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Neurosurgery - Symptoms of Spinal Conditions

Symptoms of Spinal Conditions

Back Pain, neck pain and symptoms caused by a spinal condition are a common problem for many adult Americans. The different parts of the spine are normally well balanced and able to handle the movements, stresses, and strains of the body gracefully. However, when parts of the neck or back are injured or start to wear out, it can be a significant source of pain and discomfort.
 
When describing symptoms to your doctor use adjectives like dull, aching, hot, or throbbing and make sure to include the duration of these symptoms.
 
Below are some common symptoms. To learn more, click on the symptom that you have been experiencing:
 
 
If any of the following symptoms occur, contact a doctor immediately:
 
  • Pain is worse when you cough or sneeze
  • Pain or numbness travels down one or both legs
  • Pain awakens you from sleep
  • You are finding it difficult to pass urine or have a bowel movement
  • Pain is accompanied by loss of control of urination or bowel movements
 
These important symptoms could signal nerve damage or other serious medical problems. There are many other conditions that could be causing these problems, but an early and accurate diagnosis is vital for successful treatment.

Back pain

Back pain is the body's natural response to injury or degenerative conditions of the spine. Usually, it's resolved by time and non-surgical treatment, but it's also important to know which conditions warrant a call to the doctor.
 
The back is one of our most important anatomic structures, providing support and facilitating mobility and balance for the entire body, as well as protecting the spinal cord. Because of the loads placed on it each and every day, it's no surprise this well-designed structure, consisting of bones (vertebrae), discs, muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves, is particularly susceptible to injury and other conditions that may have you reaching for the heating pad - or your doctor's phone number.
 
When you feel pain, it's your body's natural reaction to signals transmitted from the pain source, which travel through the nerves in the spinal cord and up to the brain, where they are perceived as pain.

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Neck Pain

The cervical spine is designed to handle a great deal of stress; however, there are a number of degenerative changes that can take place in the vertebrae and discs, resulting in neck pain and other symptoms.
 
Neck pain and other symptoms caused by a cervical (neck) spine disorder are a very common problem for many adult Americans. The neck, or cervical spine, is made up of seven vertebrae separated by shock-absorbing intervertebral discs and supported by muscles and ligaments, and also is rich in spinal nerves and nerve roots.
 
When you feel pain, it’s a reaction to signals transmitted throughout your body. These signals are sent from the pain source through the nerves in the spinal cord and into the brain, where they are perceived as pain. In addition to causing neck pain, problems that originate in the cervical spine may result in pain and other symptoms, such as tingling, numbness and muscle weakness, which extend into the shoulders, arms and hands.

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Arm Pain

Degenerative conditions in the cervical spine are a common source of arm pain.
 
If you are experiencing arm pain, the source of your discomfort may not actually be in your arm, but in your neck. The neck, or cervical spine, is made up of seven vertebrae separated by shock-absorbing intervertebral discs and supported by muscles and ligaments, and also is rich in spinal nerves and nerve roots.
 
When you feel pain, it's a reaction to signals transmitted throughout your body. These signals are sent from the pain source through the nerves in the spinal cord and into the brain, where they are perceived as pain. Problems that originate in the cervical spine may result in pain and other symptoms, such as tingling, numbness and muscle weakness, which may be localized in the neck and/or extend into the shoulders, arms and hands. The medical term for symptoms that radiate into the extremities is radiculopathy, derived from the Latin words "radix," or roots, and "pathos," which means disease.

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Leg Pain

Degenerative conditions in the vertebrae of your lumbar spine, or low back, are a common source of leg pain.
 
If you are experiencing leg pain, the source of your discomfort may not actually be in your leg, but in your lower back, or lumbar spine. The lumbar spine is a common source of back pain because it bears more body weight than any other section of the spine and is also subject to a significant amount of stress and force, be it from lifting a load of laundry or blocking a tackle.
 
When you feel pain, it's a reaction to signals transmitted throughout your body. These signals are sent from the pain source through the nerves in the spinal cord and into the brain, where they are perceived as pain. Problems that originate in the lumbar spine may result in pain and other symptoms, such as tingling, numbness and muscle weakness, which may be localized in the lower back and/or extend into the hips, buttocks and/or legs. The medical term for symptoms that radiate into the extremities is radiculopathy, derived from the Latin words "radix," or roots, and "pathos," which means disease.

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