Since there are many potential causes of neck and back pain, it’s important you seek medical attention. This is especially true if you have experienced any sort of injury or trauma to your neck that is causing your pain, your pain is severe and not improving after one week, or your pain keeps you up at night.
Associated symptoms that require medical attention include:
- Painful, burning sensation in shoulders, neck or arms
- Tingling, numbing, and weakness throughout the arm(s) or leg(s)
- Headaches or dizziness
- Vision challenges
- Declining control over bladder or bowel
- Decreased balance
- A sense of instability in the neck
- Sudden temperature changes/ experiencing fevers and/or chills
- Sudden weight loss
Common Causes of Neck Pain
Your neck consists of bones, ligaments, discs, muscles, and nerves that make up the top part of your spinal cord. Injuries or diseases to any of these structures may lead to neck pain.
Over time, arthritis of the neck (cervical spondylosis) may result from bony spurs and problems with ligaments and discs. The spinal canal may narrow (stenosis) and compress the spinal cord and nerves to the arms, causing neck pain.
Lower Back Pain
The most common symptom of a herniated disc is sciatica, caused by pressure on the spinal nerve. Sciatica is a sharp, often shooting, pain that extends from the buttocks down the back of one leg.
Other symptoms include:
- Weakness in one leg
- Tingling or numbness in one leg or buttock, due to a malfunctioning nerve
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
Other Common Causes of Lower Back Pain
Degenerative changes may lead to instability or abnormal motion between the vertebrae. These shifts in the lower back can lead to slippage of one vertebra on another, a painful condition called spondylolisthesis.
It’s important to understand the type of pain you are feeling as neck and back pain can quickly escalate if left untreated. Surgery, injections, and alternative treatments can all be options depending on the pain you are experiencing.