FROM OUR EXPERTS
Every painful spine has a pattern. Do you know your pattern? By knowing when it hurts and when it feels better, you can then figure out how to control your spine pain better. Most spines fit into one of two patterns. Pain that is triggered by extension or pain that is triggered by flexion. Let’s break it down into more detail
Extension-triggered pain presents itself in a variety of ways depending on which part of the spine hurts. If the neck is sensitive to extension, then activities like looking up at a ceiling, the sky or looking through the bottom portion of a bifocal lenses will cause the pain to get worse. This type of pain in the neck is usually related to arthritis in the facet joints of the cervical spine. Improving extension-triggered neck pain is accomplished by tucking the chin closer to the chest, strengthening the anterior neck flexor muscles and avoiding looking up.
Extension-triggered pain in the low back usually feels worse when walking or standing....
X-ray - lumbosacral spine; X-ray - lower spine
What abnormal results mean
Lumbosacral spine x-rays may show:
Abnormal curves of the spine
Abnormal wear on the cartilage and bones of the lower spine, such as bone spurs and narrowing of the joints between the vertebrae
Cancer (although cancer often cannot be seen on this type of x-ray)
Signs of thinning bones ( osteoporosis )
, in which a bone (vertebra) in the lower part of the spine slips out of the proper position onto the bone below it
Though some of these findings may be seen on an x-ray, they are not always caused by a person's back.
Many problems in the spine cannot be diagnosed using a lumbosacral x-ray, including:
Slipped or herniated disc
- narrowing of the spinal column
Lumbar radiculopathy; Cervical radiculopathy; Herniated intervertebral disk; Prolapsed intervertebral disk; Slipped disk; Ruptured disk; Herniated nucleus pulposus
Low back or neck pain can vary widely. It may feel like a mild tingling, dull ache, or a burning or pulsating sensation. In some cases, the pain is severe enough that you are unable to move. You may also have numbness .
The pain most often occurs on one side of the body.
With a lumbar (lower back) herniated disk, you may have sharp pain in one part of the leg, hip, or buttocks and numbness in other parts. You may also feel the sensations on the back of the calf or sole of the foot. The affected leg may feel weak.
With a cervical (neck) disk herniation, you may have pain when moving your neck, deep pain near or over the shoulder blade, or pain that radiates to the upper arm, forearm, or (rarely) fingers.
The pain often starts slowly. It may get worse:
You should know
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