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Spinal Pain

Updated: Apr 25

Types of spinal pain include neck pain, lower back pain and sciatica, and can range from mild to very severe. Spinal pain can have a severe effect on quality of life, restricting your mobility and ability to perform daily activities.


Fortunately, Healand Clinic can help. Our fully-qualified clinicians have a range of treatments available, designed to alleviate neck pain, lower back pain and sciatica either permanently or temporarily. Our full range of pain treatments can be found here.


Neck pain


Neck pain is a common condition that can be caused by a variety of factors. It can range from mild discomfort to severe pain, and it may be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-lasting). Here is an overview of neck pain:


Causes

Muscle strain

Poor posture, overuse of the neck muscles, or sudden movements can strain the muscles and ligaments in the neck, leading to pain and stiffness. This can occur due to activities like prolonged sitting, working at a computer for extended periods, or improper lifting techniques.


Whiplash

Whiplash is a neck injury commonly caused by a sudden forceful backward and forward movement of the neck. It often occurs during car accidents but can also result from sports injuries or falls.


Herniated or bulging discs

The intervertebral discs act as cushions between the vertebrae in the spine. When a disc herniates or bulges, the gel-like center can protrude and put pressure on nearby nerves, resulting in neck pain and sometimes radiating pain, numbness, or weakness in the arms.


Cervical spondylosis

This is a degenerative condition that affects the spinal discs and joints in the neck as part of the aging process. It involves wear and tear of the cervical spine, which can cause neck pain, stiffness, and decreased mobility.


Cervical radiculopathy

Compression or irritation of the nerves in the neck, typically due to herniated discs or bone spurs, can lead to cervical radiculopathy. This condition can cause pain, numbness, tingling, or

weakness that radiates from the neck into the shoulder, arm, or hand.


Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis can affect the joints in the neck, causing pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion.


Poor ergonomics

Working or sleeping in positions that strain the neck, such as using an unsupportive pillow or maintaining awkward postures, can contribute to neck pain.


Other causes

Neck pain can also be caused by conditions like spinal stenosis, fibromyalgia, infections, tumors, or referred pain from other structures in the body.


Symptoms and Diagnosis

Neck pain can present with various symptoms, including:


Pain and stiffness

Neck pain may be localized or radiate to the shoulders, upper back, or arms. It can range from aching, soreness, or sharp pain, and may be accompanied by stiffness that limits range of motion.


Headaches

Neck pain can sometimes cause tension headaches that originate from the neck muscles.


Muscle spasms

In response to injury or strain, the neck muscles may contract and cause spasms, leading to increased pain and discomfort.


Numbness or tingling

If nerves are affected, neck pain may be accompanied by sensations of numbness, tingling, or weakness that radiate down the arm or into the fingers.


How can Healand help with neck pain?

To diagnose the cause of neck pain, a Healand clinician will typically perform a physical examination, evaluate your medical history, and may order imaging tests such as X-rays, MRI, or CT scans if needed.


We offer a range of therapies that can help with neck pain caused by the various mechanisms

described above. Please book a consultation to discuss this further with us via the form at the end of this article.


Lower back pain

Lower back pain is a prevalent condition that affects a significant number of people

at some point in their lives. It can range from mild discomfort to severe pain and can

be acute (short-term) or chronic (lasting for more than three months). Here is an

overview of lower back pain:


Causes


Muscle strain

Straining the muscles and ligaments in the lower back, often due to improper lifting techniques, sudden movements, or overuse, can lead to lower back pain.


Herniated or bulging discs

The intervertebral discs act as cushions between the vertebrae in the spine. When a disc herniates or bulges, the inner gel-like material can protrude and press on nearby nerves, causing lower back pain. This can occur due to aging, injury, or repetitive stress.


Spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis refers to the narrowing of the spinal canal or the openings through which nerves exit the spinal cord. This narrowing can put pressure on the spinal cord or nerves, resulting in lower back pain and sometimes leg pain or numbness.


Degenerative disc disease

With age, the intervertebral discs can gradually wear down, leading to degenerative disc disease. This condition can cause lower back pain, stiffness, and reduced flexibility.


Sciatica

Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back down the back of each leg, becomes compressed or irritated. This can cause sharp, shooting pain, tingling, or numbness that radiates from the lower back through the buttocks and down the leg.


Arthritis

Various forms of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, can affect the lower back and cause pain, stiffness, and inflammation.


Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis occurs when one vertebra slips forward over another, often due to a defect or fracture in the supporting structures of the spine. This can lead to lower back pain and may affect nerve function if it compresses spinal nerves.


Other causes

Other potential causes of lower back pain include muscle spasms, spinal infections, kidney stones or infections, certain systemic diseases, or referred pain from other structures in the body.


Symptoms and Diagnosis

Lower back pain can present with various symptoms, including:


Pain

Lower back pain can range from a dull ache to sharp or stabbing pain. It may be localized to the lower back or radiate to the buttocks, hips, or legs, depending on the underlying cause.


Muscle spasms

In response to injury or strain, the muscles in the lower back may contract and cause spasms, leading to increased pain and discomfort.


Limited mobility and stiffness

Lower back pain can make it difficult to perform everyday activities and may result in reduced flexibility and stiffness in the lower back region.


Numbness or tingling

If nerves are affected, lower back pain may be accompanied by sensations of numbness, tingling, or weakness that radiate into the buttocks, legs, or feet.


How can Healand help with lower back pain?

To diagnose the cause of lower back pain, your Healand clinician will typically

perform a physical examination, evaluate your medical history, and may order imaging

tests such as X-rays, MRI, or CT scans if needed.


We offer a range of therapies that can help with back pain caused by the various mechanisms

described above. Please book a consultation to discuss this further with us via the form at the end of this article.


Sciatica

Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back through the hips, buttocks, and down each leg. It is typically caused by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve. Here is an overview of sciatica:


Causes


Herniated or bulging discs

One of the most common causes of sciatica is a herniated or bulging disc in the lumbar spine. When the inner gel-like material of a disc protrudes and presses on the sciatic nerve, it can lead to pain and other symptoms.


Spinal stenosis

Narrowing of the spinal canal or nerve root canals in the lower back can result in compression of the sciatic nerve and cause sciatica symptoms.


Piriformis syndrome

The piriformis muscle, located deep in the buttocks, can sometimes irritate or compress the sciatic nerve, leading to sciatica symptoms.


Spinal tumors or infections

Rarely, tumors or infections in the spine can affect the sciatic nerve and cause sciatica.


Degenerative disc disease

With age, the intervertebral discs can degenerate, leading to narrowing of the space between vertebrae and potential compression of the sciatic nerve.


Symptoms


Pain

The hallmark symptom of sciatica is pain that radiates from the lower back or buttocks down the back of the leg. The pain can vary in intensity, from a mild ache to sharp, shooting pain.


Numbness and tingling

Along with pain, individuals with sciatica may experience numbness, tingling, or a pins-and-needles sensation in the leg or foot.


Muscle weakness

In severe cases, sciatica can cause muscle weakness, making it difficult to move the affected leg or foot.


Worsening of symptoms

Symptoms may worsen with prolonged sitting, standing, sneezing, or coughing, as these actions can increase pressure on the sciatic nerve.


How can Healand help with sciatica pain?

A healthcare professional will typically diagnose sciatica based on your symptoms, medical history, and a physical examination. Imaging tests such as X-rays, MRI, or CT scans may be ordered to identify the underlying cause of the sciatica.


We offer a range of therapies that can help with sciatica pain caused by the various mechanisms described above. Please book a consultation to discuss this further with us.






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