Lumbago symptoms – How to identify lumbago?

Identify of a lumbago

Pain in the back is a burden on the mind and performance. Is your back pain caused by lumbago? Here you will find answers about the symptoms and causes of lumbago.

Lumbago Symptoms and Causes

Lumbago can strike anyone. That one moment of supposed carelessness and a wrong move leads to a sharp pain that remains. When loading the dishwasher, lifting the child or carrying a heavy object: the pain shoots into the back and those affected can often only remain in the position of the initial length or move in great pain.

This sudden feeling of helplessness is frightening. Activities and movements that were previously completely normal and self-evident can no longer be done from one day to the next. You are dependent on help and everything else – your family and your job – have to wait for the time being. In this article, you will learn everything about the symptoms and causes of lumbago.

What is lumbago

In lumbago, the lower back muscles usually tense up abruptly after an event. The most common place is the lower back, lumbago in the neck or thoracic spine is possible – albeit less frequently. Lumbago is often triggered by a twisting and bending movement of the upper body. This is also called rotation and lateral flexion. A slowly increasing tension with increasing discomfort in the back can also occur. In the course of treatment, many patients report that they have had other physical complaints for weeks or that an increasing tension of the muscles was noticeable.

These are the most common symptoms of lumbago 

Often the pain occurs rather one-sidedly, namely between the buttocks and the torso. Many patients describe the pain in the middle of the spine, but on closer examination there are clear signs of one-sided overuse of the muscles. The stabbing pain is particularly excruciating when sitting or standing and some movements, such as bending, no longer work at all.

Lumbago in the lower back

If you have pain in your lower back, the following side effects may occur. Radiating pain to the buttocks, thighs or even forward into the groin is possible. In rare cases, even digestion is impaired.

If the pain radiates to the foot or calf and you also suffer from loss of strength or numbness, a herniated disc could be the cause. This should be clarified urgently.

Lumbago in the upper back

Difficulty breathing, as well as pain around the shoulder blade, are the most common symptoms of lumbago in the upper back and thoracic spine. The movement of the chest when breathing can trigger stabbing pain, as can raising the arms forward or to the side.

Severe chest pain, tightness in the chest or very severe pain between the shoulder blades should definitely be clarified by the emergency services and emergency doctor. Although they can be muscular and often are, a heart attack or an aortic dissection can also be the cause. Therefore, it is better to exclude the life-threatening diseases first and then continue the lumbago treatment.

Lumbago in the neck

Neck pain and lumbago in the neck usually leads to limited rotation and lateral tilt of the head. A glance over the shoulder is often impossible and the car ride becomes a torture. In addition, headaches and dizziness can occur, depending on how severely the tense muscles affect vessels and nerves.

The most common causes of lumbago 

During a detailed anamnesis interview, probable triggers for lumbago can be found, which are important on the one hand to quickly resolve the symptoms and on the other hand to make movement patterns or situations in everyday life more back-friendly.

Various causes can promote lumbago:

  • Sudden trauma: from a bump, blow or accident. 
  • One-time excessive load: on the back, such as heavy squats, too much weight on the leg press, too heavy lifting when moving
  • Slow-growing imbalances: in the body. Triggered by unhealed injuries of the musculoskeletal system. All this leads to a muscular imbalance over many weeks and months, which promotes lumbago. For example, an ankle injury can change the statics of the body in such a way that other muscle and joint pain will appear later.
  • High-risk pregnancy and a long birth process: If, due to risk factors, it is recommended to spend the pregnancy mainly lying down or due to persistent contractions to a very long birth, this can lead to strong muscular tension for the expectant mother, which should definitely be treated.
  • Hospitalization and prolonged illness: Again and again, I treat people who also build up strong muscular tension after intensive medical care, e.g. after a heart attack or a longer unfavorable stay in the hospital bed, because they cannot sleep in the usual position.
  • Travelers and truck drivers: This is a problem that business travelers in particular have. They often sit in the car for hours and don’t take a short break every 45 minutes. However, the back, but also the muscles and vessels in the pelvis urgently need this change. In the case of truck drivers, I have often observed that they carry the wallet in their back pocket. This inevitably leads to an uneven sitting position and pelvic obliquity. So get your wallet out of your back pocket, especially while driving.

Questions about symptoms and causes?  

Should you be unsure which cause triggers your complaints? Then give us a callback request!

In the Munich area, we provide immediate help for acute muscular back pain with the lumbago emergency call. After a thorough medical history and examination, signs of certain causes emerge, which can be discussed in a personal treatment.

Working together for a pain-free everyday life 

Such a strong pain as in an acute lumbago sets one’s life from 100 to 0. When every movement hurts, nothing is fun anymore. With our help, your mobility and performance can be increased again. Even if we cannot guarantee the alleviation of your complaints, we do our best every day!

Stay healthy.

Painless greetings

Hexenschuss Spezialist Bernhard Schwarz
Germany’s first lumbago specialist Bernhard Schwarz