Back pain above the lower back

Today, back pain is one of the common reasons why people seek qualified advice. According to some data, it occurs at least once in a lifetime in at least 80% of the adult population, and at least 4-9% annually seek qualified advice about it. Painful sensations just above the lumbar region, in the back, are among the most common complaints. In this article, we will talk about what problems can cause pain in this area, how to recognize them, and we will also touch on the topic of fighting against them.

Some possible causes of pain

The largest number of cases of pain in the back and lumbar region is musculoskeletal pain, which can be caused by osteochondrosis, myositis and intervertebral hernia. However, it can also be caused by other pathologies, as well as certain conditions of the human body. Let's look at some common reasons.


Or, according to the term adopted today in the international classification of diseases - dorsopathy. These are dystrophic changes in the cartilage tissue of the intervertebral discs, which compensate for the load on the spine, ensure shock absorption during movement, vibration loads, etc. In most cases, the pathology can appear due to genetic predisposition, as well as due to a sedentary and sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical activity.


These are muscle pains that can be caused by various reasons. Just above the lower back are the muscles that hold and stabilize the spine. Therefore, the reason for painful sensations in them can be various diseases of the spine itself, as well as increased physical activity, hypothermia, etc.

Intervertebral hernia

This is one of the complications of osteochondrosis of the spine, in which the integrity of the intervertebral disc is damaged, and the aqueous core located inside protrudes into the spinal canal. Depending on the size of the hernia and its location in the back, sharp shooting pains can occur, which sometimes radiate to other parts of the body and limbs (in the case of pathology above the lower back, it can be a leg or an arm).

Diseases of internal organs

Back pain is not always a sign of a spinal problem. It can often be a symptom of pathologies of internal organs: stomach and duodenal ulcers, pancreatitis, cholecystitis, urolithiasis, kidney disease, etc. However, it does not always hurt in the abdomen, flank or other part where the affected organ is located. .

Age-related changes

Over the years, the structure of the spine goes through numerous changes, especially noticeable with a sedentary lifestyle and reduced workload. They concern the ligamentous apparatus, muscles and bone tissue. Osteochondrosis and arthrosis, combined with muscle atrophy and loss of ligament elasticity, can occasionally cause pain in the lumbar region.


Back pain is not always a sign of any pathology. For example, late pregnancy can also cause this condition in women. According to available data, 90% of pregnant women complain of back pain, and 50% of discomfort localized in the lumbar region. But why does this happen? The reasons are physiological changes in the biomechanics of the pelvis and spine. In most cases, pain can occur in women who have previously had back problems

causes of back pain

Types of painful sensations

For diagnosis, it is important to understand what kind of pain a person is experiencing. Back pain above the lower back can be girdling, aching, pulling, dull, sharp, etc. Sensations are only additional data used in diagnostics. They should not be fully relied upon, much less diagnosed based on this information alone.

Some possible diagnostic methods

During a qualified consultation, anamnesis and data on symptoms are collected. However, this is not enough: additional examinations are needed to make a more precise diagnosis. The specialist can limit himself to one of them or prescribe several.


This is a diagnostic technique based on the use of X-rays. With the help of such an examination, it is possible to identify fractures, osteochondrosis of the spine, spondylosis, neoplasms, as well as curvatures and other disorders. When performing radiography, the image of the organ under study is projected onto film or paper in only one projection - this method is less informative than X-ray CT and MRI.

X-ray computed tomography (X-ray computed tomography)

X-ray CT is similar to radiography in the technology used: it is also based on X-ray radiation. However, as a result of such diagnostics, not a 2D, but a 3D image is obtained, which is available for study layer by layer. For this, stronger ionizing radiation is used, which should not be used too often. RCT can be performed with or without contrast, which gives a clearer picture and increases the success of diagnosing certain diseases.


Magnetic resonance is a diagnostic method that also allows obtaining a multi-layered image in multiple projections, but is in no way related to the use of X-rays. It is based on magnetic resonance and is therefore safer than X-rays and CT scans, but is not suitable for patients with permanent metal structures in the body. In addition, this study is noisier and longer. Like CT, MRI can be performed with contrast to more accurately diagnose certain diseases.


This technique is based on the principle of echolocation and, as a rule, is used to diagnose diseases of internal organs if the symptoms give reason to suspect their presence. It is very informative and safe in the study of organs and tissues. An ultrasound of the spine is also performed, but extremely rarely.

Laboratory diagnostics

To diagnose the inflammatory process, the presence of an infection or a tumor, a general blood test with the ESR-leukocyte formula can be prescribed. In the future, if pathologies of internal organs are suspected, additional laboratory tests may be prescribed.

Other diagnostic methods

If the specific nature of the pain or a disease of the internal organs is suspected, other examinations may be prescribed until a diagnosis is made and the cause of the pain determined.

how to treat back pain

Treatment of back pain above the lumbar region

The most important step in dealing with back pain is getting qualified advice. After diagnosis, exclusion of diseases of internal organs, serious pathologies of the spine and determination of pain as non-specific, the following can be recommended:

  • taking NSAIDs.Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for internal and local use are often used to alleviate non-specific back pain, osteochondrosis, hernia and other pathologies. The category of such drugs includes the active ingredient in the composition - nimesulide;
  • taking muscle relaxants.They are designed to help combat muscle spasm, thereby improving mobility and reducing pain;
  • taking other medicines.For diseases of internal organs or back pain during pregnancy, the set of drugs will most likely be different;
  • physiotherapy and exercise therapy.During the acute period, various physical procedures may be recommended to relieve pain and speed up recovery. These include, for example, electrophoresis with analgesics, pulse currents, ultraviolet radiation, massage, exercise therapy, as well as mineral baths, mud therapy, etc. ;
  • surgical intervention.Surgery may be prescribed for a herniated disc if other methods of pain relief do not give results for a long time, and may be indicated based on the results of MRI, X-ray or X-ray.
back pain gymnastics

Some possible prevention measures

Since risk factors for the development of musculoskeletal pain in the back, including the area above the lumbar region, include heavy physical work, a sedentary lifestyle, as well as frequent bending of the body, heavy lifting and vibration, it is recommended that these factors be minimized. as a preventive measure. If your back already hurts above the lower back, you should not immediately overload the muscles with gymnastics, and especially with sports - you should first seek qualified advice to rule out pathologies.