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back pain

Back Burning Sensation


Healthgrades Editorial Staff

What is a back burning sensation?

Back burning sensations are any sensations anywhere on the back that elicit a feeling of warmth or heat and may or may not be accompanied by pain. Back burning sensation may also be accompanied by a wide variety of other symptoms, some of which may include feelings of tingling or numbness (paresthesia) or itching.

A host of underlying events or conditions may cause back burning sensations. These include, but are not limited to, actual burns, including chemical, thermal or electrical burns; neurological problems, including pinched nerves; infectious conditions, such as shingles (herpes zoster); and muscle sprains, strains or spasms. Such underlying diseases as multiple sclerosis or encephalitis may also cause back burning sensations.

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Most people will experience back pains at some point in their lives. Although not all back pain is associated with back burning sensations, these sensations are quite common. Anyone may experience back burning sensations, although older people will more commonly experience these sensations because they are more susceptible to many of the underlying causes of these symptoms.

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Due to the wide variety of potential underlying causes of back burning sensations, you should always seek professional medical advice when you experience this symptom. Most of the time, back pain, including back burning sensations, will be treated with rest and pain medications.

Back burning sensations can be an indication of a serious underlying condition or disease. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if your back burning sensations are due to a serious burn or traumatic injury or are accompanied by severe weakness in the legs, incontinence of urine or stool, or high fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit). Seek prompt medical care if your back burning sensation is persistent or causes you concern.

Medical Reviewers: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Aug 31, 2016

© 2017 Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement.

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Medical References

  1. Burns. Medline Plus, a service of the National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.
  2. NINDS paresthesia information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

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