Concept

Back pain

Summary
Back pain is pain felt in the back. It may be classified as neck pain (cervical), middle back pain (thoracic), lower back pain (lumbar) or coccydynia (tailbone or sacral pain) based on the segment affected. The lumbar area is the most common area affected. An episode of back pain may be acute, subacute or chronic depending on the duration. The pain may be characterized as a dull ache, shooting or piercing pain or a burning sensation. Discomfort can radiate to the arms and hands as well as the legs or feet, and may include numbness or weakness in the legs and arms. The majority of back pain is nonspecific and idiopathic. Common underlying mechanisms include degenerative or traumatic changes to the discs and facet joints, which can then cause secondary pain in the muscles and nerves and referred pain to the bones, joints and extremities. Diseases and inflammation of the gallbladder, pancreas, aorta and kidneys may also cause referred pain in the b
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