Why You May Be Experiencing Burning Pain in Your Back

Whether it’s a burning sensation in the middle of your back or soreness in your lower or upper back, an estimated 80% of Americans suffer from burning pain in their back. Chances are you, or someone you know, is experiencing this painful condition. What causes it, and is it treatable? Town Center Orthopaedics explains why you could be having back pain, if there are treatment options, and where to go for help.

Shedding Light on Burning Back Pain

Back pain occurs in all parts of your back.

Upper Back Pain: This typically stems from poor posture or an injury to the muscles or tendons. Common activities causing pain include lifting heavy objects, repetitive motions such as typing or playing a musical instrument, and sleeping awkwardly.

Middle Back Pain: This is usually associated with poor posture or muscle tension from sitting for long periods or slouching at your desk. It can also be caused by lifting something incorrectly or working on a computer for extended periods.

Lower Back Pain: This can result from muscle strain, tension in the lower back due to poor posture, or an injury to the ligaments or disks in this area. It can also be caused by activities like lifting, twisting, or bending the wrong way.

Left and Right Back Pain: This is usually associated with muscle imbalances on either side of the body, often due to poor posture or repetitive activities that place stress on one side. It can also be caused by injury to either side from physical activity or a sudden movement.

In addition to the pain location, the pain type is important because it could be a symptom of something else.

  • Localized back pain occurs in your spine, muscles, and surrounding soft tissue and may be caused by:
    • Lifting heavy objects
    • Muscle or ligament strains
    • Muscle spasms or imbalances
    • Overuse or repetitive motions
    • Poor posture
    • Sleeping in an awkward position
    • Trauma or injury
    • Cervical arthritis
    • Tumor
    • Spinal misalignment, including scoliosis
    • Disc herniation
    • Obesity
    • Nerve compression
    • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
    • Lumbar radiculitis
    • Degenerative spondylolisthesis
    • Intervertebral disk degeneration
  • Radiating back pain occurs from a problem elsewhere that either spreads to or feels like it’s in your back. This may be caused by:
    • Appendicitis
    • Sciatic nerve
    • Cancer
    • Fibromyalgia
    • Gallbladder inflammation
    • Kidney stones and infection
    • Liver problems
    • Pancreatitis
    • Sexually transmitted infections
    • Testicular torsion or injury
    • Stomach ulcers
    • Urinary tract infections
    • Endometriosis
    • Pregnancy
    • Uterine fibroids

While these lists of causes may seem extensive and potentially frightening, the good news is that 85% of back pain is caused by muscle strain and not a more serious condition.

What To Do if You’re Experiencing Back Pain

When you first feel pain, you may want to take over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen for pain relief and to reduce inflammation. It is also recommended to apply heat or cold to the affected area to help reduce pain and swelling. If possible, doctors recommend moderate activity and staying out of bed.

Most back pain will go away on its own, but if it hasn’t done so after two weeks, you should see your doctor. You should also see a doctor if you experience fever, chills, or fatigue, as it could indicate an underlying condition or infection that requires medical attention.

What Doctor To See for Burning Back Pain

Spine and back orthopedic specialists at Town Center Orthopaedics are conveniently located in Ashburn, Centreville, Fairfax, and Reston, Virginia, and have recently celebrated 35 years as Northern Virginia’s choice in orthopedic care. We will help you feel better, move better, and be better.

At your visit, we will be able to discover if your pain is localized or radiating and if your diagnosis warrants referral to another medical specialty. After our exam, our treatment recommendations may include:

Physical therapy: Working with a physical therapist can help to reduce tension and strengthen weak or overused muscles. This can help decrease pain and improve overall mobility.

Pain medications: Over-the-counter or prescription medications for pain relief and muscle relaxants are prescribed as needed.

Massage therapy: This is a great way to relax muscles and reduce tension, which in turn can help to reduce pain.

Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct any structural issues causing back pain.

Say Hello to Town Center Orthopaedics and Goodbye To Burning Pain in Your Back

If you’ve been wondering how to relieve burning pain in your upper back or in another location, don’t keep suffering. We’ve got your back, literally and figuratively!

Typically, we can schedule next day and even same day appointments at one of our four offices. Schedule a visit with our back pain experts now and get back your quality of life. Call (571) 250-5660 or request an appointment today.

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TCO provides patients with orthopedic problems the trusted resources and patient-centered advice they need to “Feel Better. Move Better. Be Better.”