How do you know if back pain is internal or muscular?

If you or a loved one could benefit from a back pain consultation, call 214-645-8300 or request an appointment online. Appointment for a new patient or 214-645-8300 or 817-882-2400. Somatic pain and visceral pain are two different types of pain and feel differently. Somatic pain comes from skin, muscles, and soft tissue, while visceral pain comes from internal organs.

The most common source of visceral pain is functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGID), such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS affects up to 15 percent of the population and is more common in women. Menstrual cramps are another extremely common form of visceral pain. The kidneys help eliminate liquid waste from the body.

When urine contains a large amount of chemicals (more than urine can dilute), kidney stones can form, which can cause acute pain in the side and lower back. Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas, which is an organ that plays an important role in digestion and regulation of blood sugar. Pancreatitis pain may start in the upper abdomen and radiate to the lower back. The pain can be severe and disabling, so be sure to see a doctor right away.

Because many nerves supply muscles, bones, and other soft tissue, somatic pain is often easier to localize than visceral pain. Low back pain should be evaluated by a doctor to determine if an internal organ is causing it or what exactly is the source of the pain. Learn about The Spine Center at UT Southwestern, where the multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses and providers offers cutting-edge treatments for back pain and spinal related injuries. Whether back pain requires surgery or is manageable with conservative treatment, it's important to see a spinal specialist for a diagnosis and care.

Rehabilitation specialists share how COVID-19 and back pain can be related, and tips on how to prevent and treat back pain. A muscle strain or muscle strain is a common cause of back pain and occurs when the tendon or ligaments are injured by overusing or misusing the back muscles. Examples include the low consumption of calcium for somatic pain caused by osteoporosis and the increase in smoking for visceral pain caused by stomach cancer. If back pain may be associated with a specific activity, such as lifting or spraining, and the pain goes away 72 hours after resting and applying ice, there's usually nothing to worry about.

By accurately reporting what the pain feels like, you can help your healthcare provider diagnose your problem and prescribe the best treatment regimen. Opioids are usually reserved for severe pain and are given for a short time to avoid dependency problems. Somatic pain occurs when pain receptors in tissues (including skin, muscles, skeleton, joints, and connective tissues) are activated. However, it can suddenly become inflamed and cause severe pain that starts in the lower abdomen and extends to the lower back.

A typical pain sensation due to an injury, such as hitting your knee or cutting your lip, causes sudden, sharp pain.

Marcie Macvicar
Marcie Macvicar

Extreme web nerd. Total food aficionado. Typical coffee evangelist. Alcohol enthusiast. Passionate coffee evangelist.

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