Understanding Different Types of Spinal and Muscular Pain: Causes and Symptoms

“Spinal pain in the lumbar region (lower back) & cervical region (neck) are highly prevalent & are often the causes for many lost work days. Lumbar muscle strains & sprains are the most common causes of low back pain. The thoracic spine can also be a site of spinal pain, but because it’s much more rigid, the thoracic spinal area is much less frequently injured than the lumbar & cervical spine” [1]. Booking an appointment with a Pain Specialist is the first step to getting your life back on track with an accurate diagnosis & Personalised Treatment Plan

 What Causes Spinal & Muscular Pain?

 As Pain Doctors like to explain to patients: both the cervical spine and lumbar regions of the spine, are inclined to become strained due to 1: moving, bending and twisting; and 2: their weight-bearing function. Straining the lumbar muscle is due to tearing or abnormally stretching the muscle fibres. Moreover, lumbar sprain comes about when ligaments are stretched beyond their normal margins. Of note, all of these scenarios can be brought about by systematic overuse, or an abrupt injury.

And when it comes to inflammation of the soft tissues, this takes place when the lumbar spine  becomes sprained or strained. This leads to various degrees of pain. Furthermore, muscle spasms can also occur. However, the good news is that with excellent care from a Pain Consultant, patients can ameliorate their pain and heal. Moreover, in the majority of cases, neurosurgery is not not needed [1].

So What Symptoms Should I Look Out For?

  • Not being able to maintain a normal posture because of pain and stiffness. (Of note, even though you may not be aware of your changed posture, your Pain Doctor will spot it)
  • Stiffness in your lower back region, restricting your scope of motion
  • Muscular spasms whilst resting or being active
  • A loss of motor function (for example, not being able to walk on the tips of your toes, or on your heels)
  • Persistent pain for a maximum of 10 days to 2 weeks [1].

Preparing For Your Online or In-Person Consultation

It is a good idea to compile a ‘Pain Diary’ before you speak to the Pain Doctor, as once they have reviewed your medical history, they will ask you a number of pertinent questions. So set the dairy out into days and hours, and make a note of when you experience any pain and/or stiffness. – And add what you were doing before, or at the time the pain came on, and how long it lasted.


[1]. American Association of Neurological Surgeons (2023). “!Spinal Pain.”