Why Does My Back Feel Hot?

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: July 8, 2019

Back Feels Hot

If you’re experiencing a warming or burning sensation in your spine and you’re not dealing with a sunburn, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with an underlying spinal condition. A number of different back problems can present with symptoms that include a burning or warming sensation, so it’s not always easy to make a diagnosis with an online search. We’d be more than happy to provide you with a physical exam and comprehensive diagnosis, but we also want to point you in the right direction if you are looking for answers online as to what’s causing the hot sensation in your back.

Pinched Nerve

One of the more common spinal problems that can lead to a burning or warm sensation in your spine is a compressed nerve. When a spinal nerve is pinched, the signals it’s sending out can be misinterpreted by the brain, or it can send out pain signals that present as radiating or burning sensations. The good news is that pinched nerves can typically be treated with non-surgical treatment options like rest, stretching exercises, physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a condition that is more common in older individuals because it develops as a result of the natural narrowing of the spinal canal. If this process becomes too advanced, nerves or other spinal structures can become impinged, and similar to a pinched nerve, it can present with burning sensations.

Sciatic Nerve Damage

Your sciatic nerve is a large nerve that runs from your lower back down each of your legs, and damage or compression to part of the nerve can cause hot sensations in your spine or hips. Sciatic nerve problems tend to respond well to rest, ice, physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications, but it may be helpful to get an official diagnosis in order to know how to best treat the issue.


Shines is an infection of the nerves of the body that is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. If you’ve had chickenpox, the shingles virus is already in your system, but it remains dormant in the vast majority of individuals. Doctors aren’t sure what causes it to reappear as shingles in older individuals, but it produces a blistery rash in the torso and back, and this rash can feel like it’s hot or burning.

Lumbar Radiculitis

A final potential cause of a burning sensation in your spine is lumbar radiculitis. This is a condition that is caused by a herniated disc or arthritis of the facet joints in the spine, and it is categorized by irritation of the lower spinal nerves. This irritation can produce a burning sensation in the lower back that can radiate to your buttocks and legs. This tends to get better with posture improvements, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications and corticosteroid injections.

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