Back pain — particularly in your lower back — is a common symptom. The pain can range from dull and aching to sharp and stabbing. Back pain can be due to an acute injury or a chronic condition that causes consistent discomfort. Pain can lead to dizziness.... Read more
Back pain — particularly in your lower back — is a common symptom. The pain can range from dull and aching to sharp and stabbing. Back pain can be due to an acute injury or a chronic condition that causes consistent discomfort.
Pain can lead to dizziness. Dizziness is a condition that can cause you to feel like the room is spinning. Like back pain, dizziness is a common complaint.
What causes back pain and dizziness?
Dizziness can lead to many sensations in addition to a spinning room. You may feel light-headed, as if you’re floating or might pass out. Or you might be unable to maintain your balance. Each symptom is associated with several causes.
Back pain also can have numerous causes. Your back is responsible for lifting, twisting, supporting, and absorbing shock to your body. With these functions come many possibilities for injury to occur. The delicate bones along your spinal column contain the nerves of your spinal cord. A bone or a supportive disk that slips out of place can put pressure on your nerves, leading to pain.
When you experience back pain and dizziness together, the cause could be:
- acute back injury, such as after a car accident, in which the pain is so intense it makes you feel faint
In rare instances, back pain and dizziness can signal a severe condition, such as a stroke or brain hemorrhage. If you experience double vision, slurred speech, numbness, and severe balance issues, these could be signs of a medical emergency.
If you experience back pain and dizziness during a blood transfusion, these can be symptoms of a severe transfusion reaction. Immediately notify your medical provider.
When should I seek medical help?
Call 911 or have someone drive you to an emergency room if you suspect you may be experiencing a stroke or heart attack. Additional symptoms include confusion, chest pain, and loss of control on one side of your body. Intense back pain and dizziness that results in a loss of sensation to your legs is also a medical emergency.
Notify your doctor immediately if:
- your back pain and dizziness don’t resolve with home care after three days
- you experience hearing loss or worsening symptoms
- you experience back pain and dizziness while you’re receiving a blood transfusion
Seek medical attention or contact your doctor immediately if you experience back pain and dizziness after taking a new medication.
How are back pain and dizziness treated?
Treatments for back pain and dizziness are dependent upon the cause. Rest after injury can often help reduce back pain. Physical therapy exercises to stretch and strengthen your back may help decrease dizziness related to intense pain.
In some instances, your symptoms may require more significant interventions, such as injections to relieve pain and surgery to reduce nerve compression. Your doctor can prescribe medications to reduce dizziness. Antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and meclizine (Antivert), also may help treat dizziness.
How can I take care of back pain and dizziness at home?
If your back pain and dizziness are related to an injury, resting and icing your back can help ease pain and inflammation. Always keep the ice covered with a cloth. Leave it on for no more than 10 minutes at a time to prevent injuring your skin.
How can I prevent back pain and dizziness?
Practicing careful lifting techniques when moving heavy objects can help prevent acute back injuries. Exercising regularly can keep your back flexible and strong, which reduces your injury risk.
Maintaining a healthy weight also can reduce back pain. Added weight puts extra stress on your body, which can lead to pain. Being overweight also increases your risk for a cardiovascular event, such as stroke or heart attack.
Smoking can also affect your spine, leading to back problems earlier in life. If you smoke, quitting can improve your health in a number of ways.