Back pain is pain felt in the back. It is divided into 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 for pain, as it supports most of the weight in the upper body. Episodes of back pain may be acute, sub-acute, 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 into 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 seen in primary care is nonspecific with no identifiable causes. Common identifiable causes of back pain include degenerative or traumatic changes to the disks and facets 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 back. Tumors of the verteba, neural tissues and adjacent structures can also manifest as back pain.