The story of actor Andy Whitfield is a disturbing and educational example of a case that met these conditions — for sure the first two, and probably the third as well if we knew the details. Whitfield was the star of the hit TV show Spartacus (which is worthwhile, but rated very, very R13) The first sign of the cancer that killed him in 2011 was steadily worsening back pain. It’s always hard to diagnose a cancer that starts this way, but Whitfield was in the middle of intense physical training to look the part of history’s most famous gladiator. Back pain didn’t seem unusual at first, and some other symptoms may have been obscured. Weight loss could have even seemed like a training victory at first. It was many long months before he was diagnosed — not until the back pain was severe and constant. A scan finally revealed a large tumour pressing against his spine.
Osteoarthritis is just one form of arthritis that can cause back pain. It breaks down the cartilage (soft, elastic material) that cushions the spinal joints and other joints in the body. Lower back pain can become more intense when osteoarthritis affects the hips or the knees. Osteoarthritis also can directly affect the spine, causing muscles, tendons, or ligaments to become strained, which can lead to back and/or neck pain.
Bridge: Still lying on your back with your feet flat on floor, lift your hips and torso off the floor into a bridge. Then interlace your hands underneath your hips and press your shoulders and upper arms into the floor, lifting your hips higher. Hold for 10 seconds. Lower yourself slowly back down, rolling down from the top of your spine to your tailbone. Repeat three times.
Injury to the bones and joints: Fractures (breakage of bone) of the lumbar spine and sacrum bone most commonly affect elderly people with osteoporosis, especially those who have taken long-term cortisone medication. For these individuals, occasionally even minimal stresses on the spine (such as bending to tie shoes) can lead to bone fracture. In this setting, the vertebra can collapse (vertebral compression fracture). The fracture causes an immediate onset of severe localized pain that can radiate around the waist in a band-like fashion and is made intensely worse with body motions. This pain generally does not radiate down the lower extremities. Vertebral fractures in younger patients occur only after severe trauma, such as from motor-vehicle accidents or a convulsive seizure.
Rarely, a fertilized egg can implant outside the uterus, often in one of the fallopian tubes. Called an ectopic pregnancy, this is clearly only an issue for women of child-bearing age. If you happen to be trying to conceive or could be pregnant because you’re not using protection, that’s important information for your doctor to have. “This can appear as serious localized pain in your right or left side,” says Dr. Finkelston. “A pregnancy test should be part of the workup to rule this out,” she adds. Abnormal vaginal bleeding or pelvic pain are other symptoms.
Spondylolisthesis. This condition occurs when one vertebra slips over the adjacent one. There are 5 types of spondylolisthesis but the most common are secondary to a defect or fracture of the pars (between the facet joints) or mechanical instability of the facet joints (degenerative). The pain can be caused by instability (back) or compression of the nerves (leg).
Protrusion or herniation of intervertebral disc, annular tears and bulging of discs are some of the common cause of pain in left lower back. Discs that act as protective cushions in between the spinal vertebrae, sometimes protrude from their original position, cause severe and sudden pain in left lower back. This commonly occurs while bending or lifting heavy objects, injuries or due to gradual wear and tear.
Strengthening exercises, beyond general daily activities, are not advised for acute low back pain, but may be an effective way to speed recovery from chronic or subacute low back pain. Maintaining and building muscle strength is particularly important for persons with skeletal irregularities. Health care providers can provide a list of beneficial exercises that will help improve coordination and develop proper posture and muscle balance. Evidence supports short- and long-term benefits of yoga to ease chronic low back pain.
In the vast majority of patients with low back pain, symptoms can be attributed to nonspecific mechanical factors. However, in a much smaller percentage of patients, the cause of back pain may be something more serious, such as cancer, cauda equina syndrome, spinal infection, spinal compression fractures, spinal stress fractures, ankylosing spondylitis, or aneurysm.

Osteoporosis is a type of bone disorder that causes bones to become thin and weak due to calcium loss. Fragile bones, especially those bones in the spinal column, can break more easily, and there is an increased tendency for this to happen in older women. Osteoporosis also contributes to compression fractures, or spinal fractures in which the vertebrae become flattened. Falls, lifting heavy objects or moving the wrong way can result in a compression fracture.

In most situations upper back pain is not serious and is lifestyle related, there are a few scenarios where female upper back pain could have a deeper meaning. For example, there can be a serious correlation between left side upper back pain and your heart. It’s common to have left arm, chest and upper back pain symptoms with heart-related conditions. If your pain is causing problems in your arm, chest, and upper back visit with a doctor immediately.
Example: a friend of mine went to the hospital after a motorcycle accident. He’d flown over a car and landed hard on his head. Bizarrely, he was sent home with very little care, and no imaging of his back, even though he was complaining of severe lower back pain. A doctor reassured him that it was just muscle spasms. (This all happened at a hospital that was notorious for being over-crowded and poorly run.) The next day, still in agony, he went to see a doctor at a walk-in clinic, who immediately took him for an x-ray … which identified a serious lumbar fracture and imminent danger of paralysis. He had been lucky to get through the night without disaster! He was placed on a spine board immediately and sent for surgery. The moral of the story? Sometimes, when you’ve had a major trauma and your back really hurts, it’s because your back is broken. BACK TO TEXT
Many researchers seem to believe that low back pain is a modern problem. For instance, Waddell writes, “Observations of natural history and epidemiology suggest that low-back pain should be a benign, self-limiting condition, that low back-disability as opposed to pain is a relatively recent Western epidemic … .” In 2008, Martin et al found that, “The estimated proportion of persons with back or neck problems who self-reported physical functioning limitations increased from 20.7%… to 24.7% … 1997 to 2005,” which certainly shows that it is a growing problem and therefore likely to be worse now than in the past. A Spanish study (Jiménez-Sánchez et al) showed that “serious” musculoskeletal complaints (including a great deal of back pain, presumably) increased significantly from 1993 to 2001. Finally, Harkness et al did a nice job in 2005 of comparing rates of musculoskeletal pain (including low back pain) 40 years apart in the northwest of England, and found a large increase. In his books, Sarno also strongly portrays low back pain as a modern problem — though he doesn’t defend it . It’s hard to say if back pain actually is a modern problem, or whether it just tends to be described as such. Remember that human beings have a strong tendency to sensationalize and dramatize! Harkness pointed out in her study that the appearance of an increase “could be partly explained by the ‘worried well’. The ‘worried well’ are those patients who are concerned about their health, and attend their GP to seek reassurance about their well-being.” This is a great example of how hard it is to really be sure of anything! BACK TO TEXT

More than 85 percent of people with lower back pain improve with minimal treatment in a matter of days. However, if back problems persist, doctors generally prescribe one or more of the following treatments: proper exercise, rest, heat and cold, posture training, weight loss, stress management and relaxation exercises, medication, spinal manipulation and/or surgery. For some back conditions, the doctor may refer you to another specialist such as an orthopedist, rheumatologist, physiatrist, physical or occupational therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist or surgeon.


Your doctor will first ask you many questions regarding the onset of the pain. (Were you lifting a heavy object and felt an immediate pain? Did the pain come on gradually?) He or she will want to know what makes the pain better or worse. The doctor will ask you questions referring to the red flag symptoms. He or she will ask if you have had the pain before. Your doctor will ask about recent illnesses and associated symptoms such as coughs, fevers, urinary difficulties, or stomach illnesses. In females, the doctor will want to know about vaginal bleeding, cramping, or discharge. Pain from the pelvis, in these cases, is frequently felt in the back.
I don't feel a mass when i massage my back but i am in constant pain with it - I totally get your desctiption of the sword!   It feels like it's going in from a specific part of my spine, through my hip and at a diagonal from my hip to my groin through my pelvis - and sometime s it's like there are ice picks coming off the sword in different directions and jabbing me at different points.........

A complete medical history and physical exam can usually identify any serious conditions that may be causing the pain. During the exam, a health care provider will ask about the onset, site, and severity of the pain; duration of symptoms and any limitations in movement; and history of previous episodes or any health conditions that might be related to the pain. Along with a thorough back examination, neurologic tests are conducted to determine the cause of pain and appropriate treatment. The cause of chronic lower back pain is often difficult to determine even after a thorough examination.


Prompt diagnosis and treatment of middle back pain can help control symptoms and reduce the risk of complications, such as disability. Seek prompt medical care if your pain is severe, is persistent, or causes you concern. In some cases, the underlying cause of middle back pain can be life threatening. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have middle back pain accompanied by chest pain, difficulty breathing, loss of bladder or bowel control, or numbness or paralysis in the arms or legs.

My original inspiration for this tutorial was Dr. John Sarno’s 1984 book Mind over back pain. (His more recent Healing back pain makes too many empty promises. See my review.) However, as much as I respect Dr. Sarno’s early work, there are at least three reasons why this tutorial is better than his books: (1) I make a much more airtight case against the conventional medical myths of back pain than Dr. Sarno does; (2) I also build a much better case for the real causes of back pain, heavily referencing more credible sources than Dr. Sarno does; (3) and I offer many more practical suggestions than Dr. Sarno does, instead of focusing exclusively on the psychological factors. Although I have less experience and education than Dr. Sarno, I do have a lot more hands-on experience (and the useful perspective of a journalist). BACK TO TEXT
Spartacus is worthwhile, but the sex and violence is over-the-top: there’s no sugar-coating it. Definitely not a family drama. But the dramatic quality is excellent. After a couple of campy, awkward episodes at the start, the first season quickly gets quite good: distinctive film craft, interesting writing, and solid acting from nearly the whole cast. Andy Whitfield’s Spartacus is idealistic, earnest, and easy to like. I found it downright upsetting when I learned that he had passed away — as did many, many other fans I’m sure. See my personal blog for a little bit more of a review of Spartacus.
The back is held upright by muscles attached to the backbone. Doctors often refer to the backbone as the spine, spinal column, or vertebral column. The backbone isn't one long bone, but actually 24 separate bones called vertebrae. These 24 vertebrae are stacked one on top of another to form the backbone. The points where two vertebrae or bones fit together are called joints. They make it possible for the spine to move and turn in many different directions. Look at the backbone and find the discs located between each vertebra. These discs are made of cartilage, which is a soft, elastic material. Discs act as cushions, or shock absorbers, much like the shock absorbers in your car. Their main job is to protect the joints from wearing out. Most joints contain a slippery substance called synovial fluid that keeps them moving smoothly. The spinal cord is very important because it transmits electrical signals between the brain and the nerves in your legs, arms, back, and other parts of your body. The spinal cord runs through a hole in each vertebra of the upper and middle parts of your backbone, much like a piece of string through a beaded necklace. The space it runs through is called the spinal canal. At times, a message might signal pain or discomfort. The pain signal is an important one, because pain tells you that some part of your body needs attention. A serious injury to the neck or upper back runs the risk of damaging the spinal cord, causing paralysis of the parts of the body below the injury. It should be noted that the spinal cord is not present in the lower part of your backbone. Here the spinal canal contains a sack of nerves, the cauda equina. Your backbone, with all its parts, cannot hold itself upright. It needs strong muscles, tendons, and ligaments for support. Muscles help you move or hold your position. Tendons fasten muscles to bones. And ligaments stretch from one bone to another to hold bones together.

^ Thiruganasambandamoorthy, Venkatesh; Turko, Ekaterina; Ansell, Dominique; Vaidyanathan, Aparna; Wells, George A.; Stiell, Ian G. (July 2014). "Risk factors for serious underlying pathology in adult emergency department nontraumatic low back pain patients". The Journal of Emergency Medicine. 47 (1): 1–11. doi:10.1016/j.jemermed.2013.08.140. ISSN 0736-4679. PMID 24725822.
I had a UTI infection in April. I did not get better. I was ill had burning through out my body. Then treated for a kidney infection. They are calling my burning chronic pain? I am still being treated for kidney infection and then bladder 6 treatments since May? I have lost 22 pounds since May, still have burning. Strange bowel movements, swelling in groin, inner thigh and buttock?
Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine curves and twists, like the letter "S" or letter "C." It usually develops in childhood or during adolescence. In most cases, the cause of scoliosis is unknown, although it may be related to an injury or birth defect. In some instances, multiple family members will have scoliosis, suggesting a potential genetic component.
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