Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: June 15, 2016
Back pain is one of the trickier problems to diagnose on your own. Unlike other areas of your body, spine pain isn’t always caused by an acute injury. Oftentimes foot pain can be traced back to a time when you stubbed your toe or rolled your ankle, but spine pain can seemingly come out of nowhere. Today, we take a look at a couple of reasons you may be experiencing spine pain even though you didn’t suffer an acute injury. If you’re dealing with spine pain, and you didn’t suffer a fall or trauma, here’s a couple of things that could be causing you pain.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Despite having the moniker “disease” attached to its name, degenerative disc disease is really just the natural degeneration our spinal structures experience as we age. If you’re in your 50s, 60s or 70s, or if you’ve worked manual labor all your life, odds are your spinal discs or the cartilage between them have worn down a bit. Over-the-counter pain medications, physical therapy, rest and exercise can help prevent pain that stems from degenerative disc disease.
A pinched nerve can cause bouts of shooting pain, and oftentimes you don’t need to do much to end up with a compressed nerve. Sometimes a pinched nerve can be the result of sleeping in an awkward position or from staying in a position to long. If your pain is sharp or shooting, and it seems to be coming from a central location, you may have a pinched nerve. Stretches, exercise, physical therapy or doctor manipulation can help free the compressed nerve.
Bone Spurs (Osteophytes)
Another cause of pain that isn’t the result of an acute injury is bone spurs. Similar to degenerative disc disease, osteophytes develop as a result of spine overuse over the years. As your disc material slowly wears out, ligaments become loose and excess motion occurs at the disc. The body compensates for this excess movement by thickening the ligaments that hold the spinal structures together, but these thickened ligaments can calcify over time. This can result in the formation of bone spurs, which can cause inflammation or pain in the nearby structures. Anti-inflammatory medications, rest, targeted therapy or a more hands-on approach with physician intervention can help ease pain caused by bone spurs.
If your spine pain seems to come out of nowhere, consider setting up an appointment with a skilled spinal specialist. They can conduct a physical exam or imaging tests to get to the root of the problem so treatment can begin right away, and the quicker you treat spine pain, the faster it resolves.