Recognising the Different Types of Back Pain

back pain advice“Back pain” is a widely used and somewhat subjective term that can mean different things to different people.  For some, back pain may mean a dull and constant ache while for others it may be a term used to express sharp and sudden pain.

Here at our chiropractic clinic in Fareham, we believe in the importance of patients being able to recognise the different types of back pain. The more aware you are of your symptoms, the easier it will be for a medical professional to make an accurate diagnosis and devise an effective treatment plan.

Upper and Middle Back Pain

The upper and middle section of the back is known as the ‘thoracic vertebrae’ and runs from the base of your neck right to the bottom of your rib cage. As the bones in this section do not require much flexibility, middle and upper back pain is less common than lower back pain. Pain that is felt in this area is sometimes the result of the ribs pinching a nerve in the spine and sensations can range from sharp and burning to aching and stiffness.

Lower Back Pain

This is the most commonly reported type of back complaint with approximately 80% of people being affected at some point during their lives.

The lower back is a delicate section of bones, joints, muscles and nerves that all work incredibly hard to support the weight of the upper body. Improper use of the lower back such as slouching, sitting for long periods of time and lifting incorrectly can often trigger pain.

Lower back symptoms can range from stiffness and soreness to severe muscle spasms and pain.

Buttock and Leg Pain

Buttock and leg pain is sometimes cause by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve, which runs from the pelvis through to the feet. A ruptured or “slipped” disc is a common cause for pain in this area, which can range from mild to severe.

The majority of back pain doesn’t warrant a major cause for concern. However there  are warning signs that you should be aware of which could indicate a more serious cause.

These signs include:

  • Weight loss than cannot be explained
  • Persistent back pain that doesn’t ease following a period of rest
  • Pain that is high up in your back or that travels to your chest
  • Pain down your legs and below the knee
  • A recent injury to your back
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Inability to pass urine

Please note that this is a non-exhaustive list and any unexplained medical symptoms should  be examined by a GP.

For friendly chiropractic advice or to book an appointment with one of our experienced chiropractors, contact us today on 01329 280 283 or email

Homewood Chiropractic Clinic in Fareham, Southampton


Our Experience Counts: 55 Years in Fareham

Serving the people of Fareham, and surrounding areas of Southampton, Portsmouth, Hampshire and the local areas of Whiteley, Hedge End, Locks Heath & Portchester