What Causes Cold Sensation in Lower Back? 3 Common Diagnosis and Ways to Treat It!

You may be going about your day normally when you suddenly feel an odd, cold sensation in your lower back. Please don’t ignore it or brush it off. Pay attention! You may be mistaken if you think that’s a one-time thing.  

Experiencing cold sensation in lower back could be due to many reasons, ranging from mild to some pretty severe disorders. For example, you might be suffering from pinched nerves, or a slipped disc. Either way, it is essential to have this problem diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. 

What starts as a slight pain in the lower back or a menthol feeling in back may quickly aggravate to a serious neurological disorder. This could hamper your day-to-day tasks or, in the worst-case scenario, inflict bedrest for an indefinite period. 

This is why you must not ignore any symptoms, even if they are as benign as a cold spine feeling. Read on to find out what does it mean when your lower back feels cold and how you can treat it to reduce the pain and sensation. 

It starts as a cold feeling across lower back which turns into numbness and cruciating pain. This usually happens whenever the leg is stretched or pressure is applied to the sciatic nerve.

Causes of Cold Sensation in Lower Back

Why do I feel a cold sensation in my lower back?” To put it out, there could be multiple reasons such as peripheral neuropathy or spinal disorders.

Damage to nerves outside the brain and spinal cord is called peripheral neuropathy, which leads to symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and cold sensations.

cold-sensation-in-lower-back

It usually begins in the longest nerve in the body, which is the sciatic nerve reaching all the way to the feet. This is why you first feel cold sensations in your feet, followed by pain and numbness in other parts. 

Simply put, the lumbar area of your spine has receptors for pain and pressure. Whenever excess stress is put on the receptors, it blocks or inhibits the signals through the nerves. This causes discomfort, which can lead to pain and odd sensations such as a cold tingling sensation in lower back.

It may also be due to other pathological conditions such as diabetes, metabolic disorders, kidney diseases, and other infections. Sometimes, the reason is unknown and referred to as idiopathic neuropathy.

It starts as a cold feeling across lower back which turns into numbness and cruciating pain. This usually happens whenever the leg is stretched or pressure is applied to the sciatic nerve. 

Lower back pain usually affects the spine and sciatic nerve, a pair of nerves in the lower back that are majorly responsible for the movement of the hips and legs. The nerve runs from the spinal cord through the buttocks to the leg muscles.

In case of any back injury, the sciatic nerve is most commonly damaged. Hence, it is understandable that the sciatic nerve is probably involved if your lower back feels cold and wet. There could be several ways how the sciatic could be compromised. 

Here are a few most common diagnoses that people with a cold tingling sensation in back might be facing:

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis refers to the thinning of the nerve pathways in the spine, resulting in nerve constriction. This could be due to various reasons, including spondylolisthesis (shifting of vertebrae), ageing, etc. 

spinal-stenosis

Depending on the location of nerve compression, spinal stenosis causes pain near the upper arm and neck or a cold sensation lower back buttocks

Herniated Disc

If a spinal disc slips from its position, it may press on the nerves passing through it or near it. If the compromised nerve is sciatic, it could lead to sciatica, causing a number of symptoms. While most people complain of numbness and tingling, some may also experience a cold sensation and their feet falling asleep.

Osteoarthritis 

It refers to the wearing of the cartilage between the bones. This causes nerve impingement, which induces a cold sensation in middle of back along with excruciating pain, especially in the joints. 

osteoarthritis

Since nerve pinching is the most prevalent cause of these odd sensations, osteoarthritis makes up a large ratio of patients with complaints of a cold burning sensation in lower back

How to Relieve Cold Sensation in Lower Back?

You know how the doctor says that pain should always be treated first? Well, this is true for most things. However, if you are experiencing a cold sensation in middle of back, you should try treating that first since it can get pretty painful.

Treatment options for this condition are often quite effective and include a variety of non-surgical treatments such as physical therapy, exercise, medication and chiropractic care. 

While chiropractors work great in correcting the underlying cause of the problem by adjusting vertebrae in the spine, fixing your lifestyle makes as much of a difference.

The first thing you should do if you have a cold sensation is take a warm salt water bath. Another excellent treatment and a preventive measure for this problem is to strengthen your hip and pelvic muscles, as well as stretch your back.

Regular exercise keeps your vertebrae and spine in optimum health, reducing the risks of such disorders. You need to strengthen your core by doing exercises like plank and bridge.

Does that sound like a hassle to you? Don’t worry! You do not necessarily have to join a gym or follow extensive workout routines. Even taking care of your back health while doing mundane work makes a huge difference. 

If you want to improve your back health, then you need to use your back and abdominal muscles while standing, bending, reaching, carrying, lifting, and so forth.  

Nonetheless, all these remedies do not substitute for a proper consultation with your physician to assess the degree of symptoms and damage. Besides your physical examination, your doctor may also perform an X-ray, MRI, and CT scan to see the nerve constriction.  

FAQs

Why does my back feel cold and tingly?

The most common reason your back might feel cold and tingly is nerve compression. Since the nerves are responsible for detecting and regulating your body temperature, any damage to the nerves results in a hot and cold sensation in lower back. This includes nerve pinching due to spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, and a slipped disc.

Can a pinched nerve cause cold sensation?

A pinched nerve causes a cold sensation in the lower area of your back and legs as it blocks the signal transmission from the thermoreceptors. Apart from numbness and stabbing pain, some people also perceive the pain induced by a pinched nerve as cold. Some other symptoms of a pinched nerve include tingling or sharp and burning pain. 

Can spinal stenosis make you feel cold?

Spinal stenosis can make you feel cold by narrowing the spinal canal such that the nerves are constricted. This means the sensations cannot be transmitted to the central nervous system. As a result, the brain fails to regulate your body’s temperature. It also causes tingling, numbness, and pain, usually at one side of the body. 

What causes cold back pain?

Back pain and a cold sensation at the lower extremities are among the first signs of neuropathy or spinal problem. Hence, if you have been experiencing lower back pain and feeling cold, visit your physician as soon as you can for an early diagnosis. It could also be a sign of kidney, liver, or other metabolic diseases, causing neuropathy and leading to cold feet and back pain.

Final Verdict

When it comes to your health, no symptom is insignificant! Therefore, even if you are only experiencing a cold sensation in lower back and no other signs, it is best that you get yourself checked. 

Such cold tingling sensation in lower back may be an indication of neuropathy or spinal nerve issue, which could add up to extreme pain. Over-the-counter treatment and ice packs are a great way to manage the pain. Once the pain is under control, you can treat it with physical and chiropractic therapy. 

If you have never experienced such pain or symptoms, good for you. But it never hurts to adopt a healthy lifestyle to avert future problems. Just be mindful of your posture while sitting, and maintain a healthy exercise routine, and you are good to go!

Marium Sohail

Marium Sohail

Marium Sohail is an MBBS student at Karachi Medical And Dental College, Pakistan. Besides spending a major chunk of her time studying about the human body, she love breaking down the what's and how's of medicine for people through her writing. During her free time, she can be found with a book in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.

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