What causes burning back pain?

Updated November 21, 2016

Burning back pain can be the result of a variety of circumstances. It may be the consequence of bending over and picking something up the wrong way, or from years of poor posture. Back pain can also be a sign of something more serious, even life threatening. If the condition worsens, make an appointment and follow through with what your physician suggests.

Tired and Tight Muscles

Burning back pain can be the result of tired and tight muscles. Perhaps you have sat for an extended period or maybe did some heavy lifting that has caused your muscles in the back to tighten up. Sometimes relieving this type of back pain requires a hot compress placed on the back, in 15-minute intervals, at the point where it's burning. Soaking in a hot bath may also relieve the burning pain from the tight muscles.

Diseases and Conditions

Burning back pain may also be a sign of paresthesia. If the burning pain slowly turns into a tingling or numbness, there may be some nerve damage to your back or some kind of injury. Consult with your doctor so he can rule out any type of disease that relates to the nerves such as diabetes, neuropathy or even multiple sclerosis.

Kidney Infection

A problem with the kidneys can produce burning back pain. A kidney infection begins when there is bacteria present in the urine. This can lead to a urinary tract infection, which rises into the urinary system and can result in a kidney infection. A person with a kidney infection can also experience painful urination, vomiting and even abdominal pain with the burning back pain.

Ruptured or Herniated Disk

As ageing occurs, we are prone to experiencing a ruptured or herniated disk. The nucleus of the disk may begin losing its fluid content, which causes it to become less firm and therefore becomes easily injured. A ruptured or herniated disk may be the cause of burning back pain--whether this is the result of poor lifting habits, a sports-related accident or the body's ageing. Proper posture may prevent a ruptured or herniated disk.


A woman's body changes dramatically during pregnancy. The added weight of the baby can add pressure on the back, causing a burning pain. During pregnancy, hormones can have a change of laxity with the joints. If the woman already had poor posture before the pregnancy, it may be harder for the body and back to adjust to the added weight of the pregnancy. Burning back pain during pregnancy can sometimes be relieved by strengthening the muscles through exercise. Ask your obstetrician which exercises he recommends.

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