Anatomy of Chronic Back and Neck Pain

If you’re suffering from chronic back pain or neck pain, you are not alone. Many that suffer from this type of pain believe that they simply have to learn to live with it. There are three commonly occurring patterns of back and neck pain that patients typically experience:

The Upper Body

Chronic upper body pain is experienced in the neck, upper back, shoulders and arms. This type of pain is typically muscle related and is often caused by an injury or accident. If the pain feels sharp, it may be related to degenerative issues, a herniated disc or a muscle strain. If numbness or tingling is radiating down the shoulders and/or arms, a pinched nerve could be to blame. The vast majority of these issues can be treated without surgical intervention using physical therapy and medication.

The Thoracic Region

Pain in the thoracic region affects the mid-back and may be caused by several factors. Muscle strain, ruptured and herniated discs and a fracture in the thoracic vertebrae are all possibilities. Although pain experienced in this region can be severe, it may be treated non-surgically. A customized treatment plan, again involving physical therapy and medication, can mitigate painful symptoms.

Low Back, Hips and Legs

Those suffering from lower back pain may be suffering from several issues including muscle strain, degenerative factors, herniated discs, fracture or arthritis. If pain radiates from the thigh, pain may be the result of nerve damage from a herniated disc or sciatica. In some cases this pain can be treated with surgery, but in many cases it’s treated with a combination of physical therapy and medication.