What Causes Spinal Pain?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 28 November 2019
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As anyone who has ever experienced a backache or some other form of spinal pain knows, the level of discomfort can be so debilitating that an individual is unable to perform even the simplest daily tasks. There are many different reasons why people may experience this type of pain. Fortunately, they can frequently be minimized or even eliminated with lifestyle changes or medication. Even the most severe causes for spinal pain may be corrected with surgery.

One of the most common reasons for spinal pain has to do with the general condition of the body. Carrying around excess weight places additional strain on the spine and over time can cause pain in both the upper and lower back regions. When obesity is the cause for back pain, engaging in an effective weight loss program can bring relief. Along with slimming down, sticking to a daily exercise program will also help restore a free range of movement and help to keep the muscles along the spine vibrant and strong.


Spinal pain may also occur as a result of some type of trauma or fracture to the spine. Often, the symptoms may include sharp recurring pain that seems to originate with the back but emanates throughout the arms and legs. Depending on the severity of the trauma, a physician may choose to utilize medication as the main treatment. However, if the fracture is severe and there is a chance of some type of permanent damage, surgery may be necessary.

A misalignment of the spine that occurs gradually over time can lead to a great deal of spinal pain. Along with vertebrae being in an unnatural position, the misalignment can also pinch the surrounding nerves, leading to a great deal of discomfort. Assuming that there are no fractures or other complications present, undergoing a series of adjustment treatments with a chiropractor may be an ideal way to correct the problem and eliminate the discomfort. However, it is important to consult a physician in advance and make sure there are not any preexisting conditions that contributed to the misalignment and could cause it to recur in a short period of time.

With any type of spinal pain, it is important to seek medical attention before embarking on any type of treatment. Seeing a doctor will help to assure that any underlying factors are identified and resolved along with alleviating the pain. Once the physician has diagnosed the root cause, he or she may recommend a number of strategies, including weight loss, medication, and ergonomics. Typically, surgery is considered proper treatment for only the most severe causes of spinal pain and is avoided if at all possible.


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