Stabbing mid and lower back pain radiated to abdomen

Patient

Q: I am having lower and mid back pain and discomfort. There is a new issue which is very scary - when I press on my abdomen above between my bellybutton and my right hop, I get a stabbing pain in m y lower back. I cannot feel any lumps or anything, it just sends a shooting pain to my back whenever I touch my stomach there. What could this be?

Doctor

A:    The symptoms that you described might be due to a nerve compression or sensitive nerve irritation, caused by a muscle strain, degenerative process or a bulging disk at lumbar spine level, and you can feel it worst in some positions because in certain positions the intervertebral space gets smaller and compress the correspondent nerve. The pain can radiate to the abdomen ,upper thigh, leg or even to the foot depending of the lumbar segment involved. In order to confirm this diagnostic impression, the best imaging study is the MRI. Basically the conservative treatment is Physical Therapy aimed to recondition and stabilize the lumbar spine by re-educating you , teaching you a daily stretching routine for the lumbar area, strengthening of abdominal muscles, and other important general recommendations as follows: lose weight, sleeping with a pillow between the knees lying on the side, avoid activities that place additional strain on the lumbar spine (example: weight lifting). All of the above, with the objective to keep you as far as possible from episodes of acute low back pain, and also to preserve your quality of life. If the conservative measures do not seem to work, the local corticosteroid injection may be considered.

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