Most back and neck pain problems relate to some lifestyle factors. Most of these get better with appropriate attention to life style factors and also, by bearing in mind the tips for back and neck care as elaborated elsewhere on this website. However, not every back and neck pain problem can be swept under the carpet of "life-style factor-related problem"! The following features would necessitate a close evaluation and further investigations, as deemed necessary by the spine specialist.
- Pain radiating down from the back or the neck to the lower or upper limbs, respectively. This would be more significant if the pain aggravates on coughing/ sneezing/ certain movements of the back or the neck. This pattern of pain would generally indicate a disc herniation or related problem.
- Weakness or numbness in a specific part of the hands or legs. This might indicate a nerve getting "pinched" in the spine.
- Unsteadiness while walking. Though there are a host of problems that can lead to this kind of presentation, one of the foremost and also, one of the treatable causes is compression of the spinal cord in the neck or upper back region.
- Pain in the calf or buttocks on walking or standing for some time and getting relieved on sitting down or stooping forwards. This would indicate a pathological spinal condition termed "spinal canal stenosis".
- Deformity of the back or a bony hump seen on one side of the midline of the back. This could indicate a spinal deformity which would have the best treatment results if detected early.
If you or any of your near or dear ones have any of the above problems, it would be strongly recommended to see a spine specialist at the earliest!