Back And Neck Pain 101: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment Options and Prevention

By  //  January 25, 2023

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Back and neck pain can be a sign of a serious underlying health issue, even if it doesn’t feel severe.

Ignoring it can lead to more serious health complications, so it’s important to take it seriously and seek medical advice if the pain persists.

Suppose you’re experiencing pain in your back or neck and wondering if the pain qualifies to be medical back or neck pain. Keep reading to learn more about its symptoms, causes, treatment options, and prevention.

Back Pain

Back pain is among the most common health issues many people experience. It’s also among the leading causes of disabilities and a common reason for absence from work.

Symptoms Of Back Pain

People experiencing back pain report various symptoms. Some report aching muscles and shooting pain in the back. Others experience a stabbing and burning sensation. The pain can extend to the legs, making bending, lifting, walking, and standing difficult.

What Causes Back Pain

Back pain can result from underlying medical issues, physical activities, or injuries. An individual experiencing back pain is bound to have difficulties performing typical daily activities. Back pain can affect anyone, but seniors are particularly vulnerable due to their increased likelihood of degenerative disk disease and the physical demands of their previous occupations.

In many cases, lower back pain is linked to lower back muscles, bony lumbar spine, and tissues around the spine and discs, among other things. On the other hand, upper back pain might result from chest tumors, issues with the aorta, or spine inflammation.

The most common causes of back pain include the following:

  • Injury

Back pain is commonly related to injuries caused by car accidents, whiplash, sports accidents, falling, tripping, or slipping. Unfortunately, individuals might experience long-term health challenges once they sustain severe injuries from accidents. For instance, severe injuries can damage essential nerves that facilitate limb function.

  • Poor Posture

It’s nearly impossible for someone to maintain a proper posture for an extended period. For this reason, many people experience upper back pain as a result of poor posture. Fortunately, you can lower your chances of developing back pain by enlightening yourself about how you should sit. It’s also important to alternate between standing and sitting periods to avoid putting too much pressure on your back while seated.

  • Infection

Some people report back pain cases due to infections. For example, people with epidural abscesses may experience upper back and neck pain as a symptom. The more the affected area swells, the more the pain increases. Luckily, this case improves with the use of antibiotics.

Muscle Overuse

Muscle overuse is another common cause of back pain. Athletes who participate in throwing activities, such as baseball, are likely to strain their shoulders. Since the upper back muscles support and stabilize the shoulders, straining them might cause pain. Untreated muscle overuse can cause chronic pain that might limit one’s ability to move comfortably.


While muscles are commonly linked to back pain, bone pain can also cause it. In such a case, the cartilage that cushions the joints and prevents the vertebrae from creating friction wears down, causing the bones to rub against each other. As friction increases, so does the pain, which affects the back.

Treatment For Back Pain

Many patients don’t require extensive treatment for back pain. However, if the pain is severe, you must work with professionals such as chiropractors in Orlando. You should also seek medical intervention immediately before the case worsens. At this point, the treatment options for your back pain include the following:

  • Complementary Therapy

Your doctor might prescribe a combination of complementary and conventional therapies for severe back pain. However, they can also prescribe complementary therapies alone. At this point, professionals such as chiropractors can help improve the pain and make you feel relaxed.

  • Topical Rubs And Ointments

Approved topical rubs and ointments are very effective at reducing back pain. Most of them contain pain-relieving ingredients for different types of pain. Common rubs and ointments include creams, sprays, lotions, patches, and gels.

Home Treatment

In some cases, home treatments can be used to alleviate back pain. These treatments include pain and discomfort relievers. Nevertheless, before taking any home treatment medication, it’s vital to seek professional advice from a medical practitioner. Besides over-the-counter medication, avoiding strenuous activities can improve back pain.


Suppose your back pain doesn’t improve even after using over-the-counter medication. In that case, you should seek serious medical attention. The doctor will assess your situation and prescribe suitable medication to treat the issue.


While it’s rare, a doctor can prescribe surgery to treat severe back pain. For example, surgery might be necessary if your back pain results from a herniated disk and if the pain is causing severe muscle weakness.

How To Prevent Back Pain

Particular activities and lifestyles can increase one’s risk of experiencing or developing back pain. However, there are ways to prevent developing this pain. Among the most effective methods include:

Proper Body Posture: If your work requires you to spend too much time seated, improve your posture by keeping your chest expanded and the back straight. This posture facilitates relaxation while reducing the likelihood of developing back pain.

Exercise Habits: Improving flexibility and strengthening your core are more proven ways to reduce the chances of developing back pain.

Body Weight: Monitor your body weight since people with obesity are more likely to develop back pain.

Lifting Techniques: When lifting weight, consider putting pressure on the legs instead of the back.

Neck Pain

Like back pain, neck pain is also a common complaint. In fact, every person is likely to have experienced neck pain at least once. While neck pain might be common and not that serious, it can sometimes be a sign of a severe health issue. Therefore, if you experience persistent neck pain, it’s vital to seek medical help as soon as possible.

What Causes Neck Pain?

Neck pain can result from muscle strains, joint issues, and injuries. Here are detailed causes for neck pain:

  • Acute Injuries

Sudden movements can result in acute injuries that might cause neck pain. The injuries might be severe or minor, depending on the action. The best way to determine the severity of the injury is by seeking medical help once you discover the pain isn’t going away.

  • Repeated Actions

Repeated movements can cause muscle tension, spasm, or strain. As a result, one might experience neck pain or develop inflammation. Some repeated actions that can cause neck pain include:

  • Spending a prolonged period leaning forward or backward when seated
  • Resting your head on your arm or wrist for a long time
  • Excess stress can tighten your neck muscles resulting in pain
  • Too much exercise or work
  • Underlying Health Conditions

Underlying health conditions can also cause neck pain. These health issues include arthritis, meningitis, flu, and heart issues. For this reason, it’s essential to seek medical help once you experience neck pain, especially if you don’t know the cause.

Symptoms Of Neck Pain

If you’ve experienced neck pain, several symptoms characterize the issue. Some of the most common symptoms of neck pain include:

  • Neck-Related Headache

Some people with neck pain experience neck-related headaches affecting the back and the upper part of the neck. This symptom results from muscle tension or spasm. The pain is likely to be dull instead of sharp. At this point, the neck is more likely to be stiff and tender, and any movement might worsen the pain.

  • Facet Joint Pain

Sharp pain in the middle of the neck mostly characterizes facet joint pain. This pain affects the vertebrae joints and increases when you move the head toward the affected direction.

  • Bone Pain

Some individuals experience bone pain as a result of neck pain. In such a case, the cervical vertebrae, the bones that make up the neck, are likely to be affected. Suppose you experience this symptom. Seek medical attention as soon as possible since it might be serious.

Treatment For Neck Pain

Since there are many causes for neck pain, a doctor prescribes a treatment depending on the cause. For example, suppose your neck pain results from poor posture. In that case, a doctor can prescribe over-the-counter medication. Improving posture can also help the pain. Overall, your doctor can prescribe medication, therapy, or surgery (if your pain is severe or results from underlying health issues).

How To Prevent Neck Pain

There are many ways to prevent neck pain. For instance, improving posture, treating underlying health conditions, and avoiding straining too much can prevent you from experiencing this pain.

It would also be best to incorporate relaxation into your lifestyle for the same results.


Many people experience back and neck pain. It’s believed that every individual might experience one of these pains at least once in a lifetime. 

Neck or back pain can be severe if it results from underlying health issues. Nevertheless, it can be nothing serious and improved by over-the-counter medication.

However, seeking professional advice is vital to determine if your case is severe and/or requires extensive health care.