Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi
Spine pain comes in all different shapes and sizes, and there are also a number of different terms used to describe conditions that affect your spine. One such term is dorsalgia. Dorsalgia is kind of a general term to describe a variety of spinal conditions, but it’s not just a catch all for any type of spine pain. Below, we take a closer look at what it means to be diagnosed with dorsalgia and how the condition can be treated with the help of a spine specialist.
Dorsalgia is derived from the words “dorsal”, meaning back, and “algia”, which means pain. It is commonly used to describe low back pain, mid back pain or sciatic nerve related pain, but dorsalgia only refers to conditions that originate in muscles, nerves or joints. Dorsalgia would not be used to describe a curvature disorder with your spinal vertebrae, like scoliosis or lordosis. Instead, it describes back pain that begins in your joints, nerves and muscles.
Because it can be connected to a number of underlying conditions, dorsalgia can be caused by a number of different issues. Muscle strains, joint degeneration and disc herniations that impinge a nearby nerve can all cause issues that may be classified as dorsalgia. If you’re experiencing new back pain, especially after physical activity or trauma to the area, odds are you’re dealing with an injury that may be classified as dorsalgia.
Diagnosing And Treating Dorsalgia
Because dorsalgia is a term that is used to describe a range of different issues relating to the muscles, nerves or joints in the spinal area, it’s imperative that you connect with a spine specialist to figure out exactly what’s causing discomfort in your spine. Oftentimes this will begin with a physical exam to look for any obvious issues in an area, like swelling and bruising. Your spine specialist may also have you perform some movements to see how your spine responds to motion.
They will likely have a pretty good idea what’s going on in your spine at this point, but they may opt to confirm their suspicions with the help of an imaging exam. An X-ray MRI or CT scan can be extremely helpful in pinpointing the location and underlying cause of your dorsalgia.
From there, your spine specialist will work to develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. Although treatments will vary based on your underlying issue, oftentimes your doctor will begin with a course of conservative treatments, like rest, ice/heat, physical therapy, controlled exercise, stretching and anti-inflammatory medications. Odds are you’ll pursue a number of those treatments in combination with one another in order to achieve the best results. If those techniques fail to provide relief, your doctor may consider slightly more invasive techniques, like corticosteroid injections, muscle relaxers or a TENS unit.
If pain continues to persist, or you experienced a significant injury, your doctor may ultimately recommend a surgical procedure. The goal of spine surgery will be to strengthen and stabilize the injury site so that you can eventually return to normal physical activities. After surgery, you’ll likely pursue a number of the previously listed conservative techniques during your rehabilitation, like physical therapy, controlled exercise and a gradual return to activity. Over time, we’re confident that by putting your trust in Dr. Sinicropi and the team at The Midwest Spine & Brain Institute, you’ll find relief from your underlying dorsalgia issue.
For more information about spinal problems, or to talk to a specialist about your back discomfort, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today at (651) 430-3800.