5 Non-Spinal Injuries That Can End Up Hurting Your Back

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi

Thick Spinal Ligaments

Nobody wants to slow down after an injury, but if you keep trying to power through the pain and doing normal activities and movements, it can end up leading to worsening symptoms or other problems in your body. In fact, we treat a lot of patients who develop back pain after suffering an injury to a different part of the body. In today’s blog, we take a look at five types of injuries in other areas of your body that can lead to the manifestation of back pain if not treated correctly.

How Back Pain Can Develop From Unrelated Injuries

A common theme that you’ll see throughout this post is that your spine often ends up taking on additional stress to compensate for injuries to other areas of the body. When it does this, muscle groups can become overwhelmed and back pain can develop. Here’s a look at how injuries in other areas of your body can lead to chronic back pain.

  1. Foot Injuries – Ankle sprains or foot fractures can leave you unable to bear full weight on that leg. This can leave you hobbling around on crutches or in a walking boot, but it will also lead to more weight being channeled through your good leg. This added force is felt in your foot, knee, hip and spine, and over time it can lead to lumbar spine pain. Many people are surprised to learn that gait changes as a result of a foot injury can lead to additional stress on their spine.
  2. Hip Arthritis – Hip pain or the early onset of hip arthritis can have a similar effect on your spine. As your body begins to change your walking motion in order to take stress off the spine, it inherently shifts this burden to your spine. It may not feel like much in the moment, but over time this shifted stress pattern can lead to disc or vertebral degeneration in your spine, along with the onset of back pain. Talk with a specialist about your hip pain so that it doesn’t end up causing more problems with your spine and body.
  3. Neck Pain – Your neck helps make up a portion of your cervical spine, so neck injuries are technically back injuries, but we’re still putting this on the list. Whiplash or cervical disc degeneration can impact our range of motion and the mobility of our neck, and if you want to protect the upper portion of your spine, it’s important to proactively treat these injuries. Don’t just rest the area and hope it heals. Get a diagnosis and participate in targeted physical therapy exercises to strengthen your cervical spine and stave off future issues in the area.
  4. Shoulder Injuries – Torn muscles, rotator cuff injuries or bursitis can leave a person favoring one arm over the other, but your spine plays a bigger role in the movement of your arms than you may imagine. If you’re constantly using one arm or neglecting using one shoulder out of pain, one side of your back is going to be overstressed while muscle groups on the other side could atrophy because they are going unused. Again, we strongly recommend proactively treating problems to prevent secondary issues from developing.
  5. Core Injuries – Your core plays a very important role in helping stabilize your spine, and while they are positioned in close proximity to one another, many people don’t realize the impact an abdominal injury can have on your spine. Work hard to help these core injuries heal, otherwise your spine may not have the stability it needs to perform certain activities required for lifting, turning or other athletic movements.

For more information about how injuries to other areas of your body can lead to spine problems if you’re not careful, or to talk to a spine specialist about any back pain that has recently developed, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi and his team today.

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