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Back Pain When Twisting Torso

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What Causes A Back Strain Or Sprain

Hang & Twist Back Pain Treatment

Twisting or pulling a muscle or tendon can result in a strain. It can also be caused by a single instance of improper lifting or by overstressing the back muscles. A chronic strain usually results from overuse after prolonged, repetitive movement of the muscles and tendons.

A sprain often occurs after a fall or sudden twist, or a blow to the body that forces a joint out of its normal position. All of these conditions stretch one or more ligaments beyond their normal range of movement, causing injury.

In addition, several factors can put a person at greater risk for a back strain or sprain, including:

  • Curving the lower back excessively
  • Being overweight
  • Having weak back or abdominal muscles, and/or tight hamstrings .

Playing sports that involve pushing and pullingsuch as weightlifting and footballalso increases the risk of a low back injury.

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What Is The Upper Back

If you want to understand your upper back pain, start with an anatomy lesson.

Pain in the upper and/or mid back is less common than lower back or neck pain. One 2015 Mayo Clinic review of studies suggests that about a third of people get lower back or neck pain , compared to less than one-fifth reporting upper back pain.

The upper back is the region below the cervical spine and above the low back . The upper back is called the thoracic spine, and it is the most stable part of the spine. The range of motion in the upper back is limited because of the spines attachments to the ribs .

Think of your spine as a tree trunk. It keeps you standing upright. It connects parts of your skeleton to each other. It carries the weight of your upper body.

Since thats a massive job, the spine itself shares some of the physical load with nearby muscles, some of which include:

  • Trapezius: Near your shoulder blade, helps you stand straight and throw

  • Latissimus dorsi: Lower on your back, helps with arm movement and breathing

  • Rhomboids: Adjacent to trapezius, supports your shoulders and helps you pull

When you hurt your upper or mid back doing yard work or playing tennis, chances are high youve injured one of these muscles. The most common reason we see people with upper back pain is a simple musculoskeletal strain, says Reginald Knight, MD, Director of Bassett Spine Care Institute in Cooperstown, NY.

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Localized Pain Tenderness And Inflammation

The muscular back pain you experience would be concentrated in a specific area, such as the lower back. It may extend to the buttocks or hips but would not travel down your legs to the calves and the feet. A strained muscle can also be inflamed and tender to touch, swelling for a few days. You can expect spasms or cramps to occur as well.

Cause of Problem Type of Pain
Muscular Condition The cause of muscular pain is overexertion or awkward movement. People are often aware of what caused the problem, such as overdoing yard work or lifting something heavy. Your back pain is localized or may only bother you when youre in a certain position. In some cases, the pain extends to the supporting muscles in the buttocks and hips. The pain will feel like a dull ache or tightness in the muscles.
Spinal Condition Injury, arthritis, or wear-and-tear on the vertebrae, facet joints, or discs are the common spine-related causes of back pain. The back pain can shoot to other parts of the body, such as your legs and glutes. You may also experience an ache in the groins due to nerve compression. A constant, burning or electric type of pain would be felt, along with other symptoms like incontinence and weakness in the limbs.

How To Tell If You Are Suffering From A Herniated Disc

Do you get upper back or chest pain when breathing or twisting ...

We use our back for lots of activities probably more than we realize. When we lift, bend, walk, climb stairs, even sit still the back plays a pivotal role. Its no real surprise, then, that back pain is one of the most common medical complaints among both men and women in the U.S., as well as a major cause of work absences and disability.

Lots of issues can cause back pain, but two of the most common causes are muscle strain and herniated discs. Both conditions have different causes, and both require very different types of treatment. But how can you tell whether the pain youre experiencing is due to strain or if its from a herniated disc? The first step is to know what symptoms to look for.

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How Does Back Pain Breakthrough Work

The Back Pain Breakthrough training program uses straightforward movements to align your spinal column and release all the tension building in your back.

These movements take just 30 seconds to perform and requires no equipment. This program relieves back pain while dealing with herniated, bulging, and slipped discs.

The spinal column consists of vertebrae, spinal discs, and the spinal nerve. A healthy back has a space in between the spinal nerve and the vertebrae.

Regrettably, many of us, through no fault of our own, do not have that space. Instead, the vertebrae are pressed onto the spinal nerve. When that takes place, the nerves become compressed and cause extreme pain.

This is called nerve impingement, and its the primary reason for back pain.

Now, as you can just imagine, the spinal nerve is incredibly sensitive. When your vertebrae press against it since its not meant to be touched, a red-hot fire shoots through your whole back.

Your pain levels vary throughout the day because the more pressure the vertebrae apply to the spinal nerve, the worse the pain will be.

You will experience dull, mild pain when your vertebrae slightly press against your spinal nerve. However, when your vertebrae apply substantial force to the nerve, you will experience an intense, stabbing sciatic kind of pain that radiates down your legs.

This is because the spinal nerve is so tightly compressed that the nerves in the legs start to over-fire, causing unbearable stinging pain.

How Is Lumbar Strain Diagnosed

In addition to a complete medical history and physical exam, diagnosing low back pain may include the following. However, specialized tests aren’t often required.

  • X-ray. A diagnostic test that produces images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.
  • CT scan. This is an imaging test that uses X-rays and a computer to make detailed images of the body. It shows details of the bones, muscles, fat, and organs.
  • MRI. This test uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to make detailed images of organs and structures in the body.
  • Radionuclide bone scan. A nuclear imaging technique that uses a very small amount of radioactive material, which is injected into your blood to be detected by a scanner. This test shows blood flow to the bone and cell activity in the bone.
  • Electromyogram . A test to evaluate nerve and muscle function.

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Why Back Pain Requires A Team Approach To Care

Whether back pain requires surgery or is manageable with conservative treatment, its important to see a spine specialist for diagnosis and care. The doctors at our Spine Center work as a team with experts in nerve, muscle, and bone conditions, as well as nurses and physical therapists who work closely with patients to manage symptoms and reduce the risk of recurrence.

Each week, our multidisciplinary team meets to discuss challenging cases and educate each other on the latest research and techniques. Together, we see a range of patients with complex medical needs. For example, if a patient with a spinal infection is taking a medication that suppresses the immune system, such as immunotherapy for cancer, we work together to find an effective treatment that is safe for their unique needs.

Lumbar Spine Motion Can Cause A Disc Herniation

How to Fix Lower Back Pain off to the Side

Your lumbar spine is constantly in motion, and it also carries the entire weight of your upper body. This makes your lumbar spine particularly prone to injuries.

See Causes of Pain in the Lumbar Spine

The motion in your lumbar spine is divided into 5 spinal motion segments. Each of these segments is made up of 2 cartilage-covered facet joints and a spinal disc that provides shock absorption and prevents adjacent vertebrae from grinding together.

Your two lowest discs endure the most strain, and therefore are the most likely to become herniated.1He A, Wang WZ, Qiao PF, Qiao GY, Cheng H, Feng PY. Quantitative Evaluation of Compressed L4-5 and S1 Nerve Roots of Lumbar Disc Herniation Patietns by Diffusion Tensor Imaging and Fiber Tractography. World Neurosurgery. 2018 115, e45-e52. doi:10.1016/j.wneu.2018.03.134 A herniation can lead to sciatic pain that radiates down your leg and to your foot.

Symptoms of a lumbar herniated disc vary widely. Watch:Lumbar Herniated Disc Video

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Is It A Pulled Muscle In Your Back Or Something Worse


Could the back pain youre suddenly feeling be a pulled muscle? Or could it be something worse?

Youre out for a morning run and stop to tie your shoe. When you bend forward, you feel a sudden sharp pain in your lower back. Chances are good that youve pulled a back muscle.

In most cases, back pain in the lower back is caused by overstressing the soft tissues that support the lower spine. These muscles and ligaments support the bodys weight and hold the body upright. When they are pushed too far, the result can be a muscle strain or what we commonly call a pulled muscle. You feel it as a sharp, sudden muscle pain or spasm. Depending on the severity of the injury, pain from a pulled muscle can be mild or it can be severe.

Thoracic Back Pain Red Flags

If you have thoracic spine pain, these are the alarm features to look out for:

  • Recent serious injury, such as a car accident or a fall from a height.
  • Minor injury or even just heavy lifting in people with ‘thinning’ of the bones .
  • Age under 20 or over 50 years when the pain first starts.
  • A history of cancer, drug misuse, HIV infection, a condition that suppresses your immune system and use of steroids for a long time .
  • Feeling generally poorly – for example, a high temperature , chills and unexplained weight loss.
  • A recent infection by a germ .
  • Pain that is there all the time, severe and getting worse.
  • Pain that wasn’t caused by a sprain or strain .
  • Pain that doesn’t get better after 2-4 weeks of treatment.
  • Pain that is accompanied by severe stiffness in the morning.
  • Changes to the shape of the spine, including the appearance of lumps or bumps.
  • Pins and needles, numbness or weakness of the legs that is severe or gets worse over time.
  • Passing wee or poo accidentally .

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The Different Types Of Back Pain

Your back is made up of many interconnected and overlapping structures such as spinal nerves, intervertebral discs, facet joints, and large muscles. Back pain is the bodys signal that there is something wrong with one of these parts. Back pain comes in three major types: neuropathic pain, bone and cartilage pain, and muscle and ligament pain.

Is Twisting Bad For Your Back

Spinal Twist

The short answer yes and no. Twisting of the lumbar spine is dangerous and can be quite harmful. The most common and a significant issue can be a disc tear. In order to avoid this, rotation of the mid back or thoracic spine and hips is better for you. Twisting the low back is among the three movements that can cause significant injury to the low back. The others are bending and lifting. Imagine that your disc has two parts. An inner gel and outer onion layer, the outer onion section is made of several layers. That onion layer is made primarily of collagen and can be progressively injured, layer by layer, the more you bend, lift and twist your low back. Once injured, the inner gel can find its way out of the opening and cause some serious pain and disability.

So, does this mean that we should all stop twisting? Of course this isnt realistic and quit frankly impossible, since vacuuming and even walking has a twisting component in it. Also think of all the athletes that twist including tennis players, golfers, hockey and baseball players. These athletes have been putting a significant amount of force through rotation after rotation for their entire career. The only difference is that they learned how to rotate more efficiently. This means stop twisting the low back and learn to use your hips and midback. You need to learn to stop moving the low back and stiffen it up.

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Overuse And Injuries Can Lead To Cartilage Breakdown

Repetitive motions and overuse injuries, especially for athletes, can lead to spinal osteoarthritisor the mechanical breakdown of the cartilage between your aligning facet joints in the back portion of the spine.

See Symptoms and Diagnosis of Facet Joint Disorders

Typical symptoms include:

  • More stiffness and pain in the lower spine and sacroiliac joint in the mornings and later in the day.
  • Low back pain radiating to the pelvis, buttocks, or thighsand sometimes to the groin.

While overuse and injuries can potentially accelerate the development of osteoarthritis later in life, it is important to remember that staying active is a key part of a healthy lifestyle. Check with your doctor as to which exercises are appropriate for you, and how to perform exercises safely.

Excessive motion in the spine can lead to cartilage breakdown. Watch: Lumbar Osteoarthritis Video

Diagnosing Chest And Back Pain

Do not try to self-diagnose chest and back pain.

While many causes are common and dont lead to serious consequences if left untreated, it is not always easy to tell.

See your doctor or healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and to avoid severe complications.

Your doctor will diagnose chest and back pain in one or more of the following ways:

  • Take your medical history and consider relevant related conditions
  • Perform a physical examination
  • Order x-ray, CT scan, or other diagnostic imaging Order blood workOrder an electrocardiogram

In many cases, a physical exam, history, and electrocardiogram are the only tests that are needed, but your healthcare provider will determine the appropriate test for your symptoms.

After the results of the examination and tests, your provider will be able to give you a diagnosis and a better idea of how to manage your chest and back pain.

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Relieving Your Back Pain

Yoga for back pain is an effective method to relieve discomfort in the spine and strengthen muscles surrounding it. While yoga is a traditional method of connecting the body and mind, a new technique from MyBackPainCoach, using a combination of eight simple movements, may help rid you of back pain. All thats needed is twenty minutes per day, a place to lie down, a chair, pillow, or towel, to place under your head. For more information on this revolutionary technique, follow the link for more details, and banish back pain forever.

A Dull Ache When You Move

How to Fix a Twisted Back

If your muscles are strained, they will feel like a sore or tight ache. A pulled muscle would not feel hot, tingling, or electric like an irritated nerve root would. The pain would only subside while you are relaxed and resting, as the tension and spasms are alleviated. However, the pain would most likely flare up when you get up to move again.

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Thoracic Back Pain Treatment

  • You may not need any treatment as many cases settle down without it.
  • If you have an underlying cause, this will need treatment of its own accord.
  • If the pain is coming from a joint in the spine this may be helped by an injection performed under X-ray vision .
  • Surgery which opens the covering of the spinal canal to treat a slipped disc causing thoracic spine pain can be a dangerous operation. However, a less risky technique involving surgery through the skin is sometimes performed.

The Ache Wont Go Away

Youve tried the DIY treatments, gotten massages, and maybe even bought a new mattress. If your upper back is persistently hurting, it mayvery rarelybe a sign of a lung tumor. The American Cancer Society points out that advanced lung cancer may contribute to bone pain. Weight loss, chest pain, and weakness are also signs of lung cancer.

Recommended Reading: Total Care Injury & Pain Center

Spinal Movements Associated With Twisting Your Back

When you twist your lower back abnormally, it can cause discomfort, serious pain and even injury, especially when youre out of shape or have poor core strength. Consider the most common twisting you do in a day:

  • Exercise on gym equipment
  • Walking, jogging, stretching and yoga
  • Picking up, moving or carrying heavy items
  • Gardening, including picking fruits or vegetables
  • Sitting down, kneeling or reaching
  • Household chores like vacuuming
  • Athletic activities

The small groups of muscles situated closest to your spinal column, called spinalis muscles, are the muscles that allow you to twist, bend and move your body in various positions and in different directions. Injuries occur when you subject these muscles to unusual or unnecessary stress, such as overstretching or doing excessive amounts of heavy weightlifting.

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