Life with Back Pain

back pain

Back pain is a terrible burden to bear. I carried this horror with me throughout life, since I was 16 years old.

People who do not have pain in their backs can not possibly understand how chronic and severe symptoms affect one’s life.

However, if you have ever had back ache, you will always be empathetic towards others who are now suffering with similar or identical pain syndromes.

This is exactly why I began this website and devoted my life to helping others end their agonizing symptoms.

Let's get started talking a bit about the diversity of dorsopathy conditions.  This section contains an overview of different types of dorsal pain.  This section also acts as a catch-all for various back-related topics that do not fit elsewhere in the more specific areas of this web encyclopedia.


Back Pain Locations

Back ache can exist in any one region of the spine or in multiple areas at the same time. Pain can be localized to one side or can be a band of pain wrapping across the width of the back. In other cases, the expression can be almost impossibly widespread and structurally illogical.

Back ache can be intense in a small area or experienced in a radiating pattern, often coming from a central hot spot. The pain pattern might be tied to a certain movement or might be miserable all the time. Pain can be a symptom all by itself or might be joined with other neurological sensations. The most common of these additional symptoms include burning, numbness, tingling and weakness.

Lower back ache is by far the most common location to suffer serious and often debilitating symptoms. Low back ache can also affect the buttocks and legs, sometimes resulting in sciatica pain. When I think of lower back symptoms, I cringe, since this is the area which tortured me for so many years and still does.

Neck pain is the second most common location to suffer dorsopathy. Severe pain syndromes in the cervical region can be just as bad as the worst lumbar pain, as I am now discovering in my aging and injury-filled body. Neck pain usually affects the shoulders, arms, hands and/or fingers unilaterally or bilaterally.

Upper back ache describes symptoms in lowest region of the neck and in between the shoulders. Like neck pain, these syndrome often involve the shoulders or arms in addition to the primary symptomatic location in the actual back.

Middle back ache, also known as thoracic spine pain, is not a very common type of complaint. This is because the thoracic spine is not prone to suffering the same degree of degeneration or predisposition to injury as the upper and lower spinal levels.

Coccyx pain is one of the most difficult to treat issues in the spine. Tailbone pain is often linked to excessive sitting, falling down or childbirth, as well as congenital defects in the coccygeal spinal region.

Cauda equina syndrome is a very serious condition in which the spinal nerve roots are compressed in the lumbar or lumbosacral spinal regions. The symptoms may include dire pain, incontinence, the inability to stand and virtually complete disability.

Combination pain can affect the back and other areas of the body. Combination syndromes are far more common to suffer than back pain which exists alone. Most people with neck and upper body pain also have issues in the shoulders, arms or hands, while lumbar syndromes usually affect the lower extremities and possibly bowel and bladder control.

Dorsopathy is also known as dorsalgia.
The meaning is simple:
Dorso = rear. Pathy = pain.
Basically, we are talking about back or neck pain.


Back Pain Topics

Additional information on specific types of back symptoms can be found in the following dedicated article topics:

Discitis describes an infection or inflammation of one or more intervertebral spacers within the backbone.

Neuropathy is a common name for any type of nerve pain.  There are many varieties of neurological pain that might exist in a back or neck pain condition.

A spinal tumor can cause pain through many mechanisms, including neurological compression.  Tumors can be benign or of neoplastic origin.

Spine cancer is the most common cause of malignant tumors in the vertebral column.

Spinal infection can be caused by viral, bacterial or parasitic contamination of the spinal structures.

Spinal instability describes a condition wherein the vertebral column is no longer structurally sound.  Instability might be grounds for highly invasive surgical intervention in some instances.

Spinal dislocation is a confusing diagnostic term that can have several distinct meanings.

Suffering with a back problem is often a lifelong burden.

Congenital spinal pain is sourced from structural issues that form before birth.  Fetal development problems might create chronic pain once a child is born or at virtually any time during the growth process.

Genetic back problems are inherited through the genes, passed from parent to offspring, often though multiple generations.

Idiopathic back ache simply describes symptoms that can not be traced to a definitive source process.  Idiopathic means from unknown origins.

Back ache frustration is a normal result of unsuccessful treatment, especially after multiple failed attempts for attaining a cure.

Musculoskeletal disorders are the most common causes of back symptoms.  These pain syndromes involve the bones and/or soft tissues which are comprised of the muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia.

Degenerative spine pain is the exception to the rule, since most of the normal aging processes are not inherently painful.

Mechanical back ache occurs due to the interactions of bones and soft tissues within joint capsules or from the interaction of vertebral bodies against one another.

Arachnoiditis describes inflammation of the middle layer of the spinal meninges, often leading to chronic and treatment-defiant pain. 

Spinal meningitis is a very serious illness that can be caused by viral, bacterial, fungal and other sources.


Varieties of Painful Backs

Back ache is as unique as the people who suffer from it. It is rare to see exactly identical expressions of pain, even in a group of patients all diagnosed with the same medical condition. However, it is common to see strikingly similar pain expressions coming from a range of possible diagnoses.

Most pain conditions have a mind and personality all their own. The pain becomes your unwanted partner in life. I do not know what type of personality you have, but I can guarantee that you and your pain just do not get along. This I know from personal experience.

In most cases, whatever you want to do, the pain does not want you to do.


Get to Know Your Back Pain

In order to cure your pain, you need to learn more about it. You must discover all the characteristics of the pain and use that knowledge to guide you towards an effective cure. Take a few minutes and think hard about how you would describe your back pain. Analyze it as if you were describing a person:

Is the pain worse in the morning or maybe it escalates at night? There is a good chance it wakes you when you are trying to sleep. This is the worst.

Is it predictable or does it like to surprise you?

Does the pain hang around or does it prefer to come and go?

Does the pain respond well to exercise or does physical activity make it mad?

What soothes the pain? What makes it angry?

If you spend the time to really become intimate with your pain, you will discover all of its patterns and preferences. This is far more important than you know, since understanding the type of pain you have can contribute to accurate diagnosis and therefore, successful treatment. Study your pain and know your enemy.


My Pain

My pain was very unpredictable early on. It started off suddenly and without warning or injury. It was a mostly recurrent acute syndrome with lots of seemingly unprovoked attacks for many years. The pain finally matured into a rage-filled chronic monster that loved to be the star of the show and my life.

Sound familiar?

Yeah, I bet.



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