Spine Pain

Spinal Pain

Spinal pain involves pain and other associated symptoms in the cervical region (neck) and lumbar region (lower back). It is one of the primary causes of disability worldwide and the most common reasons people miss work or go to the doctor. 

Spinal pain can be secondary to conditions affecting intervertebral discs (discs between the vertebrae), the bony lumbar spine, spinal cord, ligaments around the spine and discs, muscles of the low back, and the internal organs of the abdomen and pelvis.


Besides pain in the neck or lumbar region, common symptoms of a spinal condition may include:

  • Numbness or tingling (pins and needles) sensations
  • Restricted range of motion due to muscle stiffness
  • Inability to move or maintain posture due to pain, stiffness, or inflammation
  • Mild to moderate muscle spasms 
  • Bowel or bladder problems
  • Loss of motor functions
  • Stress or emotional issues
  • Unusual weight gain or loss

Fortunately, specific measures can help prevent or relieve most spinal pain symptoms. Proper body mechanics and simple home treatment will heal your back within a few weeks and keep it functional. In some cases, surgical intervention may be the last option to treat spinal pain.

Treatment Options

Your treatment plan may include one or more of the non-surgical or surgical treatments described below.

Non-surgical options:

  • Education and activity – It may include ways – such as proper body mechanics, radiofrequency ablation, ice massage, hot packs, and compression – to relieve pain, increase flexibility, and regain strength. 
  • Oral medication (pills) – Prescription medications are used to ease the pain, reduce inflammation, and relax stiffed muscles. These may include NSAIDs and steroids.
  • Physical therapy – Regular physical therapy sessions – including exercises and spinal manipulation – help promote healing, build strength and flexibility, and prevent future injuries. 
  • Traction – It is a non-surgical method that uses manual or mechanical force to decompress the vertebrae and help relieve pain and inflammation. 
  • Spinal injection – Your physician may recommend a spinal injection to deliver medication directly to the cause of pain and inflammation. Spinal injections may include; 
    • Epidural steroid (cortisone) injections
    • Facet joint injections and nerve branch blocks
    • Sacroiliac (SI) joint injections
    • Trigger point injections

Surgical options

    • Microdiscectomy – It involves removing the part of a damaged vertebral disc using microscopically enhanced techniques.
    • Laminotomy, laminectomy – In this procedure, the part of a vertebra is dissected to relieve pressure on a nerve and open the spinal canal.
    • Spinal fusion – Joining two affected vertebrae to reduce movement between them.
    • Kyphoplasty – It involves injecting cement or a special balloon into a collapsed vertebra to restore the original state of the bone. 
    • Total disc replacement (arthroplasty) – It is an advanced surgery that involves removing an entire damaged spinal disc. It is later replaced with an artificial disc made up of special material to help preserve structure and motion between two vertebrae.

Dr Ayman Eissa

Ayman is a Consultant in Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine at Sheffield Children’s Hospital and is also a specialist in the management of chronic pain in adults.

01709 464200





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