13 Important Causes of Knife Stinging Pain in the Back and What to Do

What causes pain like stabbing a knife in the back? Is it a serious situation? Do you need to see a doctor? What can we do to make it pass? You can find the answers to all these questions and much more below.

What can trigger a stabbing pain in the back?

The main causes of back pain include spinal problems, sciatic nerve or kidney stone problems . It is necessary to look at the nature of the pain and the affected back area in order to distinguish the cause of pain like a knife in the back. Back pain is often muscle-related and is caused by fatigue, weight lifting, or incorrect posture. Hot water bag and stretching exercises are usually good for back pain caused by such simple reasons.

However, if the stabbing pain comes on suddenly, is very severe, or has other symptoms such as fever and difficulty moving, it is recommended that you see a doctor so that tests can be performed and the most appropriate treatment can be determined.

What causes pain like stabbing a knife in the back?

1. Muscle problems

When you have back pain on the right or left side, this is usually an indication of muscle damage that can occur as a result of professional activity, such as in gardeners or dentists, or after a physical activity. Muscle -related ailments are often caused by muscle tension , and you feel as if there is a weight on your back.

What to do:
To relieve back pain due to muscle damage, you can apply a warm compress to the aching area for at least 3 to 4 days 2 times a day for 15 minutes and consult your doctor or pharmacist and take medicine for pain. It is also important to avoid exerting too much effort during this period so that the symptoms of injury can pass more quickly.

2. Respiratory diseases

Some of the common causes of stabbing pain in the back are related to respiratory diseases. Since all the muscles in the abdomen and back are activated during the breathing process, respiratory diseases can also cause back pain, especially while breathing. If you have breathing problems, you may also experience back pain when breathing in, chest pain when breathing in, or wheezing when breathing in .

What to do:
It is recommended to consult a pulmonologist for the treatment of respiratory disease, especially when symptoms such as shortness of breath, cough, sputum or fever are present. However, applying a warm compress to the area where the pain is felt to relieve symptoms before the doctor’s control can also relieve your pain.

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3. Kidney stone

Kidney stones can also cause pain like stabbing a knife in the back . The pain felt due to the presence of kidney stones is known as renal colic and is characterized by a very strong pain in the lower back that prevents the person from walking or moving. Back pain due to kidney stone can be felt on the right or left side.

What to do:
In these cases, some testing needs to be done to determine the stone and its size. It is important to see a doctor so that tests can be performed and appropriate treatment started. In some cases, surgical treatment may be necessary in addition to anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve symptoms.

4. Sciatica pain

Sciatic pain is characterized by pain in the lower back, which is caused by compression of the sciatic nerve located at the end of the spine or in the buttocks and hitting the legs. If you have pain related to the sciatic nerve, you may experience a tingling sensation or difficulty breathing. Knife-like pain in the back is also a common symptom of sciatica .

What to do:
The recommended thing to do in sciatica problems is to consult an orthopedic specialist so that the best treatment can be determined. The orthopedist will examine you, do some tests if necessary, and thus determine the most appropriate treatment for you.

5. Heart attack

One of the symptoms that may indicate a heart attack is nausea or, in addition, chest pain that may radiate to the back and worsen with exertion, especially if the person is overweight and has high blood pressure or cholesterol. A heart attack usually also causes left arm pain and left chest pain , but these pains can also occur on the right side.

What to do:
In case of symptoms that indicate a heart attack, the right thing to do is to go to the emergency room. In order to avoid the possible consequences of a heart attack, such as death, it would be more appropriate to call the 112 emergency service and wait for the ambulance, rather than using a private car. Because in this way, the ambulance health team will do the first response and this will save you time.

6. Herniated disc

A herniated disc can cause middle back pain, which is more common in people over the age of 45 and worsens when standing up or staying in the same position for a long time. This pain may also radiate to the side, ribs, or downward, affecting the hips or legs. Pain due to herniated disc may also appear as a stabbing pain in the back .

What to do:
If you have a herniated disc, you can put a hot water bottle on your back and avoid staying in the same position for a long time. In addition, it is important to be examined by an orthopedic specialist, especially in case of back pain that does not go away, so that you can get the right treatment. If necessary, the orthopedist will provide you with the most appropriate treatment using imaging techniques such as MRI and X-ray .

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7. Muscle contracture

It can be due to muscle contracture, fatigue, excessive physical activity, anxiety disorder , or incorrect posture while sitting. For example, it can cause pain in the upper back and in some cases torticollis (curvature of the neck) may also occur. Muscle contracture is also a potential cause of stabbing pain in the back .

What to do:
Stretching exercises are a great help to stretch your muscles and feel more relaxed. Getting into a comfortable position and slowly turning your head from side to side can also help relax your upper muscles.

8. Shingles

Shingles is a disease that can occur in various parts of the body, causing tingling, burning sensation, pain and red blisters on the skin. Because shingles is an infection caused by the chickenpox virus, it can cause pain in the middle of the back. The pain of shingles can be severe, and if your back is affected by shingles,feel a stabbing pain in the back.

What to do:
In the treatment of shingles, antiviral drugs with the active ingredients of acyclovir, fanciclovir or valacyclovir can be used to reduce the proliferation of the virus and the blisters on the skin, as prescribed by the doctor.

9. Wrong posture

Improper posture while sleeping, walking, or even working can cause severe pain in the lower back or upper back. Incorrect posture is also a dangerous risk factor for other spinal problems, such as scoliosis or torticollis.

What to do:
Standing upright while working, walking or even sleeping will distribute your body weight better. In this way, you should make lifestyle changes by choosing positions that reduce back pain. You can also do yoga or exercises prescribed by a physical therapist to improve posture.

10. Arthritis

Arthritis is a form of inflammation that can affect various parts of the spine, causing symptoms such as joint deformity, inflammation, stiffness or difficulty moving. Although rare, arthritis can make your daily life difficult by causing stabbing pain in the back .

What to do:
A rheumatologist should be consulted to confirm symptoms and diagnosis, and to perform laboratory and imaging tests. Thus, the doctor can offer you the most appropriate treatment, which can be done with analgesic, anti-inflammatory or corticoid drugs, or in some cases, surgery.

11. Aortic aneurysm

An aortic aneurysm is an enlargement of the walls of the aortic artery located in the abdomen or chest. An aortic aneurysm usually does not show symptoms at first, but when it grows, it can cause some symptoms such as severe and stabbing pain in the back . The discomfort felt may manifest as pain on the right side of the back or as right chest pain .

What to do:
The treatment of an aortic aneurysm depends on its severity, location, and the presence of other associated diseases. Surgery to remove the altered portion of the aorta may also be recommended by your doctor. If necessary, placement of a tube to replace the blood vessel is also among the treatment options.

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12. Ankylosing spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis can cause back pain due to injury to the spine, leading to symptoms such as difficulty moving the spine and pain. Pain from ankylosing spondylitis can get worse when a person is moving and usually improves with rest.

What to do: Treatment involves receiving physiotherapy (physical therapy)
, which is necessary to increase flexibility . In addition to physiotherapy, it may be necessary to use analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs or muscle relaxants under the supervision of a doctor to relieve pain and improve joint mobility.

13. Pregnancy

During pregnancy, especially in the last months of pregnancy, you may experience mild or moderate back pain due to the extra weight on the body due to the baby. Although rare, you may sometimes feel pain like a stabbing in the back .

What to do:
Massage, stretching exercises, and in some cases physical therapy are recommended to relieve back pain during pregnancy. However, you should consult a physiotherapist or obstetrician before taking any treatment or exercising.

When should I see a doctor for stabbing pain in the back?

It is recommended that you see your doctor if the pain does not go away like a stabbing pain in the back, if it comes on suddenly and if the back pain is accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea or shortness of breath. Your doctor may order tests to determine the cause and then begin the most appropriate treatment, which may include the use of analgesics such as paracetamol, anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen , or surgery.

During the examination, you should tell the doctor about the characteristics of your pain, when it started, or if it hurts only when you perform a certain movement. It is also important that you say what you are doing to relieve the pain. It may also be helpful to tell your doctor if you have a sedentary lifestyle and what your job is. With this information, your doctor can make the diagnosis faster and start the best treatment.

How does the pain go away like a knife stuck in the back?

Here are some things you can do to relieve back pain at home before a doctor’s appointment:

  1. Rest:
    You can relieve your pain by lying on the floor or on a hard mattress for half an hour each day.
  2. Warm compresses:
    Applying a warm compress with 3 drops of rosemary essential oil exactly to the pain area for 15 minutes a day can relieve your pain.
  3. Get a massage :
    Getting a massage with warm almond oil (but not too hard) can ease your pain.
  4. Pilates exercises :
    It helps to strengthen the back and abdominal muscles by fighting the cause of pain and relieves back pain.
  5. Medications: Medications
    prescribed by your doctor to treat back inflammation and related pain can relieve your pain.

In addition, it is important to adopt good posture in everyday life to protect the spine. Improving your posture can prevent many potential problems, including back pain. You should also follow your doctor’s advice, other than medications, to reduce pain.

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