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Burning Pain in Back

Tackling Burning Pain in Back: Tips From Our Experts

Have you ever experienced a persistent burning sensation in upper back that just does not go away? It’s a discomfort that can disrupt your daily life, leaving you searching for relief.

At Manhattan Medical Arts, we understand the challenges of dealing with burning pain in back, and we’re here to provide you with expert guidance and effective solutions.

What is Burning Pain in Back?

Burning pain in back refers to a sensation of heat, tingling, or discomfort that radiates from the spine to surrounding areas. It can vary in intensity and may be accompanied by other symptoms such as numbness, weakness, or stiffness. This type of pain can originate from various sources, each requiring different approaches for management and treatment.

What Causes Burning Pain in Back?

The causes of burning sensation in upper back include:

  • Muscle Strain: Overexertion or sudden movements can strain the back muscles, leading to inflammation and a burning sensation. 
  • Nerve Compression: Pressure on spinal nerves due to conditions like herniated discs or spinal stenosis can also cause burning upper back pain along the affected nerve pathway. 
  • Spinal Issues: Structural abnormalities in the spine, such as degenerative disc disease or spondylolisthesis, may result in chronic back burning pain. 
  • Inflammation: Conditions like arthritis or autoimmune disorders can trigger inflammation in the back, contributing to a burning sensation. 
  • Shingles: The reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus can cause a painful rash and burning sensation in upper back, and along the affected nerve pathway. 
  • Infections: Bacterial or viral infections affecting the spine or surrounding tissues can lead to localized pain and discomfort. 
  • Sciatica: Compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve, often caused by a herniated disc, can result in burning pain that radiates down the leg. 
  • Nerve Damage: Trauma, diabetes, or other underlying conditions may damage nerves in the back, leading to persistent burning sensation in upper back. 
  • Digestive Disorders: Issues like gastritis or peptic ulcers can cause referred pain to the back, often accompanied by a burning sensation. 
  • Skeletal Defects: Congenital abnormalities or acquired conditions affecting the spine’s structure can lead to chronic back pain with a burning quality. 
  • Injuries or Trauma: Falls, accidents, or sports injuries can damage tissues in the back, resulting in pain and inflammation. 
  • Muscle Spasm: Sudden, involuntary contractions of back muscles can cause intense burning pain and stiffness. 
  • Chemical Radiculitis: Exposure to certain chemicals or toxins can irritate spinal nerves, causing burning pain and other symptoms.

How To Treat Burning Sensation in Upper Back?

The available treatment options for burning upper back pain include:

  • Over-the-Counter Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. 
  • Physical Therapy: Targeted exercises and manual techniques can strengthen muscles, improve flexibility, and alleviate pressure on nerves. 
  • Surgery: In severe cases or when conservative treatments fail, surgical interventions like discectomy or spinal fusion may be necessary to address underlying issues. 
  • Cold and Heat Therapy: Alternating between ice packs and heating pads can help reduce inflammation and soothe sore muscles. 
  • Hydration: Staying hydrated is essential for maintaining spinal health and supporting the body’s natural healing processes.

Home Remedies For Burning Pain in Back

  • Rest and Activity Modification: Giving your back adequate rest and avoiding activities that exacerbate pain can promote healing. 
  • Herbal Remedies: Natural supplements like turmeric, ginger, or devil’s claw may have anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve the pain. 
  • Warm Baths: Soaking in a warm bath with Epsom salts can relax muscles and provide temporary relief from burning pain in back. 
  • Posture Correction: Maintaining proper posture while sitting, standing, and lifting can prevent strain on the back muscles and reduce discomfort. 
  • Stretching Exercises: Gentle stretching exercises targeting the back, hips, and hamstrings can improve flexibility and relieve tension. 
  • Massage and Soft Tissue Manipulation: Therapeutic massage techniques can help release tension, improve circulation, and reduce pain in the back muscles.

When to See a Doctor?

While mild burning pain in the back may resolve with rest and self-care, it’s essential to seek medical attention if you experience any of the following:

  • Severe or persistent pain that interferes with daily activities
  • Numbness, weakness, or loss of bowel/bladder control
  • Pain accompanied by fever, chills, or unexplained weight loss

At Manhattan Medical Arts, our team of specialists is dedicated to providing personalized care and comprehensive treatment options for individuals dealing with burning pain in back. 

Don’t let discomfort hold you back from living your best life—schedule a consultation with us today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my back burning?

Back burning can result from various causes such as muscle strain, nerve compression, spinal issues, inflammation, infections, or injuries.

How long does burning back pain last?

The duration of burning back pain can vary depending on the underlying cause and individual factors. It may last for a few days to several weeks or longer, depending on the severity and treatment.

How to treat the burning sensation in upper back?

Treatment options may include over-the-counter medications, physical therapy, surgery (if necessary), cold and heat therapy, hydration, and lifestyle modifications.

When should I worry about burning sensation in upper back?

You should be concerned about burning sensations in your back if they are severe, persistent, accompanied by other symptoms like numbness or weakness, or interfere with daily activities. It's advisable to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and management.

How to relieve burning pain in back?

Relief strategies may include rest, over-the-counter pain medications, gentle stretching, warm baths, maintaining proper posture, massage, and seeking professional medical advice for personalized treatment recommendations.

– Disclaimer –

This blog is for informational & educational purposes only, and does not intend to substitute any professional medical advice or consultation. For any health related concerns, please consult with your physician, or call 911.

Medically Reviewed

Last reviewed by Dr. Syra Hanif, M.D. on 02/14/2024

Learn more about our editorial process.

  • About The Author

    Dr. Syra Hanif M.D.

    Board Certified Primary Care Physician

Dr. Syra Hanif is a board-certified Primary Care Physician (PCP) dedicated to providing compassionate, patient-centered healthcare.

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