Neck and back pain can range from mild to severe and negatively affect your quality of life. Your work performance, leisure activities, and even your sleep can suffer if you are experiencing neck and back pain. To understand your condition better, get to know more about the possible causes of neck and back pain.
What Is Neck and Back Pain?
Neck and back pain is a general description of various unpleasant sensations along your spine, which can also extend to other parts of your body. This pain may occur in one or more of the following ways:
- Sharp, dull, or burning pain confined to a single small area or covering a large area
- Stiffness anywhere along your spine, which may either be constant or aggravated by certain activities
- Increasing pain along your neck or upper back when holding your head in a specific position
- Muscle tightness or spasms
- Difficulty moving your neck or back
- Numbness or tingling sensation along your arms or legs
- Sharp, shooting pain that radiates to other parts of your body
Why Do I Have Neck and Back Pain?
Various conditions or injuries can cause neck and back pain. An experienced orthopedic doctor will help diagnose your condition and recommend the appropriate treatment. Here are some of the most common causes of neck and back pain:
Traumatic Accidents and Injuries
Neck and back pain caused by traumatic accidents and injuries are generally classified as acute pain. This means the pain occurs suddenly and does not last longer than six weeks. It is likely due to an injured nerve, muscle, or connective tissue brought about by direct trauma or excessive force on the neck or back.
Overuse and Repetitive Movements
Overuse and repetitive movements can cause progressive damage to the neck and back. Examples include sitting at your desk or standing for long periods. Manual labor that involves heavy lifting, bending, or twisting may also cause overuse injuries to your back. Proper ergonomics or body mechanics can help minimize the strain.
The spine carries much of our body weight. Its natural curves help distribute the weight for an ideal posture. When we hunch forward or overly push the hips back, we may suffer from poor posture. For example, a forward head with slouched and rounded shoulders can cause neck pain.
Individuals whose work requires them to remain in one position may often experience neck and back pain because of poor posture. Remember to hold your head level and your shoulders back to reduce the strain on your back muscles and spine.
Obesity and Pregnancy
The weight our spine carries is also a factor for back pain. Obesity can cause spinal stress, especially in the lower back. Pregnant women may also experience back pain, which may further increase during the last trimester.
Missing or malformed vertebrae or bone in your spine can cause back pain. These abnormalities may occur at birth or develop as you age, resulting in a curve in the spine. A forward rounding of the spine is known as kyphosis, while an inward curvature is lordosis. Meanwhile, scoliosis is the development of a sideward curvature of the spine.
Degenerative Diseases and Aging
Aging and certain conditions may cause our spine to degenerate. An example is degenerative disc disease, where the cushion between bones of the spine thins out. Another common condition is osteoporosis, where there is low bone density in the spine because of insufficient calcium in the body. These conditions usually affect older people.
Sometimes, back pain may be a symptom of an infection in your body. For instance, bladder and kidney bacterial infections can cause back pain, especially in the later stages. Lyme disease from ticks may also lead to neck stiffness and low back pain, together with other symptoms. Go to a hospital right away if you experience other symptoms with your neck and back pain.
Neck and Back Pain Treatment in Hartford and Tolland Counties, CT
Neck and back pain may develop from a variety of causes, and no matter the reason, pain can limit your activities and affect your quality of life. Many individuals often resort to taking over-the-counter medications, but it’s still vital to know where you can go for help. A healthcare provider expert in orthopedics will guide you through the treatments for your case, from conservative methods to surgical procedures.
If you live around north-central Connecticut, we got you covered! At Advanced Orthopedics New England, our team of experts in neck and back pain can help ease your condition. You may call our friendly staff at (860) 728-6740 or fill out our appointment request form. We are open to serving you at any of our clinics in Hartford and Tolland counties in Connecticut.
We look forward to helping you move through life, neck, and back pain-free!