Got a Medical Question? Ask a Doctor Online!
I have had serious back pain, left side, middle of back. (I had a cold about a week ago, and a mild cough.) I have not had a bowel movement for more than two days. I am wondering about intestinal obstruction. I am wondering about pleurisy. My back really hurts on the left side. Ice does not help. Heating pad helps a little bit.
Already Tried: Heating pad. Drinking fluids. Used ibuprofen twice, but it doesn't seem to help. I am on low-dose prednisone, recovering from polymyalgia rheumatica over the past two years. This pain does not feel like the pain from that ailment. It does not move around. And I have no pain anywhere else. The cold seems to be gone. This pain has been acute now for nearly 48 hours and I am getting afraid. I've been wondering about pleurisy. I also am wondering about intestinal obstruction.
Ok, thank you.The back pain may be due to a few things.I believe that a bowel obstruction is less likely given the fact that you are passing gas and you do not have abdominal pain or bloating. You can try milk of magnesia as long as you have healthy kidneys.Pleurisy is a definite possibility given the fact that the pain is sharp and worse with deep breathing. It can occur after a recent viral infection. However, ibuprofen typically helps with the pain...Muscular back pain is a third possibility but also should improve a bit with ibuprofen. Kidney stones can also cause severe back pain that, when moving down the urinary tract, radiates to the groin.The severity of your pain is concerning. I feel that you need a chest xray at the very least and possibly an abdominal xray to see what is going on (to look for kidney stone).Rare causes of severe back pain include aortic aneurysms and blood clots (usually shortness of breath present with clots, though).I would go to the ER given the severity of your pain so that you can be evaluated as well as get relief.Feel free to ask any follow up questions,Dr Abby
If you develop any of these symptoms go to the ER immediately:Increasing painChest painDizzinessShortness of breathAbdominal painFeverNausea or vomitingHeart palpitations (heart skipping beats)Dr Abby