain

    Back pain can range from local pain in a specific spot to generalized pain spreading all over the back. Sometimes the pain radiates away from the back to other areas of your body, such as the buttocks, legs, or abdomen. The intensity of back pain varies for each person. Depending on the type, cause, and location of your back pain, you may experience:

    • Increasing pain with lifting and bending.
    • Worsening pain when resting, sitting, or standing.
    • Back pain that comes and goes.
    • Stiffness in the morning when awakening and lessened back pain with activity.
    • Pain that radiates away from the back into the buttocks, leg, or hip.

    You should see a doctor if your pain does not improve after a few weeks or if any of the following symptoms happen with your back pain:

    • Numbness and tingling.
    • Severe back pain that does not improve with medication .
    • Back pain after a fall or injury.
    • Back pain along with:
    • Weakness, pain, or numbness in your legs.

    What Causes Back Pain

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    Your spine or backbone is a complex structure that is made up of 24 small bones called vertebrae that are stacked on top of each other. Discs sit between each vertebra to act as cushions or shock absorbers and give your spine flexibility. Vertebrae are joined together by small joints called facet joints. These joints allow you to move and bend your back. A mesh of ligaments and muscles hold the spine together and provide structural support, which allows you to move.

    Back pain can originate from any of these structures, but in most cases, this pain doesnt result from any significant damage to your spine. This pain usually stems from surrounding muscles, ligaments or joints and occasionally spinal disc problems.

    For at least 9 in 10 people, back pain is not caused by any particular condition and is referred to as non-specific back pain.

    This type of back pain results from a range of different factors such as:

    Less than 1 in 100 people have back pain that is related to a serious medical problem such as cancer, infection, a spinal fracture or specific conditions such as ankylosing spondylitis. Research has also shown that you actually dont need to know the cause of back pain to treat it successfully.

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    Sharp Stabbing Pain In Lower Left Side Of Back

    Lower back pain that is localized to one side of the body may feel like a constant ache or pain that flares up occasionally and then subsides. Pain in the lower left side of the back can be sharp, stabbing, and severe or a dull, consistent ache. In some cases, lower left side back pain stops or worsens with movement and may even change when pressure is placed on the back.

    Why Back Pain Requires A Team Approach To Care

    Whether back pain requires surgery or is manageable with conservative treatment, its important to see a spine specialist for diagnosis and care. The doctors at our Spine Center work as a team with experts in nerve, muscle, and bone conditions, as well as nurses and physical therapists who work closely with patients to manage symptoms and reduce the risk of recurrence.

    Each week, our multidisciplinary team meets to discuss challenging cases and educate each other on the latest research and techniques. Together, we see a range of patients with complex medical needs. For example, if a patient with a spinal infection is taking a medication that suppresses the immune system, such as immunotherapy for cancer, we work together to find an effective treatment that is safe for their unique needs.

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    How Medication Is Helpful

    If your severe inside knee oain is due to inflammatory conditions, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat an infection or anti-inflammatory medications to treat arthritic conditions.

    Examples include anti-platelet medications, such as aspirin or clopidogrel . They may also prescribe medications to reduce leg pain when walking, such as pentoxifylline or cilostazol.

    What Causes Sharp Neck Pain

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    There are many different types of neck pain with sharp neck pain being one of the most common types. But when it comes to factors that cause sharp neck pain, there are plenty. If you experience any pain between the base of the skull and the shoulders, chances are good that you have some form of neck pain.

    Although we often think of the neck as one monolithic entity, neck pain can be experienced in the cervical joints and bones , the muscles and ligaments that keep the neck intact and the shock absorbing discs found in the cervical vertebra. The neck performs a variety of functions and each part of the neck serves a purpose, which means that a trauma or injury to one can cause sharp pain throughout the neck.

    Sharp Neck Pain Causes

    Sharp neck pain is just as it sounds a sharp, sometimes shooting pain in at least one section of the neck. Some neck pain sufferers confess to feeling as though knives or pinpricks are poking the neck region, causing a tingling or pinching sensation.

    The most common cause of sharp neck pain is muscle spasms or strained neck muscles. These types of injuries to the neck muscles often cause joint inflammation, which requires anti-inflammatory medication as well as pain relief therapy. These muscle strains or spasms can occur from holding your head or neck in a position that puts undue strain on it, including holding your head in an abnormal way while watching television or reading. A pillow with improper support can cause also sharp neck pain.

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