Spinal Symptoms FAQs

I get a burning pain in my legs after walking about 10 minutes. It goes away if I rest but then comes back again. Should I be worried about it?

It depends on the position you use to rest and how long it takes for your pain to go away. If your pain goes away slowly when you rest in a sitting position, you may have a problem in your low back called spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of your spinal canal, which can happen with disc problems, bone spurs, tumors, or infection. This problem is much more common in elderly people (over the age of 60) but can occur in younger people who have abnormally small spinal canals from birth. The narrowing usually causes back and leg pain that gets worse with activities like walking. This explains why people with spinal stenosis often get relief when they sit down. The sitting position opens the space around the painful nerve root. As the pressure is relieved, leg symptoms tend to go away.


If you simply stop walking and the pain goes away quickly, the problem may not be in your back. It may be from a lack of blood supply to your exercising muscles, a condition called intermittent claudication (claw-di-cay-shun). Leg symptoms of aching, cramping, or tiredness usually start soon after exercising, and they go away quickly with rest (usually in less than five minutes). Unlike spinal stenosis, people with intermittent claudication usually get relief if they stop the activity, even if they do not sit down. The lack of blood supply is usually from hardening in the blood vessels that supply the lower limbs, a condition called arteriosclerosis (are-teer-eyo-skler-oh-sis). Whether your pain is from spinal stenosis or intermittent claudication, you should see your Spine specialist.


Part of my hand feels numb and my arm doesn’t seem as strong as it should. Could this be from a pinched nerve?

Your symptoms may be a sign that a nerve is “pinched.” The medical term for this is radiculopathy (ra-dick-you-lop-a-thee), which happens when a nerve is irritated from something rubbing or pressing on it. This can cause numbness in your skin, weakness in your muscles, and loss of reflexes in the area controlled by the nerve. Usual causes of radiculopathy include herniated discs and bone spurs. Other causes are tumors or fractures that cause pressure on one or more nerves.


Are there any serious signs or conditions I should know about?

Watch for pain or numbness that spreads into your arms or legs. This can be a sign that severe irritation in your spine is causing your symptoms to radiate outward. Problems with your central nervous system (your brain and spinal cord) can also cause feelings of numbness. These symptoms are often felt in more than one limb, such as your arm and leg on one side or both arms or legs.


A second possibly serious condition is called cauda (caw-da) equina (e-kwine-a) syndrome. This can happen when a herniated disc in your low back gets so big that it fills your entire spinal canal. The immediate pressure on the nerves in your spine may cause paralysis of the muscles that control your bowels and bladder. People with back pain who lose control over their bowels or bladder should contact their Spine specialist immediately. This requires immediate medical attention because, if the pressure is not relieved right away, the nerves that go to your bowels and bladder can be permanently damaged.


Pain or symptoms that start for no apparent reason may also be a “red flag.” Pain can begin from many sources. Pain originating in your kidneys can spread pain into your mid to low back. A problem with your gall bladder can radiate pain into your mid back and right arm. Other causes of pain that is felt around your spine can include aortic (ay-or-tick) aneurysm (an-your-is-im) and stomach ulcers. So when spine pain or symptoms start without obvious injury or trauma, it can be a signal that other problems may be involved.

Your Spine specialist may want to do tests and ask you questions to rule out other causes of your spine pain. Blood tests can be done to check for infection or arthritis. X-rays can rule out tumors or cancer. Your Spine specialist may want to know whether you have had any recent weight loss or weight gain, whether your pain wakes you up at night, and whether your pain changes as you move or rest. Ruling out possibly serious conditions for your spine pain can increase your confidence and help you in the healing process.


How can my neck be the problem when I feel the pain in my arm?

The pain you feel in your arm can be from a problem in your neck, much like leg pain can be from the low back. This type of pain is called referred pain. When there is injury or irritation in the tissues deep inside your body, your brain is not able to determine

exactly where the pain is coming from. Instead, the pain is felt further away from the actual source of the problem. For example, pain in or around your heart may be felt in the jaw or down the left arm. In the same way, problems in your neck can “refer” pain down into your arm.

When the source of pain is more toward the surface of your body, your brain has an easier time figuring out where the pain is coming from. A pinprick on your palm hurts right where the pin sticks your hand. Characteristics of referred pain include the following: The source of pain is usually deep and toward the center of your body. It is often felt as a vague, deep, burning, or aching pain. Intense pain radiates further.

Treatment for referred pain must address the source of pain. If your Spine specialist determines that your arm pain is coming from your neck, you will need treatment for your neck, not your arm. Helping your neck problem should take away or reduce the pain in your arm.

In my practice as a spine surgeon in Bangalore at Bangalore spine specialist clinic as an orthopaedic spine surgeon in Bangalore, I have come across that people in Bangalore are unaware about the symptoms and causes of back pain.  Bangalore spine specialist Clinic, the best orthopaedic spine clinic in Bangalore agrees with the above details relating to the scoliosis. Best spine surgeon in Bangalore can deal with back pain and neck pain. Top Spine Surgeons in Bangalore can provide proper evaluation and treatment for back pain in Bangalore