Spina Bifida Back Pain

Serious illnesses like spina bifida can cause all kinds of unpleasant symptoms, one of which is back pain. This is not surprising, but it can be very frustrating for people who have the condition. Alleviating that back pain becomes a goal, and there are only so many ways that this can be done. One of the most significant first steps when trying to manage spina bifida back pain is to determine where the pain is most prevalent. If it’s in the upper back, this can mean different things than if it’s in the lower back.

In the upper back, posture and tension – as well as the weight of the breasts in women – can affect how much pain is felt. This pain can also come from a shunt or a rod that’s trying to poke through the skin. If you have rods in your back or if you have a shunt, you’ll want to have upper back pain evaluated relatively quickly, so you can get any problems corrected before they become more serious. If it’s only mechanical (i.e. muscles) adjusting the way you sit and/or adjusting the way you move if you’re ambulatory can help with the pain. Shunt and rod problems require more work to correct, but they can certainly be fixed, and they should be quickly addressed.


For spina bifida back pain that’s focused on the lower back, there can be other problems. A tethered cord that becomes symptomatic is one of the things that can cause back pain. If this is the problem that you’re suffering, you may also notice other problems such as tripping and falling (if you’re ambulatory) and bladder difficulties. If you see these kinds of changes taking place, be sure to talk to your doctor or the health care professional who’s responsible for taking care of you and helping you to manage your condition. These kinds of problems can be corrected, but only if they’re found and diagnosed.

Spina bifida back pain in the lower back can also come from muscle problems. If you’re sitting in an awkward position or you’re standing or walking in such a way as to be very uncomfortable, that can get back pain started and keep it coming back. Once it develops, it can remain a problem for a long time unless you change the way you’re sitting or standing to alleviate it. Changing a pattern of behavior or the way that a person does something isn’t always easy, either, but it certainly can be done.

What matters most with spina bifida back pain is that you figure out what’s causing it so that you can get it stopped. You can’t correct it until you know where it comes from and why it’s affecting you. Your doctor can help you figure out the cause of your back pain and can help you deal with the challenges that come with a spina bifida diagnosis. No matter what you choose to do for your back pain, though, determining the cause is the first step.

Filed Under: Back Pain
Written By:  Updated:
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Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS, MFT

Jesse is the co-founder and visionary CEO of The Healthy Back Institute®, the world-leading source of natural back pain solutions. His mission as a former back pain sufferer is to help others live pain free without surgery and pharmaceuticals.

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