If you suffer from chronic pain in the spine, it could be an indicator that you are suffering from a more serious medical problem that needs immediate medical assistance. Spine pain occurs due to a variety of factors including trauma, injury, infections or lifestyle, and because of the complicated nature of the spine, effective treatments can be quite costly. To overcome spine pain, it is important to understand the role the spine plays in human movement.
The vertebral column known as the spine is made up of bones, called vertebra. Each vertebrate plays a role in movement such as walking, reaching, flexing and twisting. Between each vertebra are padded discs that provide shock absorption from vertebral friction. Over time these discs become less effective due to age, hardening and deterioration.
Although predominantly a problem for adults, even adolescents and young adults can suffer spine pain. When spine pain occurs in younger people chances are good it is a more serious problem that requires the immediate attention of a physician.
What Causes Chronic Pain in the Spine?
Spine pain doesn’t always mean back pain; sometimes the pain can be located in the neck. The most obvious causes of spine pain are trauma and injury and these are the easiest to diagnose. However there are lifestyle factors that can put great strain on the spine that can be easily corrected.
Leading a sedentary lifestyle devoid of physical activity is one of the prime factors for spine and back pain. Physical activity, specifically exercise and stretching, builds up the back muscles which can help prevent back pain. Unfortunately regular intense exercise also means those discs in the spine are experiencing greater use, which can result in spine pain.
Poor posture is a leading cause of spine pain because it forces the spine to spend long periods of time in an abnormal pose. The spine should follow the traditional ‘S’ curve that is inherent to the spine, but hunching or slumping in odd positions forces the spine to get used to them. Eventually the stress of this odd posture will place unnecessary pressure and strain on different sections of the spine.
Many people suffer spine and back pain because they are lifting improperly. Whether it is lifting something as light as a load of laundry or as heavy as a box of books, lifting with the muscles in the back rather than the legs can result in injury to the spine.
Other causes of spine pain that get very little attention include tumors and infections. The kidneys, for example, are located near the lumbar region on both sides of the spine. An infection to the kidneys can cause pain to spread to the lower spine and back muscles. A tumor growing near the spine can also cause spine pain if it is growing on or near nerve endings.
Symptoms Of Spine Pain
The symptoms of spine pain vary due to the cause of the pain. If the pain is caused by injury due to improper posture or prolonged sitting usually include feelings of numbness, tingling and radiating pain. This pain is often felt during even basic actions such as standing or sitting. Symptoms of underlying problems such as scoliosis, spinal stenosis and arthritis can include weak muscles, limited mobility and stiffness.
A limited range of motion is a common symptom for all forms of spine pain.
Spine pain due to infection or tumor can cause severe pain and accompany symptoms that include pain or burning during urination, fever, chills and muscle tightness.
The key to overcoming spine pain is a proper diagnosis. When you feel the onset of spine pain, do not ignore it; make an appointment to get an immediate diagnosis. The solution may be as simple as getting a back pillow and ergonomic office, but it can be as complex as removing a tumor or undergoing spinal fusion surgery.
The sooner you know why you’re experiencing this pain, the sooner the pain can become a distant memory.