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How to get relief from sharp stabbing back pain and stiffness?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 10691 Questions
Just wondering about some very sharp stabbing pain I have been having on the right side, middle back area. The pain occurs sometimes when I make very small movements, and also when twisting or reaching for something, particularly when returning my right arm to its regular position. Leaning over a chair or counter is very painful, too. Along with this pain, I also have had some abdominal cramping--nothing too major, just annoying--and am getting over a cold/respiratory virus. One other thing, which may not be related: The night before, my husband and I were goofing around and he sort of jumped over me, hitting my abdomen, which was a little bloated that night, and I felt pain and heard a cracking/ripping sound. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! Thank you. (47, female, healthy)
Sat, 5 Jan 2013 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 40 minutes later
Thanks for posting your query.
The back pain and stiffness could be part of a mechanical back pain complex of symptoms. This mechanical back pain is caused due to bad posture at work, long work-hours in particular position, lack of proper sleep or healthy diet as well.

I suggest you to try back strengthening exercises by extension of the back muscles which can be taught by your Orthopedician or Physiotherapist. This will help to relieve the possible muscle spasm which causes the pain. One must also rule out inflammatory disorders, for which I recommend you to get a X-ray of your spine after consulting with an Orthopedician. MRI can be taken in case you have any nerve compression symptoms or as deemed necessary by your Orthopedician.

After a thorough physical examination by your Orthopedician, you may be prescribed pain killers and/or muscle relaxants which should give you relief. Physiotherapy may also be advised if necessary.
The pain and crackling sound you had in the abdomen is likely to be related to the injury you had. This is likely to subside in next few days after rest and hot fomentation.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: How to get relief from sharp stabbing back pain and stiffness? 1 hour later
I wonder if you might forward this question to an internist or general practice physician. I chose the category of "back pain" because none of the other categories seemed applicable. I am well acquainted with back pain, the pain I am having now came on suddenly and is different from back pain; the closest pain I can compare it to is when I had a broken rib once.

There is no stiffness. The pain is only on the right side, between my shoulder blade and my hip.

I would be interested in hearing what a general practice or XXXXXXX medicine physician would say about this. Thank you.
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 1 hour later
I cannot transfer this query to a XXXXXXX medicine specialist in the middle of our discussion. If you wish you can opt for 'Ask A Specialist' package where a General physician will answer.

I believe in my advice and is equally valid. You can do a hot fomentation in the area and take a mild pain killer meanwhile for relief.

Write back if you have further queries. Wishing you a trouble free speedy recovery.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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