What are the symptoms of back pain?

Maybe you’ve experienced tingling in your hands or a shooting pain in one leg. Perhaps you’ve felt a cramping sensation in your neck. You might wonder if these symptoms indicate an underlying condition in your neck or back. But what are the symptoms of back pain?

Back pain has an extremely wide range of causes and symptoms. Some of these symptoms indicate something more serious than only back pain. That’s why it’s important to take your pain and symptoms seriously.

Start by visiting your primary care physician, who can give you more information about symptoms, causes and possible treatments for neck and back conditions. To properly diagnose your condition, your physician will want details about the location, severity, frequency and onset of your symptoms, so be sure to describe them as accurately as possible.

Symptom details

The location of your symptoms will help your physician pinpoint the underlying cause of discomfort. You may experience spinal discomfort in any of the following regions:

  • Upper body – Pain or tingling in the neck, shoulders, arms, hands or fingers could indicate cervical spinal nerve compression.
  • Middle body – Shooting or electric pain around your rib cage, kidneys, abdomen or chest could mean that you have a compressed nerve in the thoracic spine.
  • Lower body – Radiating pain or a pins-and-needles sensation that begins in your lumbar spine and travels through your hips, buttocks and down one leg could indicate sciatica, which is a term used to describe symptoms that result from compression of the sciatic nerve.

Conservative treatment options

Many people will find weeks or months of conservative, nonsurgical treatments sufficient to manage their neck and back pain. These treatments should almost always be attempted before any type of surgery. Ask your physician to develop a personalized treatment plan with you, using nonsurgical treatments like:

  • Hot and cold compresses
  • Pain medication or non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Low-impact exercises or physical therapy
  • Behavior modification
  • Alternative treatments like yoga, massage or acupuncture
  • Selective corticosteroid nerve block injections

Minimally invasive treatment options

Some patients may require more advanced treatment options if nonsurgical treatments do not offer any relief. If a degenerative spine condition is causing your severe back pain and will not respond to conservative treatments, consider minimally invasive spine surgery from Laser Spine Institute.

We offer a variety of minimally invasive decompression and stabilization procedures that are performed in an outpatient setting. Using a small incision and muscle-sparing techniques, we have helped more than 75,000 patients find pain relief from degenerative spine conditions like a herniated disc, bulging disc, bone spurs, spinal stenosis and more.

Contact us for your no-cost MRI review* and find out if you are a candidate for one of our minimally invasive outpatient procedures.