Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: December 29, 2022
We typically assume that when we develop pain in a specific location of our body, that’s where the underlying issue resides, but that’s not always the case. When an issue in one area of our body causes pain in another part, this is known as referred back pain. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at some issues that can refer pain on your back, and some spinal conditions that can refer pain to other areas of your body.
Referred Spine Pain
We’ll start by talking about some of the spinal conditions that can refer pain to other areas of your body, because these are the conditions that Dr. Sinicropi and his team will be better able to address. A number of different spinal issues can lead to symptoms in other areas of your body, especially in your arms and legs, because your spinal canal houses numerous sensory nerves that spread all around your body. If these nerves become compressed, irritated or damaged, they can fire off pain signals that can be felt in your extremities. Some of the most common spinal conditions that can refer pain to other body parts include:
- Pinched spinal nerves
- Herniated discs
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spinal stenosis
- Bone spurs
- Facet joint dysfunction
When you’re dealing with the above conditions, it’s not uncommon to have symptoms in your spine and symptoms that affect other areas of your body, so it’s important to head to your primary care physician or a spine specialist to figure out exactly what’s going on. A compressed nerve in your spine could be affecting your ability to walk with a normal gait, but that doesn’t mean the issue is housed in your feet. Connect with a specialist and figure out what’s going on so that a treatment strategy can be developed.
Conversely, there are some health conditions that can present with spine pain and discomfort that your spine specialist really won’t be able to help you with. One of the most common issues that presents with or disguises itself as a spinal problem is a kidney stone. Kidney stones are tiny deposits of minerals and salts that can be quite painful to pass through your kidney and bladder. They can cause severe back pain or pain that seems to come and go in waves until the stone is passed out of your system. Your spine specialist may be able to help find them when screening for other potential causes of pain. Gallstones, prostate problems or pancreatitis can all also refer pain to the spine.
Oftentimes pain is a pretty good guide as to where you and your doctor should look for an issue, but it’s not always indicative of where the real problem lies. To ensure you get to the root of what’s causing your back pain, and to figure out the best way to treat the issue, connect with Dr. Sinicropi and the team at Midwest Spine & Brain Institute today at (651) 430-3800.