Back Pain or Spinal Problem? Know the Difference

Doctor Examining Patient's Back

It’s hard to find somebody who has never experienced a bout of back pain. For some people, it’s even harder to remember a time when their back wasn’t hurting. In fact, back pain is the number one cause of disability on a global scale. However, sometimes back pain is more than just a nuisance and can indicate serious problems within your spine. If you’re not sure why your back hurts, AIMS Clinic offers a quick breakdown to help you determine what may be causing the problem.

Where Back Pain Comes From

Most commonly, back pain develops when spinal joints, discs, muscles and nerves fail to fit together or move properly. This can result in aches, shooting or stabbing pain and difficulty bending, lifting, standing or walking. The pain may also radiate down your leg(s) or improve when sitting or reclining.

However, there are other risk factors for back pain that don’t necessarily point to a spinal malfunction. Back pain becomes more common as we age, and carrying excess weight often contributes to discomfort in this area. Workers who frequently pick up heavy loads without using proper lifting techniques are especially prone to back pain over time. More surprisingly, this pain can also be due to psychological conditions, including stress, depression and anxiety, which take a toll on the mind and body alike.

Symptoms of Spinal Problems

When back pain strikes, it can range from mild to severe and affect men and women of all ages – and even children. Some episodes are short lived, while others have a much longer duration. However, there are red flags to watch out for that may accompany your back pain and indicate a larger issue with your spine. These include:

  • Pain centered in your lower back, buttocks or hips
  • Stiffness, burning, tingling or numbing sensation
  • Weakness in the limbs
  • Hearing cracking when moving, standing up or stretching
  • Difficulty moving your leg(s) or feet
  • Balance problems
  • Restricted range of motion
  • Muscle spasms

If you notice any of these symptoms and they fail to improve, it’s important to seek help from an experienced professional. The spine is critical to posture and mobility, and the problems above may point to a number of conditions, including arthritis, scoliosis, osteoporosis, stenosis, disc damage and more.

Treatment Options after a Back Pain Diagnosis

To determine whether the symptoms you are experiencing are in fact pointing to a spinal condition, our team of experts will run a variety of tests, including blood and imaging screens, during your visit. You’ll come away with a proper back pain diagnosis and a holistic treatment plan focused on the whole patient rather than just symptoms.

Your practitioner may recommend a variety of treatments to address the root cause of your pain, including chiropractic care, physical therapy, podiatry, acupuncture and more. We also offer patients nutritional counseling and support with lifestyle adjustments to help ensure you’re doing everything possible to alleviate existing back pain and avoid it in the future, no matter the cause.

Seek Treatment Today

Ready to get help for back pain? Visit AIMS Clinic in East Brunswick, NJ. We’ll devise a pain management plan to address your symptoms and their causes, so you can return to an active lifestyle. Before you know it, you’ll find relief from your back pain and restored function. For more information, schedule a free initial consultation at AIMS Clinic today.

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