As referred pain can affect other parts of the body as well as the spine, the term "spine pain" is almost incorrect. The reason for this is that pain in the legs or arms is most often caused by a bulging or herniated disc in the spine. Acute back pain is usually caused by muscles or ligaments that surround the spine, or by broken or malformed bones of the back. Spine pain is not typically caused by the spine itself, but by the muscles or ligaments that surround the spine. Four regions of the spine are associated with different types of pain: Cervical, or neck region; Thoracic, or middle back region; Lumbar, which is connected with the pelvis; and Sacral, or pelvic region.

Composition of the spine

As the only being on the planet that can hold itself upright, the human spine is very durable. The spine is composed of bones called vertebrae, which are stacks of smaller bones with discs between them. Nerves attach to the spinal cord and communicate to the brain how our bodies should react to pain or surprise. The brain directs how our bodies will move to carry out day-to-day tasks. A pinched or compromised nerve around the spinal cord can cause back pain. Back pain can also manifest in the muscles and ligaments that support the spine. Pain in the spine is treatable, regardless of the cause.

Spine Pain Diagnosis

Technology has not only changed the way we communicate with the capability of receiving documents, going online, and downloading music to a tiny phone, but also the way we do medicine with the ability to see inside the body without making a single incision. CT scans and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can provide "slices" of what is inside the spine to determine what may be causing the pain. This technology helps spine doctors detect tumors, herniated discs, spine degeneration, fractures, and compression, and can report the images in 3-D for efficient evaluation. Even though the latest technology is excellent, communicating with your doctor is crucial to describing your spine pain in a way that allows for accurate testing and diagnosis.

Pain Treatment for the Spine

In most cases, we seek treatment as soon as possible when we have spine pain that is severe enough to require diagnosis and treatment. In our everyday lives, it is essential to keep the back healthy and pain-free since it is essential for most movement. A spine doctor will probably begin treatment with conservative measures like hot and cold packs, anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics, physical therapy, massage, and a neck brace or lumbar corset. A combination of epidural corticosteroid injections and electrical stimulation may be prescribed if the pain does not subside; surgery is another option. Since they have a high success rate for relieving pain, minimally invasive back surgeries are becoming more commonplace. Major spinal surgeries require large incisions.