What You Need To Know
- Radiculopathy describes a range of symptoms produced by the pinching of a nerve root in the spinal column.
- The pinched nerve can occur at different areas along the spine .
- Symptoms of radiculopathy vary by location but frequently include pain, weakness, numbness and tingling.
- A common cause of radiculopathy is narrowing of the space where nerve roots exit the spine, which can be a result of stenosis, bone spurs, disc herniation or other conditions.
- Radiculopathy symptoms can often be managed with nonsurgical treatments, but minimally invasive surgery can also help some patients.
You’re Having Problems With Your Bowels Or Urination
If your back pain is paired with a loss of control over your bowels or urination, then it’s time to seek help immediately at a . These symptoms point to cauda equina syndrome, where the nerves in the lower spine have become paralyzed. While rare, this syndrome can be permanently damaging to the nerves if left untreated. If you experience these symptoms, especially accompanied by numbness in the legs, then you may need surgery to decompress the nerves and preserve their overall function.
Common Sciatica Cause #: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
Spinal nerve roots branch outward from the spinal cord through passageways made of bone and ligaments called neural foramina. Nerve roots pass through these openings, join with each other to become nerves, and extend out to the rest of your body.
Lumbar spinal stenosis is a common cause of sciatica
When spinal stenosis develops, these foramina become narrow or clogged, and the nerves get compressed. The decrease in space within the canal is typically the result of disc herniation, but can also be caused by other issues such as:
- Injuries to the spine, such as vertebral fractures or dislocations from trauma
- The development of bone spursan overgrowth of boneor spinal tumors
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Typical Symptoms Of Sciatica
- Sciatica can potentially generate pain at any point of the nerve path.
- Painful sensations can develop all along a path starting at the lower back into the buttocks, through the leg and into to the soles of the feet.
- Pain associated with the compression of the sciatic nerve can be described as electrical with a pronounced tendency to cause an intense burning sensation that increases over time.
- Sciatica is known to cause a marked weakness or numbness in the affected area.
- Sciatica can make it difficult to stand up or move around.
The most common symptom of sciatic nerve compression is a pain that travels from your lower back to the legs, predominantly the backside. This pain can vary in intensity from a dull ache to a severe, sharp pain. However, this will not happen in both sides all the time. You can also feel some pain that comes from the buttock and the lower back and which continues to expand right along the sciatic nerve, a very challenging and problematic thing to deal with.
Another common symptom is pain when walking or lying down. This pain typically gets worse when sitting or standing. Searing, sharp pains can be problematic. Shooting or severe pain in one leg can be challenging, and its also a Sciatica symptom too.
While not all people feel this, it seems that hip pain can also be one of the signs. Again, this is very hard to identify, so it can be a bit problematic in this regard. A burning or tingling sensation down the leg can also show that you have Sciatica.
What You Can Do When Dealing With A Dizzy Spell
If you experience a serious dizzy spell of some kind, be sure to seek out medical attention as soon as possible. Meet with a doctor in your area who is able to treat vertigo and other kinds of problems related to lost balance, lightheadedness, and nausea. If the dizzy spell is particularly serious, be sure to have a loved one help you to the doctor so you are not involved in an auto accident or other serious accident en route to a medical professional.
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How Does The Neck Injury Relate To Low Back Pain And Postural Imbalances
The top two bones in the neck called the atlas and axis houses the most vital structure in the human body called the brainstem. The brainstem is the seat of control for most functions in the body. Since this article is discussing low back pain and sciatica we will limit our discussion to the brainstem’s control over postural muscle tone. The brainstem coupled with joint motion in the neck is both interrelated in their control over muscle tone regulation throughout the spine and body.
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Injury to the upper neck by acceleration-deceleration injuries or blunt trauma, can damage the supporting soft tissue snd ligaments that are vital to normal joint motion in the neck. Once injured, the muscles in the neck become tight and imbalanced, the range of motion decreases, and irritation to the central nervous system ensues. This then leads to a cascade of postural and muscle tone imbalances that can lead to chronic back pain, mid back pain, and neck pain.
Treatment For Mild To Moderate Pain
In most cases, people with mild to moderate upper and middle back pain can manage their symptoms with:
- Over-the-counter pain medicines, such as acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , to reduce pain. But if these don’t get rid of your pain, you may need a prescription pain medicine that is stronger.
- Heat or ice to reduce pain and stiffness.
- Exercise to stretch and strengthen the muscles of your back, shoulders, and stomach.
- Physical therapy to help increase your flexibility, strength, and balance. Your physical therapist may teach you an exercise program so you can do it at home.
- Massage to help reduce muscle tension and pain for a short time and to improve blood flow.
- Spinal manipulation to help relieve pain and improve function. It can range from massage and slow pressing to a quick thrust.
- Acupuncture. It involves putting tiny needles into your skin at certain points on the body to promote healing and pain relief.
- Capsaicin cream may help relieve pain.footnote 1 Capsaicin is a substance contained in cayenne peppers. Capsaicin cream is applied directly to the skin over the painful area.
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What Causes My Upper Back Pain
In order to understand where your upper back pain is coming from, youd have to determine how you injured it, or if you can remember when it started. Some are outright obvious like a slip on the floor, meanwhile others are subtle and creeps up on you getting worse day by day. So, its easier to establish how your pain started and changed until now. Changes in your upper back pain gives us many clues to understand where your pain is coming from.
Upper back pain usually has to do with your posture and ergonomics . It often is painful together with the neck , shoulder, ribs or lower back. Muscular pain in the shoulder blade area can be so severe that patient often mistake it for a fracture or even a heart attack as it can restrict your breathing.
Our body consists of various types of tissue, some elastic like tendons, or strong like cables , some tissue can generate movement & force like muscles. We rely on your spines ligaments to keep our spine stable, muscles coordinate your spines movements, and joints are the foundation of our frame. The structures in your thoracic spine is quite vulnerable to injury, especially poor postural positions. There are more than 86 structures in your upper back that can get injured, some problems are more common that others, but just to be safe we test them all.
Heres a breakdown of a few conditions that we frequently see, and how things go wrong to cause your upper back pain:
Back Problems That Cause Leg Pain
Almost everyone at some point in their life develops lower back pain. This part of your back includes your lumbar spine, which is responsible for supporting much of your upper body weight.
Aging and the stress of your body weight leads to degeneration of the components that make up your spine, including the discs, ligaments, cartilage, and vertebrae. These degenerative changes are often the source of lower back pain, as well as your leg pain. Back problems that cause leg pain include:
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You’re Running A Fever
The flu can definitely make you run a fever and achiness, including in your back. However, if the fever is unresponsive to standard OTC medications, you could have a serious infection that needs treatment immediately. If you go to a doctor and they find an infection, they may prescribe antibiotics and a few days rest.
Ways Upper Back Pain Is Different
Regardless of whether spinal pain originates in the neck, upper back, or lower back, it can become bad enough to reduce your ability to enjoy an active lifestyle. But there are also some aspects that make upper back pain different from neck and lower back pain. Lets explore 3 of them.
remarkably resistant to injury and pain. ReadAll About Upper Back Pain
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How Can Constipation And Back Pain Be Treated
The type of treatment you receive for constipation and back pain will depend on the root cause of your problem.
For example, if your constipation is being caused by dehydration, your doctor may instruct you to start drinking more water throughout the day. If your constipation and back pain is being caused by sciatica, your doctor will treat you for sciatica. Common treatments for sciatica include medications, physical therapy, and surgery.
Be completely open and honest with your doctor during your appointment to address constipation and back pain. This will help your doctor determine the true causes of your problems, and the best treatments that can effectively relieve both your constipation and back pain.
Common Sciatica Cause #: Lumbar Bulging Disc Or Herniated Disc
The discs in the spine serve several functions, including giving the spine its flexibility, acting as cushions for the vertebrae, and evenly transferring the load placed on the spine from one disc to another. Disc bulging and herniation occur more frequently in the lumbar spine simply because that part of the spine supports the entire weight of the upper body as well as whatever objects you may need to pick up.
Bulging and herniated discs are almost the same, but not quite. A bulging disc is a contained disc disorder. The gel-like center of the disc remains “contained” within the tire-like outer wall of the disc but can extend the outer wall enough to press on a nearby nerve or nerve root.
A herniated disc occurs when the nucleus breaks through the annulus fibrosus. It is called a non-contained disc disorder. Whether a disc bulges or herniates, disc material can press against an adjacent nerve root and compress delicate nerve tissue and cause sciatica. This compression can occur on only one side of the sciatic nerve and cause symptoms on only one side of the body or compress it on both sides and give you symptoms on both sides of the body .
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Why Is Your Upper Back Pain Lasting Longer Than It Should
You thought your pain would go away on its own, but it didnt
Your doctor told you to rest and take painkillers. The painkillers relieved the pain, but didnt heal your injury. As soon as the painkillers wore off, your upper back pain returned.
A friend told you that everybody experiences upper back pain as they grow older, you should just accept it.
Other healthcare professionals advice and treatment didnt help.
YouTube exercises and home remedies didnt help relieve the pain, or in some cases made your upper back pain ten times worse
You thought enough rest would eventually heal the problem. However, afterwards your upper back feels even more stiff and tight than before
Does this sound like you?
If any of these have happened to you we would love to help you. The fact that youve tried any or all of these things already is actually a good thing, because when you know what doesnt work you are closer to finding the thing that does!
We invite you to come and see us. Why? Because we do things differently. Well do a thorough assessment and test all the possible causes. After weve diagnosed your problem, and explained what its going to need to heal, well make sure you understand why this is happening.
Does Constipation Cause Lower Back Pain
The buildup of stool in your intestines may cause lower back pain or a dull aching sensation in this part of your back. If your constipation is causing your lower back pain, your pain will gradually go away after you start having regular bowel movements.
Fecal impaction is another common cause of lower back pain. Fecal impaction is when a piece of dry stool gets stuck in your colon or rectum. This can lead to extra pressure in these areas that cause lower back pain.
Common symptoms of fecal impaction include abdominal cramping, bloating, and bleeding from the rectum. Make an appointment with your doctor soon if you have lower back pain and constipation and have fecal impaction symptoms.
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Choose To See A Cilliers & Swart Physiotherapist To Help You Get Rid Of Your Upper Back Pain In The Next Few Days
What can we do for you?
We quickly put an end to the cycle of pain and stiffness.
Well find and treat the origin of your upper back pain.
Pain can rob you of sleep & rest. We can help you to enjoy sleeping at night and living with more energy each day
We will provide you with the perfect set of exercises that will speed up your recovery
Using painkillers in the long-term can be harmful to your health. We help you lower or completely stop your need for painkillers to manage pain
Our physiotherapists help you avoid dangerous & costly surgeries, and painful injections
We reduce visits to specialists or doctors
Upper back pain can limit the activities you enjoy with your family & friends. We can help you get back to enjoying quality time with family & friends that the upper back pain has taken from you.
We can help you to finally return to working, and getting out and about without that annoying upper back pain stopping you
In short, our Team at Cilliers & Swart Physio help you get back to living life free from upper back pain. For information about costs and availability, click the button below:
Spinal And Foraminal Stenosis
The term stenosis refers to a narrowing in an opening thats normally larger. Nerves exit the spinal column through the neuroforamen: Two columns of space on either side of the vertebrae. When the neuroforamen narrow partially or completely, the nerves dont have enough space to sit comfortably. They may become compressed or even trapped, leading to inflammatory pain.
Spinal stenosis causes numbness and in the middle of the back, tingling in the arms and legs, and tingling in the back. It also gives rise to the foot drop, a phenomenon in which pain and weakness in your leg cause you to drag your foot as you walk. Other symptoms include:
- Trouble walking or standing
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
There are quite a few things that can cause spinal stenosis, including normal wear and tear on the spine due to aging. This condition normally affects people ages 50 and older. Other causes of spinal stenosis include:
- Herniated discs
- Thickening ligaments
- Spinal injuries
Foraminal stenosis is a specific type of spinal stenosis that affects vertebral foramen. The symptoms mirror those of a pinched nerve. If a physician suspects you have stenosis, they will perform a CT scan or MRI to determine whether it is spinal or foraminal.
In some cases, surgery is necessary to open up the space enough for nerves to pass through unhindered. This procedure is called a foraminotomy.
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Overcompensating For Abnormal Movements
If you limp on a regular basis, you might find yourself overcompensating in your trunk area to maintain your balance. For instance, you might lean forward excessively or extend your spine a bit too far backward. This overcompensating could weaken the muscles in your lower back, buttocks, and abdomen that support your spine.
Get Treatment For Your Back Or Neck Problem
If your dizziness is linked to an issue with neck pain or back pain, its important that you get the neck/back pain treated as soon as possible. Undergoing medical care for a serious spinal condition or injury will often alleviate the side effects that are associated with the condition. We will work with you to address the root problem affecting your back, restoring total wellness in the process.
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What Happens When Sciatic Pain Doesnt Go Away
When sciatic pain doesnt go away, there is more than likely an underlying cause, and a visit to your physician is warranted. Sciatica pain is directly related to irritation of the sciatic nerve. As mentioned earlier, there can be a structural cause within the spine, but there can also be a systemic cause.
Some people have high levels of inflammation in their system, which can affect the entire body. This can be a result of diet, exposure to certain toxins, or an underlying disease process. Your doctor can perform a blood test to check your inflammation levels.
Some treatments that your physician might recommend include:
-Physical Therapy a physical therapist will perform an evaluation and formulate a treatment plan of exercises and modalities to help reduce your symptoms. They will also teach you how to best manage your symptoms at home, including body mechanics training, posture training, nerve glides, and stretches.
-Epidural Steroid Injections Your doctor may recommend epidural steroid injections if you have a bulging or herniated disc. These are usually performed under guided fluoroscopy, a live x-ray where the doctor can see the area that needs to be injected. A local anesthetic is used to minimize discomfort.
So if you are terrified of shots and an epidural steroid injection sounds absolutely terrible, fear not. They really arent that bad, and the reward will be well worth it.