This Blog Covers:
- Back pain can range from a mild discomfort to a severe, debilitating pain; it just depends on the cause or severity of symptoms.
- You may have encountered symptoms of back pain before, but always wondered how they began.
- In this blog, the spine specialists at American Spine discuss ways back pain starts in the body.
Before we can explain how back pain begins, we must first discuss the anatomy and physiology of the spine. There are approximately 29 bones that make up the spinal column, which include:
- Seven (7) bones in the cervical spine (neck)
- Twelve (12) bones in the thoracic spine (mid-back)
- Five (5) bones in the lumbar spine (low back)
- Four (4) bones fused together to make the sacrum
- One tailbone (coccyx)
Spinal “bones” are called vertebrae and they are stacked upon one another with spinal “discs” located in between them. These spinal discs are actually called intervertebral discs and they are made of cartilage, collagen, and water. Finally, there are a number of ligaments, tendons, and muscles that hold the spinal bones and discs together. The spinal cord is located within the spinal canal and is protected by the muscles and ligaments surrounding the spine, as well as the spine itself.
We mentioned this before, but back pain can occur for a number of reasons. When it comes to aging, back pain usually starts when spinal vertebrae begin to wear away, or intervertebral discs start to lose their water content. This can cause cracks and ruptures in the spinal bones and discs, causing mild to severe pain.
A traumatic injury to the spine may be another reason why back pain starts. Depending on where the injury occurred, the vertebrae, discs, or nerve roots may be immediately impacted, causing shooting or burning pain in areas of the spine and upper or lower extremities.
A chronic degenerative condition may be another cause for back pain. These diseases often develop slowly and progress over time. Most patients can get away with over-the-counter pain relievers or minimally invasive procedures, but severe cases of spinal degeneration may require surgery.
Regardless of how your back pain started, it’s important to see a specialist at American Spine before it worsens. We can discuss the many different treatment options available to mitigate your situation. Call American Spine today!
At American Spine, we are dedicated to treating chronic pain and spine conditions. Offering the latest in minimally invasive spine surgery and other effective treatment options, American Spine is the leading pain physician group of California. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at (951)-734-PAIN (7246).
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.