Low Back And Neck Pain Is A Symptom
For most bodily conditions, diseases and maladies, it is expected that a doctor does a careful and thorough evaluation. This naturally must happen before determining a diagnosis. Quite often, the diagnosis of lower back pain is lower back pain, and the diagnosis for neck pain is neck pain. This diagnosis is often determined following an evaluation that might last 60 seconds. It may not even include touching the patient or taking an x-ray. Therefore many physicians are literally diagnosing their patients with the very symptom with which their patients present. Sometimes the diagnosis may sound a bit different such as Lumbalgia, Pinched Nerve or Muscle Spasm. Basically, they mean the same thing. Without a proper evaluation, without an x-ray, without understanding spinal structure, without keeping up with current spinal biomechanical research, without analyzing the spine as a whole to determine ROOT CAUSE of the pain, the low back and neck pain diagnosis falls very short.
Can I Prevent Neck And Back Pain
The following may help to prevent back and neck pain:
Practice correct lifting techniques: avoid heavy lifting when you do lift something, bend your legs, keep your back straight, and then slowly lift your body and the object.
Properly use telephones, computers, and other equipment.
Maintain correct posture while sitting, standing, and sleeping.
Exercise regularly. Learn specific back-strengthening exercises to keep your back muscles strong. Warm up with stretching exercises before doing back exercises.
Do exercises that improve your balance.
Reduce emotional stress, which may cause muscle tension.
Make sure you have enough Vitamin D and calcium in your diet.
Nerve Root Block Technique
The nerve root blocks were performed in an X-ray suite by a specially trained neuroradiologist. The technique used was basically similar to the lateral approach described by Kikuchi but performed with the use of fluoroscopy . A 0.7 mm needle, 40 or 75 mm long, was used. No local anaesthetics were given on the skin. The needle position was confirmed in all patients with the use of contrast media. Then 1/2 ml of Mepivacaine 10 mg/ml was injected for blocking the nerve . The effect from the nerve root block is estimated not to last more than 2 h.
a Shows needle in position, and b distribution of contrast enhanced injection of local anaesthetics along the nerve root
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What Are The Symptoms Of Back And Neck Pain
Symptoms associated with back pain may include:
Dull, burning, or sharp pain in your back. The pain can be confined to a single spot or cover a large area
Leg numbness or tingling above or below your knee
Stiffness or achiness that occurs anywhere along your spine
Sharp, shooting pain that radiates from your low back to your buttocks, down the back of your thigh, and into your calf and toes
Consistent ache in the middle or lower part of your back, especially after standing or sitting for an extended period
Loss of bladder and bowel control, with weakness in both legs, are symptoms of a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention.
Symptoms associated with neck pain can be:
Arm numbness or tingling
Sharp shooting pains or a dull aches in your neck
Pain that occurs suddenly in your back or neck, due to an injury, is considered to be acute pain. Acute pain comes on quickly and may leave sooner than chronic back or neck pain. This type of pain should not last more than 6 weeks.
Pain that may come on quickly or slowly and lingers for weeks, 3 months or greater, is considered to be chronic pain. Chronic pain is less common than acute pain.
When To See A Doctor
Most simple back pain will start to improve within a day or two of restricted activity and over-the-counter medication. If you find yourself taking more and more pills to relieve back pain, or if the pain is getting worse, you’ll want to contact a back specialist. After a thorough medical history, physical examination, and diagnostic tests a doctor may be able to determine if there is a specific cause of your pain and will recommend appropriate treatments.
Not all chronic pain is treatable. Pain management is an integrated approach to making pain tolerable by learning physical, emotional, intellectual and social skills. This may include exercise, physical therapy, medication, relaxation, acupuncture, behavior changes, biofeedback, hypnosis, and counseling. When you use pain management techniques, you stay in control of your own health. These techniques also help the brain produce it’s own pain medications called endorphins, which literally means “morphine within” .
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How Is A Spinal Headache Diagnosed
A doctor diagnoses a spinal headache based on your history and symptoms. If you have had a spinal tap within 14 days, diagnosis is often obvious. In that case, tests are usually not needed.
In people who have not had a spinal tap, doctors typically use imaging tests called magnetic resonance imaging to diagnose the source of the headache. These tests enable the doctor to see the brain and spinal cord to look for signs of leaking spinal fluids.
Summit Orthopedics Offers Comprehensive Spine Expertise
Summit Orthopedics Spine Care program is recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance for the comprehensive expertise of our patient-centered care. Our back specialists diagnose spine problems and design custom treatment plans built on a conservative, nonsurgical approach. Most patients find relief through treatments including guided injections, specialized physical therapy, biofeedback, exercise, activity modification, and medication. When conservative care does not relieve symptoms, our highly skilled surgeons offer proven, evidence-based surgical options. Together with you, we will determine the right course of action.
Start your journey to a healthy spine. Find your spine expert, request an appointment online, or call us at to schedule a spine consultation.
Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MN, Plymouth, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as additional community clinics throughout the metro and southern Minnesota.
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Fixing Upper Back And Neck Pain
Upper back and neck pain can stop you in your tracks, making it difficult to go about your typical day. The reasons behind this discomfort vary, but they all come down to how we hold ourselves while standing, moving, and most important of all sitting.
Neck and upper back pain can limit your movements and capabilities. If you dont do anything about your pains, they can get worse, spread, and limit you further. This is usually because the muscles around your immediate area of pain have tensed up to protect that one spot. That expansion limits movement and can turn one clenched muscle under your shoulder blade into a painful shoulder and a tension headache.
Causes of upper back and neck pain include:
- improperly lifting something heavy
Our love of screens is also a likely culprit in upper back and neck pain. Sitting all day working on a computer screen, craning your neck to read the news on your phone on the way home, and slumping on the couch to watch several hours of television are great ways to throw your body out of alignment.
Like many health conditions, the effects of neck and back pain can be more severe in people who smoke or are overweight. Excess weight can add more pressure on the muscles.
Risk Factors For Sciatica
The following factors increase your chance of developing sciatica.
- Prolongedsitting: A sedentary lifestyle increases your risk for sciatica.
- Age: This is due to natural changes in the spine.
- Occupation: Jobs that require you to lift heavy loads or drive a car for long periods can result in sciatica.
- Obesity: This increases stress on the spine.
- Diabetes: It affects the way your body uses sugar, that puts your sciatic nerve at risk for nerve damage.
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Most Common Causes Of Chronic Neck Pain
The most common causes of chronic neck pain are muscle strain and nerve compression. Depending on the symptoms youre experiencing, it can be difficult to tell which of these is occurring. Most muscle strain comes from activities that place a lot of uneven strain on one side of your neck. Repetitive lifting is a common cause of muscle strain around the neck, especially if the loads are heavy or if youre using one side of your body to tote heavy loads, like carrying a heavy bag over one shoulder. Sleeping in a weird position or having a pillow that doesnt provide adequate support can also cause muscle strain in your neck.
Nerve compression occurs when one of the nerves around the neck gets pinched or pressed as it leaves your upper spine . When the nerves exit the cervical spine, they travel through your shoulders and down into your arms and hands. If a disc in your cervical spine slips out of place or if the tissues in your neck get swollen and inflamed, the nerves in that area can get squeezed. And that means you can have pain and other symptoms in your neck and anywhere along the path of that nerve.
Causes Of Spinal Stenosis
Aging is the most common cause of spinal stenosis, with people 50 and over most likely to have it. Anyone born with a narrow spinal canal or who has a spine injury are also at risk. Other conditions that can result in spinal stenosis include:
- Paget’s disease
- Chronic fluorosis
- Calcium deposits on spinal ligaments
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What Living With Low Back Pain Feels Like
Lower back pain can afflict both men and women, and even children. It can range from a dull, constant ache to an unexpected, sharp sensation leaving you suffering until the pain subsides. The pain may come on quickly after lifting a heavy object or due to an accident. Others may also suffer from back pain as a result of aging and natural deterioration that happens within the spine.
Living an inactive lifestyle can also bring about lower back pain. For instance, if you were inactive during the week, performing an intense workout on the weekend can make your back ache. Most people experience temporary or acute low back pain. Temporary backache lasts for a few days or weeks and resolves on its own. Acute back pain is often mechanical, meaning there is just a disruption in some parts of the back , specifically in the way they fit together or move.
Chronic back pain lasts for more than 12 weeks and may persist even after the treatment of the initial cause. Acute low back pain may aggravate and become chronic low back pain in a year, which is what happens to about 20% of people.
Spinal Stenosis Doesnt Always Cause Symptoms
Sometimes an imaging study detects a spine disorder for which a patient has no symptoms. That is one reason why imaging tests are performed to confirm a diagnosis, which is supported by results from the physical/ neurological exam, medical history, and symptoms. Many people who have undergone an X-ray or other imaging test for a non-spine-related matter have discovered they have spondylosis, osteophytes, and/or a bulging disc. Yet, they never knew it because they were not symptomatic.
Spinal stenosis has been referred to as “the gray hair of the spine,” meaning its often an age-related and gradual process of physical change. It may take time for the symptoms of cervical or lumbar spinal stenosis to become apparent. If you have neck or low back pain and symptoms that persist or worsen, talk with your doctor.
Isaac Z. Evaluation of the patient with neck pain and cervical spine disorders. UpToDate. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/evaluation-of-the-patient-with-neck-pain-and-cervical-spine-disorders. Last updated May 2, 2016. Accessed February 28, 2018.
Levin K. Lumbar spinal stenosis: Pathophysiology, clinical features, and diagnosis. UpToDate. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/lumbar-spinal-stenosis-pathophysiology-clinical-features-and-diagnosis. Last updated January 17, 2017. Accessed February 28, 2018.
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis. North American Spine Society Public Education Series brochure. 2008.
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Where Can I Get Treatment For Neck Pain And Headaches In Back Of Head
There are many prominent treatments available for neck pain in the US nowadays.
These treatment options can be found in many clinics, hospitals, or facilities.
One of the best treatment for neck pain and headaches in the back of the head can be found in Connecticut Disc and Laser Therapy Centers, which is located in Connecticut.
They have sophisticated, cutting-edge technology in their facility, and they treat patients who have failed to respond to conventional therapy methods.
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Unusual Persistent Neck Pain
With a cervical artery dissection, the neck pain is unusual, persistent, and often accompanied by a severe headache, says Dr. Rost. The neck pain from a carotid artery tear often spreads along the side of the neck and up toward the outer corner of the eye. A vertebral artery tear may feel like something sharp is stuck in the base of your skull. If you experience such pain especially if you also have stroke symptoms such as dizziness, double vision, jerky eye movements, unsteadiness while walking, or slurred speech call 911 immediately.
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What Is Spinal Stenosis
Symptoms typically develop when the spinal canal narrows and/or nerve roots are compressed, causing nerve irritation, inflammation and pain. The lumbar and cervical spinal levels are commonly affected by this age-related and gradually progressive disorder.
The most common cause of spinal stenosis is a herniated disc, which occurs when the soft inner layer of the shock-absorbing discs between your vertebrae bulges or ruptures through the hard outer layer and encroaches into the spinal canal, which can press on nerve roots coming off the spinal cord. Other causes include bone spurs from spondylosis and spinal tumors.
Spinal stenosis symptoms may inhibit your ability to move without discomfort, pain and/or neurological signs, such as tingling sensations and numbness that may radiate into another part of your body.
Common Causes Of Neck Pain
Your neck consists of bones, ligaments, discs, muscles, and nerves that make up the top part of your spinal cord. Injuries or diseases to any of these structures may lead to neck pain.
Over time, arthritis of the neck may result from bony spurs and problems with ligaments and discs. The spinal canal may narrow and compress the spinal cord and nerves to the arms, causing neck pain.
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Surgery For Spinal Arthritis
Surgery may be recommended for spinal arthritis if other treatments dont sufficiently relieve pain. The goals of the surgery may include:
Stabilizing the spine by fusing several segments together in a procedure called spinal fusion
These surgeries can be performed as open procedures or with a minimally invasive approach. There are pros and cons to each method. The surgeon will review and discuss the options before the operation.
Can Neck Problems Cause Lower Back Pain
Have you been experiencing lower back pain? If so, you have plenty of company. About 80% of adults suffer from lower back pain. Often an overlooked condition, youd be surprised to know that it is the top cause of illness-related work absences and the most common reason for job-related disability.
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What Is The Best Painkiller For Neck And Back Pain
The best natural painkiller is often Class IV laser therapy, ice, and traction to quickly take down the inflammation which allows us to get to the root cause of the pain and begin spinal correction.
For most bodily conditions, diseases and maladies, it is expected that a medical doctor does a careful and thorough patient evaluation. This naturally must happen before determining a diagnosis and treatment plan. Quite often, a medical doctors diagnosis of a patients complaint of lower back pain is lower back pain, and the diagnosis for a patients complaint of neck pain is neck pain. This diagnosis is often determined following an evaluation that might last 60 seconds. It may not even include touching the patient or taking an x-ray. Therefore, many physicians are literally diagnosing their patients with the very symptom with which their patients present. Sometimes the diagnosis may sound a bit different such as Lumbalgia, Pinched Nerve, or Muscle Spasm. Basically, they mean the same thing. Without a proper evaluation, without an x-ray, without understanding the spinal structure, without keeping up with current spinal biomechanical research, without analyzing the spine as a whole to determine the ROOT CAUSE of the pain, the low back pain or neck pain diagnosis falls very short, as they never get the WHY the pain is there in the first place. We specialize in getting to the WHY, and then fixing the problem for long-term health benefits.
What Are Possible Complications Of Neck And Back Pain
Complications of back and neck pain may include:
- Loss of productivity. Back pain is the most common reason for disability in working adults.
- Nerve damage. If your back pain is from a herniated disk, pressure on the spinal nerves may cause a variety of problems, such as weakness, numbness, or severe shooting pain that travels from the back to the leg.
- Depression. Back or neck pain can disrupt all aspects of life. This includes work, physical exercise, social activities, and sleep. The anxiety and stress caused by the change in movement and pain can lead to depression.
- Weight gain. Loss of movement and inability to exercise can lead to weight gain and the loss of muscle strength.
It is a good idea to see a healthcare provider if you have numbness or tingling, or if your pain is severe and does not get better with medicine and rest. If you have trouble urinating, weakness, pain, or numbness in your legs, fever, or unintentional weight loss, call your healthcare provider right away.
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