5 Worrying Symptoms That Could Indicate a Problem With Your Spine

5 Worrying Symptoms That Could Indicate a Problem With Your Spine

Also called the backbone or spinal cord, your spine is a complex structure that supports your body’s weight and posture. It also allows you to safely go about your daily activities like moving, sitting, bending – and more.

Running from the head to the tailbone, the spine is also home to 31+ pairs of nerves that connect it to various parts of the body and control different complex functions.

The sad part is that the spine is particularly vulnerable to injury and degeneration as one ages, due to constant use, wrongful use, or minor accidents, all of which can invite a myriad of possible problems.

Should the “ordinary” backache from sitting for extended periods be reason enough to worry? Well, it should, especially if it doesn’t go away with posture modifications and doctor-prescribed drugs.

But apparently, if you encounter one or several of the symptoms mentioned below, you could have a problem with your spine that needs immediate medical attention.

Common Medical Problems of the Spine

Medically speaking, some of the most common spinal issues include the following:

  • Spinal osteoarthritis
  • Scoliosis or kyphosis
  • Sciatica
  • Spinal disc herniation
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spinal injury

It’s important to recognize the symptoms associated with spinal issues, so you can seek timely medical attention for your condition. While the symptoms of these issues may present differently in different individuals, you might want to seek immediate medical advice if you experience any of the following.

Spinal Symptoms That May Indicate a Serious Problem

1. Upper Back and Neck Pain

Do you often find yourself experiencing stiffness, soreness, or intense pain in your upper back and/or neck? If so, it could be a sign of an underlying spinal alignment issue. For example, the natural cervical curvature can become impaired by what is called a herniated or slipped disc; if one (or several) of the spinal column’s disc is out of its optimal position.

When this happens, it can cause tension around joints, leading to pain or discomfort in the area. Additionally, lower posture when sitting or standing for prolonged periods may increase stress on particular areas, which may also contribute to increased symptoms of upper back and neck aches.

Therefore, this type of symptom should not be overlooked as it could indicate a problem with one’s spine.

2. Lower Back Discomfort

While chronic pain or aches in the lower lumbar area can be associated with many potential causes, they could also signify problems with your spine. Misaligned vertebrae, for instance, may result in excessive pressure being placed on certain muscles that support the back and shoulders, leading to discomfort and tenderness.

In addition, if your day-to-day lifestyle involves excess physical stress or strain in terms of lifting heavy items or engaging in strenuous activity, then this too could lead to aching sensations around the hip area and above as your body adapts to various tensions at work.

Nonetheless, lower back discomfort is an important warning sign that one should not ignore when considering possible spinal issues.

3. Numbness or Tingling in the Extremities

Do you often experience a sensation of numbness, chilliness, or tingling in particular areas such as the hands and feet? This type of symptom could be indicative of an impinged nerve due to misalignment through the spine.

Such issues can also lead to restricted mobility and reduced range of motion, which then further leads to increased pain when engaging in certain activities like running or lifting weights.

Especially if this occurs for a considerable duration of time, it is advisable to seek medical attention as soon as you can to rule out severe spinal issues, prevent spine-related complications, and have the underlying problem addressed.

4. Radiating Pain down One or Both Legs or Arms

This is yet another common symptom of a spinal issue. If you experience pain originating in the spine that radiates down along extremities such as both arms and legs, it’s advisable to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

This could signify compressed nerves due to misaligned vertebrae, causing nerve signals to become disrupted, and in turn producing unpleasant sensations in other parts of the body, from the muscles to the joints.

Depending on the cause and severity, an experienced medical specialist can assess your situation and determine whether to administer drugs, or surgical treatment for pain is what you need.

5. Trouble Standing Upright for Extended Periods

Certain spine problems can also make it difficult and uncomfortable for you to stand upright – even for a short while. If you have to hunch over and are finding it taxing to keep your normal posture on various occasions, it could be an indication that your spine has an issue that needs addressing, such as misalignment.

Difficulty sustaining a straight back requires further investigation as soon as possible, especially if it’s making it harder for you to carry out your day-to-day activities.

The spine is one of the most important parts of your body. If its optimal function is questionable, several essential systems and functions might be jeopardized, from mobility to flexibility, cognition, and even mental wellness. It pays to ensure you visit the nearest health facility as soon as you notice any of the above symptoms.

Asheley Rice

I am a pop culture and social media expert. Aside from writing about the latest news health, I also enjoy pop culture and Yoga. I have BA in American Cultural Studies and currently enrolled in a Mass-Media MA program. I like to spend my spring breaks volunteering overseas.

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