5 Spine Symptoms That May Signal A Bigger Back Issue

Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: November 18, 2021

Spinal Shock Stages

Back pain is one of the most common health conditions that plagues average Americans, and because it’s so common, many people mistakenly believe it’s not a big deal. While certain minor backaches aren’t a major concern, they shouldn’t be ignored, because oftentimes they will only continue to get worse. That’s especially true for certain spinal symptoms that suggest a major issue could be brewing if left ignored. In today’s blog, we take a look at five spinal symptoms that suggest a bigger back problem could develop if you don’t start active treatment soon.

5 Signs Of A Major Underlying Spinal Issue

If you’re dealing with any of these issues, start with some conservative treatments at home and work to correct the problem. If things don’t get better, connect with a spine specialist to ensure the issue doesn’t snowball into a major problem.

  1. Chronic dull back pain – Most people think that if their back pain is minor or dull, that it’s not a big deal. If you have some back soreness for a couple minutes after sitting for an extended period, that’s probably not a big deal, but if dull back pain is constantly present, or your minor back pain has become chronic, it’s something that shouldn’t be ignored. Even if the pain is mild, if it’s constant or chronic, begin treatment.
  2. Sharp back pain – Pain may not be constant, but if it can be described as extreme, shooting or sharp, you shouldn’t ignore the pain simply because it’s not a constant issue. Major pain or discomfort that travels down your arm or leg suggests there’s a nerve issue at play. Treatment may be as simple as freeing the compressed nerve, but it’s unlikely to decompress without targeted treatment. Left untreated, nerve damage tends to worsen.
  3. Back pain that alters your gait – If your back pain is causing you to walk with a limp or a hitch in your step, it’s time to see a specialist. If you’re compensating because of a spinal issue, other structures will have to take on additional stress as you walk and move, and that can serve to break them down faster. An unaddressed spinal problem that alters your gait can easily lead to back, knee or hip pain if you’re not careful. If you’re not walking normally because of back pain, it’s time to start treating the issue.
  4. Neck pain that limits flexibility – Sometimes a problem with your cervical spine can lead to an issue that limits flexibility or range of motion in your neck. You need to be able to comfortably turn your head to each side, and don’t just assume that the issue will correct itself in a few days on its own. Whiplash or posture issues could be leading to tissue injuries or degenerative changes that are causing problems for your upper spine. Talk with a doctor if your neck is no longer as flexible as it used to be.
  5. Arm or leg weakness – Finally, if your back discomfort is coupled with arm or leg weakness, it’s a clear sign that you need to consider active treatment. Spinal nerves run down your arms and legs, and if these nerves become compressed by a shifted spinal disc, you may deal with mild to severe muscle weakness in your extremities. Not only can this cause numerous issues throughout the day, it can also be dangerous. Weakness in your extremities will only get worse if you try to push through the pain, so consult with a spine specialist if you’re dealing with arm or leg weakness.

Don’t ignore these five signs, because all of these symptoms and their conditions become much harder to treat in later stages. Instead, confront and treat the issue head on. For help doing just that, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi and the team at the Midwest Spine & Brain Institute today.

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