ZocdocAnswersWhat could be causing my intermittent but very strong back pain?

Question

What could be causing my intermittent but very strong back pain?

I have never had a back injury. However, when I was 6 years old, I had approximately 17 spinal taps. I'm now 26 and have been having bouts of severe back pain for several years. It feels like a lot of pressure and/or burning as opposed to stabbing pains. Is it possible that the spinal taps caused this? What can I do to relieve this?

Answer

Some questions that will help elucidate what the possible underlying cause for this intermittent back pain could be. Have you noticed that the back pain is in your lower back, near where they performed the spinal taps (usually along the lumbar region near the third, fourth and fifth bones)? Does the pain get worse or improve with laying, sitting, or standing, and does it improve when you lean forward? Have you noticed pain that travels down your leg or buttock? These are important questions to know, and bring up with your primary care doctor, because he or she will be able to take the answers to these questions along with your medical history and clinical symptoms and decide upon the appropriate work up. This may include imaging studies and possibly a referral to a specialist. There is a distinct possibility that the spinal taps could be causing this pain that you are experiencing. Rare complications of spinal taps include abnormal vascular connections between the arteries and veins in your back (spinal dural av fistual), or introduction of skin or fat tissue into the spinal canal which can cause abnormal tissue growth in that area. Of course, your primary care doctor would be best able to evaluate you and decide upon the next appropriate step and work up.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.