The 33 bones of your spine are a complex mix of nerves, joints, and soft tissues. Most of the time, these parts work well together to complete various movements. It’s only when something’s not quite right that the importance of keeping everything working as efficiently as possible becomes clear. Dr. Hyun Bae and the staff at The Spine Institute suggest taking a moment to consider the potential causes of pain and how the spine’s anatomy factors into it.
The Neck Is Susceptible to Strain
Muscle strain is a common cause of pain in the cervical spine, or neck. The joints, discs, tendons, and ligaments supporting the seven neck bones can be affected by sudden movements (whiplash), structural changes (spondylosis), and injury. Neck pain is usually temporary, but shouldn’t be ignored if it’s a frequent occurrence.
The Middle Back Isn’t a Common Source of Pain
The 12 bones of your middle back (thoracic spine) are fairly well protected by thick muscles and your ribcage. Even so, discomfort may be experienced from a hard impact or weakness in nearby muscles.
The Lumbar Spine Is Especially Vulnerable
The bones of the lower (lumbar) spine are most affected by the regular movements you make. Deformities with discs may also affect the sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in the body that starts in your lower back. The base of your spine near your pelvis can also be a source of radiating nerve pain if the sacroiliac joint next to the bottom of the spine is affected. Lumbar spine pain may also be caused by:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Osteoarthritis or other forms of arthritis
- Spinal stenosis and similar abnormalities
Remedies for spine pain can be as simple as knowing when to rest or applying some heat or cold to the affected area, or they can be as extensive as spine surgery. Should your discomfort linger for more than a few days or become increasingly worse, check with your doctor. Minimize aches and pains by watching your diet and getting regular exercise to keep spine-supporting muscle groups strong.
Just like there are many ways the spine can cause pain, there are many ways professional surgeons can alleviate the pain. If you’re interested in learning about fusion procedures or spinal fusion alternatives, Los Angeles residents recommend reaching out to The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. Give us a call today at 310-828-7757 and take the first steps toward living a pain-free life.