The spine is complex and proper diagnosis and treatment of your spine pain is crucial to getting you back to the life you love. Spine pain is generally broken down into the following areas:
Your neck is made up of 7 vertebrae, labeled C1-7. Neck pain can be caused by many things, including poor ergonomics, trauma, or degeneration. Some sources of neck pain include:
When a problem in your neck pinches the nerve or nerves as they exit and go to your arms, this is called cervical radiculopathy. This can result in radiating pain, numbness, tingling or weakness in your arms.
Your low back is usually made of 5 vertebrae, labeled L1-5. Some people have a 6th lumbar vertebrae. Lumbar pain is very common and in fact can occur in 84% of adults. Low back pain can also be caused by:
Sources of lumbar pain include pain from the discs, either disc herniation or degeneration, the facet joints, sacroiliac joints, bone pain from a compression fracture, or pain from the ligaments and/or muscles due to strain injury. Sciatica, or lumbar radiculopathy occurs when a nerve gets pinched as it exits the spine, often due to a disc herniation or bone spur. This can cause numbness, tingling, weakness or pain radiating down your legs.
Your thoracic spine is made of 12 vertebrae, labeled T1-12. Thoracic pain can be caused by compression fractures, disc degeneration, facet joint pain, or strain injuries. Thoracic radiculopathy is uncommon but is caused by compression of a nerve root as it exits the spine, and typically feels like burning pain wrapping around the front of the chest or abdomen.
Most spine conditions, while painful, are not emergent. However, there are some instances that do require immediate attention from your provider at the Denver Spine and Pain Institute or local emergency department. These include:
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