Back Pain Can Affect Other Parts of the Body

Rearview shot of a young woman suffering with back pain while working from homeBack pain, simply by its name, portrays something localized to one area of the body. When we think of conditions that can spread from one location to another, we may think of infection or cancer, but spine pain? Not so much. However, an ongoing spine issue that is not properly managed can absolutely lead to consequences elsewhere. Here, we discuss how. 

The Spread of Back Pain

While a very common condition, back pain is nothing to ignore. When soreness and mild limited range of motion can be attributed to overuse, such as a day working in the garden or moving boxes up or down stairs, there may be a chance that stiffness and other symptoms may resolve with rest. However, chronic back pain requires intervention to prevent a worsening structural problem that spreads. The following may be affected by such a structural problem:

  • Feet. When a person has back pain, there is a chance that their gait may change. Gait is the way we walk. Our walking posture disperses stress through the feet so, if gait shifts, so does the pressure through the feet. This can lead to excess pressure on certain parts of the foot, such as the arch. 
  • Hips. The hip and buttocks are some of the first areas to which back pain can spread simply due to proximity. As the body naturally shifts stress away from the injured back, it falls on the pelvis, which can place undue pressure on the hip joints.
  • Neck. It may seem strange to think that lower back pain could travel upward to the neck. The way in which pain can spread to this area is through posture. Low back pain can often cause a person to inadvertently stoop at the waist, placing more pressure on the neck.
  • Shoulders. Many of the muscles that control the shoulder lie close to the spine. Nerves from the upper spinal segments travel to and through the shoulder area, as well. The compression of one of these nerves at the spinal column could radiate pain to the shoulder area. 
  • Extremities. In the same way that nerve compression can cause pain to radiate to the shoulders, this problem can affect the arms and legs. This type of pain often results from a herniated disc.

There is no need to live with ongoing back pain, whether it has spread to other parts of the body or not. To get the help you need, contact our NYC office at 212-606-1004. Dr. Todd Albert addresses back pain using the most conservative nonsurgical treatment options available before considering the value of surgery. 

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