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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes moving pain in the back?

Answered by
Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3129 Questions

Posted on Wed, 18 Oct 2017 in Medicines and Side Effects
Question: What causes pain that seems to come across the back muscles .....moving pain from one side of the back to the other.........staying there for some time...................and then let up after using ice . Sometimes it is severe. Now I am unable to keep food down.
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 25 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

The pain is likely to be either from a strain or injury, or depending on the location, it could be from the pancreas or gallbladder/liver or kidneys.

Regarding the vomiting, that may be from using naproxen, which can irritate the stomach lining, or if the pain is from an infection or or inflammation of one of the organs I mentioned above, it could be from that too.

The only way to sort this out at this point is to go in to see a doctor who can do a physical exam, and depending on the areas that are affected, he or she may either order X-rays, or blood and urine tests. But I do advise that you go in to be seen now, especially if your pain has been severe and you are also vomiting.

If you cannot get in to see your doctor or his/her partners today, then go in to an urgent care clinic and request, specifically, to see a doctor and not a PA or NP. Many urgent cares are staffed mostly by physician's assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) who don't have the depth of knowledge or training a physician has, so make sure the receptionist is clear that you have been told you need to see a doctor and not a PA or NP.

If you are willing, please let me know how you are doing after you have been examined.

A bit more information: kidney infections can cause nausea, vomiting, and pain behind the waist. It is less likely to be the problem because your pain is traveling, but sometimes people have pain in atypical places. Pancreatic pain can cause shooting pain to the back, usually the left side, and Gall bladder/liver problems can cause pain typically radiating to the right side. Sometimes systemic type infections can cause muscle pain too. But the only way to get this sorted out is to be seen in person.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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