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    How to Treat Burning Sensation in Lower Back?

    How to Treat Burning Sensation in Lower Back?

    Are you grappling with an annoying burning sensation in your lower back and wondering how to put out the "fire"? Our comprehensive guide provides actionable steps to identify the underlying causes and offers a range of treatment options to get you back to feeling your best.

    Aug 30, 2023  |    4 Mins Read


    Ever had that annoying, fiery ache in your lower back and wondered, "What on earth is going on back there?" You're not alone. That burning sensation can be a real puzzle, and it can come from all sorts of places—maybe you lifted something heavy, or perhaps it's something more concerning like a spine issue. Don't worry; we've got you covered. This guide is your one-stop-shop for figuring out why your back feels like it's on fire and what you can do about it. So let's dive in and get you some relief!

    What Is Burning Back Pain?

    If you've experienced a sudden onset of pain in your lower back that feels like a searing, tingling heat, you've likely encountered what medical professionals refer to as "burning back pain." Unlike dull aches or generalized discomfort, burning back pain is often indicative of a specific underlying issue that may involve nerve irritation or compression.

    The sensation can be localized to a specific area or might radiate to other parts of your body like your hips or legs, particularly if the sciatic nerve is involved. Burning back pain can manifest suddenly or develop gradually over time. It might occur after specific activities, like lifting heavy objects, or might appear seemingly out of nowhere.

    The "burning" descriptor is significant because it often points to a neural issue, possibly involving nerve fibers, nerve roots, or even broader central nervous system dysfunction. These neural pathways are responsible for transmitting pain signals, and when they are irritated or compressed, as may occur with a herniated disc or spinal stenosis, the pain can manifest as a burning sensation.

    For instance, imagine you've spent the weekend moving furniture and come Monday, you wake up with an uncomfortable burning sensation localized in your lower back. The discomfort amplifies when you try to bend to tie your shoes. In this scenario, the physical stress of lifting heavy objects may have exacerbated an underlying issue, potentially causing a muscle strain or even herniating a disc, thereby leading to the symptoms you're experiencing.

    What Causes Burning Sensation in the Lower Back?

    Herniated Disc

    A herniated disc occurs when the soft inner material of a spinal disc leaks out, irritating the surrounding nerve root. This may cause a burning sensation or nerve pain in the affected area.

    Spinal Stenosis

    Narrowing of the spinal canal compresses spinal nerves, causing symptoms like burning back pain and severe back pain.

    Multiple Sclerosis

    An autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system can cause a range of symptoms, including burning pain in the back or limbs.

    Skeletal Bony Deformities

    Conditions like scoliosis can cause misalignment in the spinal column, leading to nerve compression and burning sensation in the lower back.

    Muscle Spasms

    Excessive physical stress or strain can lead to muscle spasms, leading to temporary or chronic back pain.

    Sciatic Nerve Issues

    Pressure on the sciatic nerve can cause a pain burning sensation that radiates down to the leg muscles.

    Treatment Approaches

    Physical Therapy

    Specific exercises can strengthen your back and abdominal muscles, relieve pressure on spinal nerves, and improve your posture, reducing symptoms.

    OTC Medicines

    These are over-the-counter pills like ibuprofen that can help reduce swelling and pain in your back. They're good for quick relief but remember, they're not fixing the problem, just masking the pain. Always check with a doctor for the right medication and dosage for you.

    Steroid Injections

    For really bad or ongoing pain, you might get a steroid shot directly into the area around your spine that's hurting. This is a more potent way to reduce swelling and can offer longer-lasting relief than pills. But these shots should be a last resort and are usually recommended only after other treatments haven't worked.

    Surgical Treatment

    In more serious cases like a herniated disc or a narrowing of the space around your spinal cord (spinal stenosis), you might need surgery. This is usually the last option when other treatments fail. The goal is to relieve the pressure on the nerves in your back, which should reduce your pain.

    Hot or Ice Cold Packs

    You can also try hot or cold packs at home. Ice packs can reduce swelling, and heat can relax your muscles. Some people like to use both in turns—ice to lower swelling and heat to loosen up muscles.

    Lower Back Burning Pain When Sitting

    Some people feel a burning pain in their lower back when they sit for a long time. This can happen for several reasons like sitting in a bad position, not moving enough, or having a back issue. When you sit, you put more pressure on the lower part of your back. This extra pressure can make existing back problems worse, like a slipped disc or muscle pull, leading to pinched or irritated nerves. This is often what causes that burning feeling. Bad seating posture at work or while driving can also add to the problem.

    Tips for Alleviating Burning Sensation in the Back

    • Get help if lifting something heavy. Don't try to do it alone.
    • Stand with feet apart when lifting. It gives you better balance.
    • Stand close to what you're lifting. It's easier on your back.
    • Bend your knees, not your waist, when lifting or bending.
    • Tighten your stomach when lifting. It helps keep you stable.
    • Hold what you're lifting close to you. It makes it easier to lift.
    • Use your legs to do the lifting, not your back.
    • Stand up straight when lifting. Don't bend forward.
    • Don't twist your body when lifting, carrying, or setting something down.
    • Don't stand too long. Take breaks to sit or lean and relax your back.
    • Skip the high heels. Wear comfy shoes that support your back.
    • Choose a good chair if sitting a lot. Look for one that's adjustable and supports your back.
    • Use a small pillow for back support when sitting or driving long distances.
    • Take short walking breaks. It helps relax tense muscles.
    • Quit smoking. It's better for your back and overall health.
    • Lose extra weight. It takes pressure off your back.
    • Work on strengthening your stomach and core. It helps keep your body stable.

    FAQs About Burning Pain in the Back

    When should I seek medical attention?

    If you experience persistent or severe burning, pain symptoms that impair mobility, or bowel incontinence, seek immediate medical attention.

    Can losing weight help?

    Excessive body weight puts excessive pressure on the spinal column and can exacerbate burning sensations. Losing weight can help relieve this pressure.

    Is it related to nerve problems?

    Often, yes. Nerve root or nerve fibers can be implicated, causing neuropathic pain.

    What about direct injuries or infections?

    Direct injuries to the spinal disc, intervertebral discs, or vertebral bones can cause burning sensations. Infections like Lyme disease or skin infection can also contribute.

    Will a back brace help?

    Essentially, a back brace serves as a supportive orthotic device designed to apply uniform pressure to the lumbar and abdominal regions. The application of compression therapy accomplishes two primary objectives. 

    First, it stabilizes the spinal column, thereby facilitating the maintenance of proper postural alignment. This is of paramount importance for mitigating issues related to spinal instability or misalignment. Second, the compression effectively redistributes mechanical stress away from the spinal discs, which can be invaluable in scenarios involving discogenic pain, herniated discs, or other pathological spinal conditions.

    Therefore, a back brace, by virtue of its compressive properties, not only enhances postural stability but also relieves pressure on compromised spinal structures, rendering it a valuable tool in a comprehensive pain management strategy.


    Claire Evans worked as the content marketing manager at Koprez. Claire combined a background of writing and editing, marketing, and patient education to best serve consumers, fitness enthusiasts, athletes, and anyone who relies on the Koprez brand for helpful information.

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