Commonly Asked Questions / Doctor's Answers Back Pain
I was just recently pregnant and had a healthy baby boy in November. Towards
the end of my pregnancy I developed a symptom that has me a bit concerned.
Every so often I will get an excruciating pain in my lower back that maybe
lasts 30 to 50 seconds. After it starts I sometimes notice it in my neck
towards the back. Usually it only comes on after exertion, but not like
exercising. ItĄ¯s more like when I am in a big hurry for work and run to get
into the car then - as I calm down - it comes on. It also happens when
I get really nervous or anxious.
It doesnĄ¯t happen really often, but enough for me to notice. It just seems
so strange because it can be sort of intense. I just went through pregnancy
and have had many lab tests and blood work done and everything was always
The only change in my lifestyle would be going through the pregnancy, and
that now I have my newborn IĄ¯m not getting much sleep. But I don't know how
that would relate. I cannot tell if this is coming from the muscle or deeper
into the body.
Does any of this sound like a real problem or could it possibly be just a
muscle or nerve problem in the back? If it could be the sign of something
really serious, what other symptoms would I have, if any? I am known to have
anxiety and to worry way too much. I was almost a hypochondriac a few years
ago. I always thought something was wrong. I was able to work through that
though and I do know these symptoms are real. I need reassurance that nothing
serious is wrong. This may seem odd but my mother-in-law had an aortic
aneurysm and I am wondering could it be something like that and the
arteries/vessels are causing pain? Thanks for your help and your advice.
eCureMe's Advice 1
Unfortunately, you spent most of the time describing how worried you are,
but did not spend enough time telling me specificities of the pain. Is it
radiating down the leg? Is it aggravated by sitting? Do you have any
history of back pain? To find out more, you would have to be examined to
see where the area of pain is. There are over a hundred things that this
eCureMe's Advice 2
A nerve root compression from a herniated disc could potentially cause
radiating pain downwards towards your feet. There may even be associated
weakness, numbness, or loss of bladder control.
These would be red flags to get evaluated by a neurologist, and perhaps get
an MRI of your back. If you are having these symptoms after pregnancy, I
would suspect it has something to do with musculoskeletal back pain, that
doesnĄ¯t involve nerves or the spinal cord but the muscle itself.
This should resolve in time with stretching and strengthening exercises.
While an aortic aneurysm is in the list of possibilities for someone with
back pain, it is unlikely in your case. An ultrasound of your abdomen
should help rule this out, and the suspicion would be greater if there
were physical exam findings your physician may elicit. I'd bring this up
the next time you visit him or her, but this possibility is again, not
likely. Good luck.
eCureMe's Advice 3
An aortic aneurysm usually causes back pain that radiates to the back, so i
doubt this is the cause. Most pain in the back is muscular strain or possibly
a herniated disc. I would suggest a check up and x-rays and if the pain
persists, I would see a specialist