Burning Sensation in Back – Causes and Treatment

Sensitive and painful back are a common phenomenon and a symptom of various conditions. In most cases, it happens when are muscular, skeletal and nerve system in our spine are somehow irritated, damaged or affected in another way. Discomforting sensations in back occur in overall human population and it is very much likely an individual would suffer from back pain or similar unpleasant condition at least once during his or her lifetime.

Our backs are both endurable and strong and yet fragile and sensitive, at the same time. The whole spinal area is a complex construction, consisting of various bones, muscles, joints and nerves. It is an amazing mechanism that makes us stand upright, walk, run and perform various activities.

Modern way of life finds us sitting for long periods of time. We bend our necks over the desk, typing and working on the computer. Our body is not designed for sitting for too long; we haven’t evolved proportionally to our rapid technological development that creates more and more desk jobs. Such jobs are devastating for our backs.

On the other hand, if we stand too much, it is very likely we will encounter some back issues at one point in our lives. Lifting heavy weights, excessive physical effort, in terms of work or training, are also a recipe for problematic back. Nowadays, it is not unusual for young people to experience back pain and similar issues, starting as early as their twenties.

And a major reason is, lack of quality sleep among the youngsters. Though often overlooked, a bad bed is a leading cause of backache. People think any hard, new mattress is good for back, but it is far from the truth. You need to test foam vs spring mattress to ensure your bed aligns your spine perfectly with respect to your body structure and sleep position preferences. Mostly, acute or mild back pain is readily reversed by only upgrading your mattress.

However, there are different types of unpleasant sensations in back and they occur for different reasons. It is also common the exact cause is unlikely to determine, but the pain or other discomfort could be treated. Back sensations could be acute and chronic, the pain could be dull, stiffing, piercing, sharp, burning and so on.

In this article, we will discuss about the burning sensation in particular, the causes of its appearing, possible explanation and treatment.

Causes of burning back sensation

As we’ve mentioned before, there could be various reasons for your back to get irritated, painful and literally burning.

Some of the causes are associated with spinal problems, others not. If you’ve ever experienced this discomforting burning sensation in back, you would easily connect it with unpleasant piercing pain, as if someone is stabbing the skin on your back with pins and needles.

There is a medical term for burning skin sensation and it is called paresthesia. It begins with tingling and sometimes turns to numbness and loss of touch, while skin remains sensitive to touch, in some cases.

When burning sensation occurs on back area, it usually has something to do with nerve damage, a particular disease or injury.

One of the most common causes for burning back is a pinched nerve, which could cause a person serious discomfort.

In most of the cases, an exact location of the burning pain could help determine the exact cause and thus treat the problem. If you have a burning sensation in your back, try to exactly locate where you feel the discomfort. It would help both you and your doctor to determine cause and decide what treatment to undertake.

  • Nerve disorders

Nerve disorders in the spinal cord are very likely to cause numerous difficulties and undesirable symptoms, such as burning sensation in back. Several conditions are often associated with back pain and other unpleasant phenomenon. Multiple sclerosis is a condition affecting our body’s nerves and damages their membrane. It is commonly associated with burning sensations in different parts of a patient’s body, as well as the back area.

Peripheral nerve disorders are also responsible for burning sensation in back. The condition cuts normal blood flow and the nerves suffer from lack of it, which causes them to degrade and thus cause burning sensation in the damaged area. Sciatica is another condition that may explain burning sensation in back. In this case, the major nerve responsible for leg and feet movement control gets damaged, usually due to injury or conditions, such as herniated disc and spinal stenosis. It starts with burning like sensation in back or severe pain.

Neuralgia and central pain syndrome are nerve disorders that may trigger burning sensation in back, as well. The first one is a sort of nerve irritation, occurring due to some types of pressure or trauma or conditions, such as shingles and diabetes. In the second case, central body’s nervous system gets damaged, due to stroke, Parkinson’s disease, tumor, epilepsy and other types of spinal damage.

  • Cervical spondylosis

Cervical spondylosis may explain burning sensation in the area of upper back. This condition occurs due to age, wear and tear of neck joints. Other causes, such as injuries or constant tension on neck area, due to the job or such, could also lead to cervical spondylosis. If you have burning sensation in your upper back and neck area, go to see a doctor. If you experience other symptoms, such as loss of bowel control, you need an immediate medical help.

  • Herniated disc

Unfortunately, herniated disc is quite a common spinal issue. It is caused by misuse of our back. Numerous actions could lead to inappropriate use or overuse of our back. A disc, located between our vertebrae could slip from its original position and bulge. The pain could be extremely severe and often accompanied with burning sensation. A herniated disc in lumbar spine is the most common cause of unendurable pain, stiffness, loss of normal back mobility, pain and numbness in the lumbar area and legs.

  • Beriberi or calcium deficiency

Lack of vitamin B 1 could cause this unpleasant burning sensation. One type of B 1 deficiency condition leads to decrease of normal heart function, which affects nerves and causes weakening of muscle tissues, burning sensation, numbness and even paralysis, in complex cases. Deficiency of another important compound, calcium, could also result in burning back sensation. Calcium is an essential nutrient for our skeletal system; when our body doesn’t get enough of it, it may start to draw it out or bones, which could cause us pain and burning sensation.

Burning back sensation treatment

The condition could be properly treated once you determine the cause of it. Treatment options vary depending on severity of the sensation itself. If the burning sensation or pain are mild and endurable, it is very likely they would withdraw on their own.

Usually, the pain in back is considered acute if it gradually withdraws within three months. If burning sensation and pain prolong for longer time, the condition is considered chronic. In this case, it is important to see a doctor and do all of the recommended procedures in order to determine what causes you discomfort. The exact treatment process would rely on your diagnosis.

However, there are ways to relieve the burning sensation without any harm for your health. First of all, reduce all excessive effort and do not put pressure on your fragile back and let it start recovering. It doesn’t mean you should stop all the activities, on the contrary. You need to stay active as much as you are able, in order to keep muscles at your back strong enough to support your spine. Therefore, a doctor would very likely prescribe you physical therapy and special, mild exercises, designed to strengthen your musculoskeletal system. You may also use pain relief medications when the sensation gets unendurable. Topical pain and inflammation relievers are commonly prescribed for such a condition.

If you’ve recently had a back or neck injury and you experience burning sensation in back, it is important to receive medical help, as soon as possible. Even if it is an old injury and you’d never thought it could cause you pain later. All of the nerve disorders that cause burning sensation in back require a proper medical treatment. If that is not the case and you’ve already determined you don’t suffer from any of the mentioned issues, you may suffer from B 1 or calcium deficiency, so you’ll need to include them in your diet, by food or supplements. Before you try any of the mentioned methods, talk to your doctor and act according to experts’ advices.