Back Pain Symptoms

back pain symptoms refer the discomfort caused by back problems related to the spine and associated structures. Back pain symptoms may be described by patients as sharp or aching pain felt in and around the back, or it may refer to some types of physical disabilities related to back problems, such as numbness and weakness in the legs, or difficulty with locomotion. Back pain symptoms may be labeled according to the type specific type of pain felt, physical deficits caused by the back problem (e.g. difficulty walking), severity of symptoms (mild, moderate, severe). And location (upper, middle, lower back, or length along the arms and legs). In this article, we will explore back pain symptoms and their possible causes.

Here we will examine the type, location, and severity of upper, middle, and lower back pain, and suggest probable causes based on these factors. Here are the main types of back pain symptoms that may be described by patients suffering from acute, subacute, or chronic back pain.
  • Pain. Pain is the most common symptom described by back pain sufferers. This is when it hurts. Pain may be described as a dull ach, stabbing sensation, throbbing.
  • Stiffness. Back problems cause not just the pain itself, but a loss of flexibility and mobility to certain areas of the back or structures connected to the back.
  • Radiating pain. You might have pain that starts along a section of your spine that radiates down your arms or legs. The most common type of radiating pain is sciatica.
  • Weakness/Loss of mobility. Weakness or loss of mobility in the arms and legs can be a major life-altering change for individuals that have back problems to go through. Patients who have weakness or loss of mobility could have trouble simply sitting up straight or walking or doing their jobs. Weakness or loss of mobility could leave patients temporarily or permanently disabled. Your doctors and/or other back specialists who are treating you will use all the resources at their disposal to prevent you from a long term weakness/loss of mobility.


Location and Lumbar Pain: Pain may be associated with the upper, middle, or lower back, though lumbar pain (lower back pain) is the most common. The primary symptom of lower back pain is pain in the lower back (lumbosacral area).

Lumbar pain may be restricted to the lower back, or it may begin in the around the lumbar spine and radiate down the back, side, and front of the leg. Low back pain may get worse with activity, or from prolonged periods of inactivity (such as from a full night's sleep). The pain may become worse from prolonged periods of inactivity, such as long car rides, or when you wake up in the morning.

Back pain symptoms may be restricted to the experience of pain, or it may include numbness, weakness, or burning in the arms and legs. These nerve sensations or neurologic deficits may occur when the nerves exiting the spine and traveling down the arms and the legs become compressed as a result or degenerative changes of the spine. Nerve compression could cause an inability to plantar flex the foot, or to raise your toes upwards when you stand or walk.