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Stabbing Pain in Back

Kidney stone and herniated disc are the most common causes of back pain. Here is information about the potential causes and treatment options for severe backache.
Madhura Pandit Jun 22, 2019
Did you know poor physical fitness is one of the most prominent risk factors for back pain?

Back pain is a most annoying condition. It can range from mild, dull pain that lasts for a long time to excruciating and throbbing pain that comes and goes. Knowing the exact location, severity and type of pain can aid quick and proper diagnosis of the root cause.


Herniated Disc

Herniated disc, also known as ruptured disc or slipped disc occurs when the disc, placed between two vertebrae, slips or ruptures. It can occur due to accident, injury or aging. Pain caused due to herniated disc origins in the back and runs down the leg. Sciatica is also an important cause of stabbing pain on one side of the back that runs down in the leg.

Kidney Stone

Kidney stones can be of two types: calcium stones and uric acid stones. They are formed when the amount of calcium or uric acid in the body increases. Having excess of calcium supplements, high protein diet can lead to formation of calcium stones.
On the other hand, not drinking enough water or not passing sufficient amount of urine also leads to kidney stone. Apart from backache, pain in lower abdomen, difficulty and pain during urination, etc., are the symptoms of this disease.


Osteoporosis is a degenerative disease caused due to decrease in bone mass and density. The exact cause of this disease is unknown; yet it is believed that aging, diet and hormones, play an important role in causing this disease. Osteoporosis is one of the significant causes of stabbing pain in upper back.


Injury or trauma to the back due to accident or fall is a common cause of back pain. Sudden bending, lying down, lifting a heavy object, muscle spasm, sprain of the ligaments in the back can also cause injury to the muscles, resulting in a sharp back pain.
In minor cases, severe backache could be due to improper posture while sleeping or sitting and the pain caused due to it doesn't last long. It can be treated with home remedies like resting or using compress. But, you must consult a doctor if back pain is accompanied with stiffness leading to lack of mobility, fever, chills, pain in legs, head/abdomen, etc.


X-ray, CT scan and MRI are the methods used to diagnose the cause of back pain.
At the same time, if the person clearly and precisely explains the nature, location and severity of pain, the doctor can diagnose the cause quickly. In some cases, medications, painkillers are effective; whereas, in severe cases, a surgery may even be required.
Kidney stone can be treated with the help of medications (if the stone is small in size) or surgery (if the stone is large). Osteoporosis can be treated with medications, physical therapy and hormone therapy. Herniated disc is also treated using either medication, physical therapy or surgery.
On the other hand, there are several other methods like exercise, physical therapy, acupuncture and acupressure that are equally helpful in providing relief. But, these methods usually help in treating pain caused due to minor causes.
It is recommended to consult the doctor and get the underlying cause diagnosed before opting for these methods. At the same time, any medication, painkiller, etc., should be taken only after consulting the doctor.
As preventive measures, you should follow a healthy lifestyle, and exercise regularly to increase the flexibility of muscles. Secondly, you should also maintain proper posture while sitting, sleeping or walking to prevent injury, sprain, and pain in future. Take care!
Disclaimer: Note that this information is meant only for educational purposes; and should not be substituted for medical consultation and treatment.