What Causes a Burning Sensation in the Lower Back?


Quick Answer

Burning lower back pain is often due to sciatica, a condition that is caused by a compressed sciatic nerve, explains the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. This burning pain often is combined with pain through the buttocks then down one leg and possibly into the foot.

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What Causes a Burning Sensation in the Lower Back?
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Full Answer

Sciatica is caused by a number of situations, including lumbar spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis and even pregnancy, according to WebMD. Sciatica can happen often and can severely debilitate some patients, but in others, it infrequently happens and may simply be irritating. However, this condition always has the potential to worsen over time. A person should contact a doctor if experiencing sciatica symptoms with progressive weakness in the lower extremities, loss of bowel or bladder control or numbness in the upper thighs.

There are a number of treatments available for sciatica, claims WebMD. Oral medications are one of the most common ways to treat the pain associated with the condition and include over-the-counter pain relievers, prescription muscle relaxers and antidepressants. A doctor may also choose to give a patient a steroid injection to relieve the pain. If medication and injections do not work, surgery may be recommended, with the goal of treating the cause of sciatica. For instance, if a herniated disc is causing the pain, the disc is surgically repaired.

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