Burning in the back


Burning in the back is a symptom that can be caused by many different medical conditions. It is a subjectively perceived feeling that those affected describe as a superficial burning sensation under the skin or as deeper pain. The term burning is used to qualitatively describe the type of pain. To clarify the cause, further symptoms and a discussion with a doctor afterwards are helpful.


The causes for the burning sensation in the back can be very different. It can be triggered by the bones and muscles, but also by internal organs. What is hidden behind a burning sensation in the back can usually be explained through a thorough discussion (anamnese) and a clinical examination by a doctor. In many cases, the burning sensation in the back has an uncomplicated cause that can be successfully treated by changing behavior and using certain therapeutic measures.

Burning in the back when sitting

A majority of people have to for work reasons sitting for several hours a day. After a while, many notice a burning sensation in the back area. This feeling is often triggered by a tense posture, which leads to overuse of the back muscles. A important role in the development of the complaints, therefore, plays the role Attitude of those affected.
Long periods of sitting or standing are generally very stressful for the back and many people find it difficult to keep their back straight for hours.
Not infrequently then imagines Hunchback, where it is a Bad posture acts, which usually aggravate or even cause the burning pain.The muscles are exposed to permanent monotonous stress. This can lead to severe tension, which can even manifest itself over several days, similar to sore muscles.
By small Relaxation exercises or movement can alleviate the symptoms. Correct posture of the back when sitting and standing is also important to prevent permanent discomfort. Recurring back pain can be the first sign of excessive strain or poor posture.

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In many cases there are also the muscles in addition to the muscles annoy affected. While most back pain comes from the muscles, sometimes irritation to the nerves can be responsible for a shooting pain and burning sensation. Often times these symptoms are also experienced by one tingle and one Feeling weak accompanied. This back area is also very sensitive to pressure and touch.
Due to the pain and the burning sensation, the sufferer often tends to Relieving posture to take. This initially has a pain relieving effect, but in the longer term it has a harmful effect on the muscles, as this leads to further incorrect stress. This process often shows up in those affected by a herniated disc or sciatic nerve irritation.
Furthermore, nerves can get through mechanical stimuli or through Inflammation be harmed. Back pain can also be an indication of an infectious disease. For example, one could be considered Shingles. It is a disease that is caused by viruses. She will too Herpes zoster called. The patient can be a carrier of these viruses for a long time, because they are often able to implant themselves in certain areas of the nerve roots of the spinal cord and the cranial nerves without causing symptoms.
At Defensive weakness, Stress or strain can then lead to it Activation of the viruses come. They then cause severe inflammation along the nerves. Pain and blister-like formations appear, typically limited to one side of the back. The inflammation can be very uncomfortable for the patient and it is not uncommon for pain to persist after the other symptoms have healed.

Burning in the chest and back

A burning sensation in the back can also be triggered by structures or organs located in the chest. The doctor says that the pain then radiates into the back. The burning sensation can come from the muscular or the bony structures in the chest.
Examples include injuries to the chest muscles and lateral flank muscles or injuries to the ribs due to accidents. The pain can then extend into the back.
The chest also contains some organs such as the heart, lungs and stomach that can cause back pain. The burning or pain can be caused by various heart diseases. It is not uncommon for a burning sensation to develop during an angina pectoris attack.
In many cases, these symptoms are the precursors to a heart attack.

Other diseases such as disorders of the heart valves, inflammation of the pericardium and also the widespread high blood pressure (hypertension) can also cause a burning sensation in the chest. A medical clarification of the symptoms is necessary here in any case to avoid complications.

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  • Burning in the upper back
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Burning in the back when breathing

Furthermore, diseases of the lungs can also be considered as a cause of back pain.
If pain occurs simultaneously with the rhythmic movement of breathing, a lung disease such as bronchial asthma, pneumonia (pneumonia) or a crack in the pleura (Pneumothorax) are available. The patient has pain when moving the chest and with all the diseases mentioned, it is difficult to breathe.

Read more about this on our website Pain in the back when breathing.

Burning in the back when lying down

When lying down, some people experience a burning sensation in the chest, which can then extend into the back. Especially people with known diseases of the heart or lungs have the problem that their symptoms usually worsen when lying down. Patients often sleep with their upper bodies elevated to alleviate the symptoms.
Furthermore, the burning sensation when lying down can also be caused by the esophagus. Many patients who suffer from an acidic stomach experience increased heartburn when they lie down.

You may also be interested in this topic: Burning in the lower back

Stomach problems and burning in the back

Different Diseases of the stomach can also be the reason for feeling pain in the back. Acid regurgitation may cause this heartburn or even bacterial infections be.
Heartburn is one of the most common causes and is triggered by stomach acid flowing back into the esophagus (Reflux). A Overproduction of stomach acid underlying or the sphincter at the junction between the esophagus and the stomach entrance no longer prevents the reflux properly. If the symptoms persist, there is also the risk that esophageal cancer will develop on the basis of the changed mucous membrane.
Other gastric disorders like one Inflammation of the mucous membranes can also be considered. This inflammation can also be caused by pathogens like that Helicobacter pylori caused. In case of a Helicobacter pylori infection longer antibiotic treatment is required so that the gastric mucosa can heal completely again.


There are many different conditions to consider when looking for a diagnosis of the presence of a burning sensation in the back. In an exact anamnese the doctor can receive information that can give an initial indication of the causes of the symptoms. The symptoms can come from the muscles, the nerves, the bones or the internal organs.

Is there any suspicion that the Skeletal system diseased Various tests are carried out on the function of the back muscles, nerves and also the bones. The focus is on measuring the function and to what extent this is causing the complaints. Various imaging methods such as Computed Tomography or Magnetic resonance imaging be included in the diagnosis. They are a popular tool to prevent injuries to bones and soft tissues.

If it is more of an organic cause, the clinical examination, which includes listening to the heart and lungs, can also be used X-rays as well as a Ultrasonic be helpful to pinpoint the underlying cause.

Is it a Disease of the stomach, in addition to a detailed conversation about eating habits, you sometimes also have one Gastroscopy by. Under a brief anesthetic, the gastric mucosa can be viewed from the inside using an endoscope. Uneven mucous membranes, erosions and also bloody deposits can be an indication of an inflammation of the mucous membranes.

The diagnosis, which results from the clinical examination and possibly imaging procedures, ultimately determines the course of treatment and is based on the underlying cause.


The therapy Burning in the back depends on the previous diagnosis. The aim is to relieve the patient of the symptoms and treat the causes. Depending on the cause, drug treatment or surgical treatment are possible.

In case of Injuries to the muscles or bone as well as nerves, regular physiotherapy / physiotherapy can also be helpful to correct possible overloading of the muscles, tension or bad posture.

In the case of injuries to the bone, the extent of the injury is decisive. Bruises and uncomplicated fractures in the vertebrae or ribs can also heal without surgery. Complicated fractures may have to be treated surgically in order to avoid complications or consequential damage.

In the case of an organic cause, it is directed Therapy after the disease of the organ. Heart attacks, heart valve disease, high blood pressure or angina pectoris (Chest tightness) are often treated with medication. Some heart diseases, such as a heart attack or valve dysfunction, require an operation. For example, closed vessels are given a stent or valves have to be replaced so that the heart does not become further ill.

Also Stomach disorders, especially Inflammation or heartburn be with different Medicines treated. Drugs that inhibit stomach acid production help relieve symptoms such as burning sensation and stomach pain. In the case of Helicobacter pylori infection, therapy with antibiotics must be initiated for several days so that the pathogen is completely removed from the stomach. The latter reduces gastric acid secretion. A good diagnosis is therefore very important for the correct therapy and should be carried out thoroughly.