Sometimes back pain is not strictly related to spinal structures. Sometimes back pain comes from other places, specifically internal organs. In a process called referred pain , internal organs can send pain signals to other parts of the body. For example, when someone is experiencing a heart attack, the left arm may ache. Nothing is wrong with the arm, but this limb hurts because the heart is referring pain to it. The neck, mid-back and low back are also potential targets for referred pain. Here are two examples when "back pain" has nothing to do with spinal problems.
Gallbladder : The gallbladder is a small organ tucked up near the liver that helps with digestion. Within this internal organ problems can arise like a blockage from a stone, an infection, or just an inflamed gallbladder attack. Sometimes the symptoms clearly point to a problem with the gallbladder. These classic symptoms include right upper quadrant abdominal pain just underneath the right chest wall, nausea, gas, ...
A recent task force has determined that women are at higher risk for developing neck pain than men. What accounts for this gender difference? A number of factors contribute to neck pain including coping skills, personalities, work environments and physical activities. But, as a patient eloquently stated while lifting her shirt, "What about these?" Are breasts a major contributor to the higher incidence of neck pain in women? In 1996, our judicial system examined the evidence and determined (Bancroft v Tecumseh Products) that breast reduction surgery was indeed medically necessary to relieve headache , neck pain and shoulder pain. This verdict establishes the cause and effect relationship between breasts and neck pain.
A closer examination into the breast risk factor can illuminate a multitude of reasons why size A, B, C, D, or DD really matters to the spine. Let's think in terms of triple "B's".
B reasts :
Are your breasts big, small, not at all (absent) or just righ...
My shoulder hurts...is it osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a very common problem. Most people know someone who is dealing with arthritis of at least one joint. Spine, hips, knees, and hands are the most common places for osteoarthritis to cause symptoms. However, any joint can be affected and a common question I hear when a patient presents with shoulder pain is: Do I have arthritis?
First, a bit of anatomy -- the shoulder is composed of two separate joints:
(1) the acromioclavicular joint where the collarbone meets the shoulder bone (2) the glenohumeral joint where the ball of the humerus articulates with the shoulder blade (scapula). Both joints can be affected by osteoarthritis. It is relatively uncommon for osteoarthritis to develop in the glenohumeral joint without a history of trauma or previous injury. We'll discuss that in a minute. First, let's review the acromioclavicular joint.
Causes of Shoulder Pain Besides Arthritis The glenohumeral joint is the most mobile j...
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