Back And Neck Pain - Causes, Cures, And Preventative Actions

Back pain can range from a dull, mild, annoying ache to severe, persistent, disabling pain. Back pain can be a minor annoyance, or it can limit mobility and interfere with your quality of life and normal functioning. If the pain is persistent, you should always consult with your healthcare provider. Neck pain focuses on the cervical vertebrae in your neck. Due to its range of motion and location, your neck is vulnerable to injury. Pain in your neck or back area can be acute or chronic, and can be continuous or intermittent. 

Causes Of Back and Neck Pain

The exact cause of back and neck pain is difficult to pinpoint, even with today’s advanced technology. Most of the time, back and neck pain stem from multiple causes including:

  • Trauma, fractures, or injury
  • Strenuous activity, overuse, repetitive or heavy lifting with poor form
  • Abnormal growth
  • Obesity, which places extra stress on your spine and discs
  • Degeneration of vertebrae
  • Infection
  • Sprain or strain
  • Poor muscle tone
  • Muscle tension or spasm
  • Joint problems like arthritis
  • Ligament or muscle tears
  • Protruding or herniated (slipped) disk and pinched nerve
  • Smoking
  • Congenital abnormalities
  • Osteoporosis
  • Abdominal problems

Common Back And Neck Pain Symptoms

Back pain symptoms may include:

  • Leg numbness or tingling below or above the knee
  • Burning, dull, or acute pain in the back
  • Sharp shooting pain radiating from lower back down to lower body
  • Stiffness or aching along your spine 
  • Consistent ache in the lower or middle back, particularly after standing or sitting for long periods

If you experience bladder and bowel control and weakness in both legs, seek immediate medical attention.

Common neck pain symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Arm numbness or tingling
  • Sharp shooting pains or a dull ache in your neck
  • Shoulder pain

Pain in your back or neck resulting from an injury is known as “acute pain.” Acute pain may resolve itself more quickly than chronic back or neck pain. Pain that lingers for weeks or months is chronic pain, and is less common than acute pain.

Diagnosing Back And Neck Pain

Your health care provider may X-ray the affected areas or perform MRIs for a more complete view. A blood test may also be used to diagnose arthritis.

Treating Back And Neck Pain

If you experience acute back or neck pain, rest may be all you need to heal. You can also try to alleviate discomfort with over-the-counter medicines like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Try to stretch and stay mobile to encourage blood flow and prevent stiffness. 

Preventing Neck And Back Pain

Some things you can do to protect yourself from neck and back pain include:

  • Practice proper posture while standing, sitting, and sleeping
  • Use computers and phones appropriately
  • Practice correct lifting techniques when exercising or lifting heavy objects
  • Exercise regularly
  • Practice exercises to improve your balance
  • Maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle
  • Avoid smoking
  • Have adequate calcium and Vitamin D in your diet
  • Reduce emotional stress, which may cause muscle tension

Contact Us Today

If you experience prolonged, severe back pain, or lose control of your lower body, seek immediate medical attention. The Spine and Scoliosis Center is a top spine clinic in Florida. Call The Spine and Scoliosis Center for an appointment today!