Your spine isn’t entirely independent of other parts of your body. It’s important to keep this in mind, since there are injuries that occur elsewhere that can affect your spine. One way this can happen is by increasing the load on your backbone as it compensates for issues in other parts of your body. Below, you’ll find five specific non-spine injuries that can affect your back.
Foot fractures, ankle injuries, and even toe pain can change how you walk or place weight on your feet. You may even find yourself on crutches or in a walking boot. Even if this isn’t the case, changes in walking and standing habits resulting from foot-related injuries can channel added stress and strain to your lower spine. The end result may be additional discomfort in your lower back area. Minimize this issue by having foot-related injuries diagnosed and treated ASAP.
Hip arthritis is another reason you may adjust how you stand and walk. It may not seem like a big deal at first, but the shift in your body weight can stress your spine. This added stress could also accelerate wear and tear on spinal discs and bones. If you’re noticing issues with hip pain, talk to your doctor to find out what steps you can take to keep your discomfort under control.
Consisting of seven vertebrae, your neck is technically part of your spine. However, neck pain can impact other parts of your backbone. For instance, limited mobility in your neck area due to cervical disc degeneration or whiplash can reduce range of motion in your upper spine. Over time, your lower back may be affected by limited motion in your upper back/neck area. While rest can be initially beneficial with neck discomfort, you’ll ultimately benefit more from a customized physical therapy plan. If your neck pain is due to a degenerative cervical disc, treatment may include replacing the damaged disc with a Mobi-C artificial disc. Los Angeles residents should consult a spinal health specialist if their neck pain is severe or continues without relief for a prolonged period.
Bursitis, rotator cuff injuries, and muscles that are torn or strained in the shoulder area can cause you to favor one arm or side of your upper body. What this can do with regard to your spine is cause extra stress on the side you’re overusing, and the side you’re underusing may become weak or atrophied. Avoid situations of this nature by taking steps to actively treat shoulder-related pain as soon as you notice symptoms.
Your “core” is essentially the muscle groups in your trunk area. These are the same muscles that play a role in supporting your spine. If you have an abdominal muscle injury, your spine may lose some of its stability, which could make it difficult to lift things or participate in your favorite activities. Make an effort to help core injuries heal through a combination of passive and active therapies to minimize stress on your spine.
It’s not always clear that an injury in another part of your body is contributing to spine-related discomfort. For this reason, it’s best to err on the side of caution and check with your doctor or a Los Angeles spine surgeon if you have back pain without an obvious source.
If you’re experiencing back pain for any reason, reach out to the spinal health experts at The Spine Institute. We are renowned pioneers in our field, and we lead the industry in our use of cutting-edge technology and innovative treatment methods. Call one of our friendly team members today at 310-828-7757 to schedule an appointment.