Spine pain has been poorly understood. A lot of research has been done on lower back pain, which does also affect the spine, but people who have spine pain will usually state that it moves across the whole length of the back. One of the issues is that this particular type of pain is such a wide range problem that it can be difficult to determine just what the issue is, how it is experienced, and what type of spine pain relief is most suitable.
The Data on Spine Pain:
When we consider spine pain to be something that is felt in any part of the back, we know that:
- Up to 72% experience it at some point in their life, 51.4% of people experience it for at least a week, 34.8% experience it for a month, 7% experience it for three months, and 34.8% experience it for a full year during their lifetime. Finally, 19.5% of people experience pain throughout their life.
- Spine pain is more common in young people, and particularly in girls.
- Spine pain in children is often due to growth spurts, improper carrying techniques of backpacks, weight of backpacks, underlying medical conditions, sports participation, and chair height. Interestingly, those who struggle with the early to late adolescence transition are more likely to experience spine pain.
- Adults with spine pain usually have other musculoskeletal problems that affect their day to day life.
Spine Pain Causes:
One of the reasons why it can be difficult to determine appropriate spine pain relief is because it has so many potential causes. The most common ones include:
- Sudden injury or trauma, poor posture over a long period of time, and strain.
- Irritation to the soft tissues, including the muscles. This is a symptom rather than a cause, however, and tends to indicate poor posture, lack of strength, poor sitting positions, overuse injuries including repetitive strain, improperly using a backpack, and whiplash injuries.
- Thoracic spine stenosis affecting cervical spine stenosis, although this is still poorly understood and has only come to light after studying cadavers.
- Disc herniation, which is a very common reason for people to experience spine pain.
- Neoplastic, infective, metabolic, degenerative, and inflammatory conditions.
- Medical conditions, such as Scheuermann's disease, osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and primary and secondary osteoporosis. In this case, spine pain is particularly common in people who have vertebral bone loss, leading to hyperkyphosis and vertebral fractures.
Understanding Spine Pain Relief:
As demonstrated above, the reasons why some people experience spine pain are wide and varied. As a result, finding relief can vary as well, and is often dependent on the underlying cause of the pain itself. Recognized forms of relief include:
- Time, with many cases simply resolving by themselves.
- Treatment targeting the underlying condition of which spine pain is symptomatic.
- Imaging guided intra articular injections, which are particularly suitable for those who experience spine pain due to facet joint pathology.
- Surgery, although this is incredibly rare. Spinal surgery has high complication rates, and even mortality rates. However, with new surgical techniques being developed, outcomes are becoming more positive.