Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm - Causes of Back Pain

Often diseases and structural irregularities in the thoracic and abdominal cavities can present as back pain. Aneurysms of the blood vessels of the abdominal cavity can present as back pain. an aneurysm is a widening of a blood vessel, usually as a result of a rapid increase in blood pressure or a weakening of an arterial wall. An abdominal aortic aneurysm can be a cause of back pain and also a potentially life threatening problem, due to its size and importance in delivering blood to the lower portion of the body. Usually, an aneurysm will need to be corrected surgically.

An aortic aneurysm involves the aorta, a branch of the aorta - the largest artery of the body, the aorta is the primary blood vessel that delivers oxygenated blood to the body after leaving the left ventricle of the heart. Though the body's natural physiology allows the arteries, including the abdominal aorta to expand and contract with along with the contractions and relaxation of the heart, an aneurysm involves a pathological bulge along some length of the artery. An aneurysm may involve a pathological bulging along the length of the artery, or a complete rupture, which can be life threatening.

The human body is sensitive to pathological changes to the blood vessels of the body, and we may experience structural and blood blow problems in the form of pain. when an artery tears or ruptures, a person may feel a sharp pain that comes and goes fairly quickly and may be unrelated to physical exertion. Sometimes, major arteries such as the thoracic and abdominal aorta become damaged. The wall or a major artery may begin to bulge out as a result of a tearing or fraying of one or more of the layers. As the wall begins to swell, the lining may tear slightly, permitting blood to seep between the layers. This bulging or partial tear may produce sudden, intense pain that may come and go along with the beating and relaxing of the heart. The pain felt is a result of blood flow outside its normal channel. Pain as a result of a the thoracic aortic aneurysm may be felt in the upper back, head, neck, and shoulders. Pain as a result of an abdominal aortic aneurysm may be felt in the middle and lower back and abdomen.

Usually, the causes of abdominal aortic aneurysms will remain unknown, but this condition appears to have genetic links, because they tend to run in families. People with hypertension (high blood pressure) are at an increased risk. Early symptoms of this condition include the sensation of a pulsing sensation in the abdomen that coincides with the person's heartbeat. The person may also feel pain deep in the abdomen or back. The pain may become severe enough that it becomes constant and disabling, at which time they may seek emergency medical attention. Signs of a complete rupture may include excruciating pain throughout the abdominal cavity and back, particularly near the location of the bulge/rupture. In the event of a partial or complete rupture, the person may go into shock as a result of sepsis/blood loss.

Up next: diagnosis and treatment. for an abdominal aortic aneurysm.