Spinal pain is a very common condition which affects most of people during their life. The most frequent place where it occurs is lower back but it may affect neck as well. Thoracic spinal pain is the least common.
Lower back pain is usually a consequence of degenerative changes to bones, discs, joints and other soft structures such as muscles. MRI scan imaging helps to narrow diagnosis but only diagnostic injections can verify it with high probability. The origin of pain changes with age, degenerative disc disease being the most common cause of back pain in young age and facetogenic pain in elderly population. Appropriate assessment is needed to diagnose pain from facet joints, sacroiliac joint, disc and muscles.
Lower back pain may radiate to groins, hips and legs as referred pain. If the disc bulging occurs this may precipitate sciatica - radicular leg pain.
Neck pain has very similar causes to back pain such as pain as the consequence of degeneration of facet joints and discs. Facetogenic pain very commonly radiates to back of head and shoulders. If disc bulge occurs pain or pins and needles in arms may occur.
Treatment options are very similar and depend on the origin of pain.