Back Neck and Spine

The pains of the day - work, stress, physical labor, or other irritants - often manifest in the back and neck area. Here you might ask and answer questions about treating back and neck pain, or perhaps identify a particular ailment.

9,472 Questions
Back Neck and Spine
Medical Terminology

What is the medical term meaning abnormal lateral curvature of the spine?

The condition scoliosis is applied to lateral curvatures of the spine. The term associated with inward curvature (as may result from pregnancy) is lordosis. This term is applied only to inward curvature of either the cervical (neck) or lumbar (lower back) vertebrae. It is commonly known as "swayback" in horses. Scoliosis is the most common spinal deformity in adolescent girls.
There are four abnormal lateral curvature of the spine. The five are lordosis, scoliosis, kyphosis and spondylosis.

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Back Neck and Spine
Guinea Pigs
Immune System

What could a lump be on the back of your neck where the hairline starts?

It could be a neck bone spur.

Look for any sores or scratches in your scalp as this could be a swollen lymph node trying to rid your scalp of infection. See a doctor if there are no other symptoms.

If the lump is in the hairline it could be an ingrown hair or a Furuncle, a Furuncle is basically a large infected hair follicle which is red, swollen, tender, and has a central core of pus like a pimple. These require incision and drainage along with antibiotic therapy, failure to keep the neck clean can contribute to these.

A Carbuncle is a collection of Furuncles and are most commonly seen in the elderly, diabetics, and debilitated persons with compromised immune systems. They commonly occur at the base of the neck.

It could also be a Wen or Sebaceous Cyst, these are slow growing benign cyst that can occur on the scalp and contain a white cheesy-like substance. They can be drained but usually will recur unless the cyst wall is removed, sometimes there is just one or their can be several. They are also seen in body builders using anabolic steroids.

There are glands in the back of the neck. These are the occipital lymph nodes, the posterior cervical lymph nodes and the jugular chain of lymph nodes. If we assume that this is a lymph node then most of the time the cause is an infection. The only clinical concern is to rule out any possibility of malignancy. I am leaning towards an infection but given the constraints of the internet I feel that I have not been able to satisfyingly rule out possible malignancy. Ofcourse it could be a myriad of other things which are less alarming. Aneurysms tend to be throbbing on touch (you can feel a very strong pulse there). Being in the back of the neck that wouldn't be a classical presentation.

I would recommend you have someone look at it. There is no substitute for clinical examination in your case.

  • A hard lump that is on the back of your neck where your hairline starts is a swollen lymph node. Lymph nodes in that area tend to swell up and become firm in the presence of an ear infection or tooth abscess/impaction - but the infection may not even be prominent. If the swelling persists for months or more, see your doctor and inquire about lymphoma, which is potentially fatal.

  • Although this lump could be a lymph node it sounds highly unlikely and it could be an in-grown hair, hard cyst (not cancerous in most cases) or a bony spur. It's best to see your doctor and have it removed if possible.
  • Everyone has that lump. It's part of neck and head, it's a joint section.
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Back Neck and Spine
Spinal Cord

What is the thickness of the spinal cord?

Between 13mm and 19mm

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Back Neck and Spine
Chiropractic
Skeletal System

Is cracking your back unhealthy?

"Cracking" your back is not so bad at all if you are a young and healthy individual. The concern tends to be that there are some risks associated, such as fracture, sprain, strain, etc. These risks are very low when an adjustment ("cracking") is performed by a skilled professional (eg: doctor of chiropractic), but when performed by yourself, or by another unskilled person, the risks increase. Even when performed by the unskilled, the risks tend to be relatively non-severe for young and healthy individuals.

It should be noted that recent research has suggested that the "cracking" sound that comes from an adjustment of a joint has no therpeutic benefit in itself. It seems that it is rather the high velocity and low amplitude stretch of proprioceptive muculature that surrounds the joint that induced the therapeutic effect. Thus, simply "cracking" your own back by twisting yourself, etc. will not result in the same benefits of a proper adjustment by a skilled professional.

If you "crack" your back too much, then YES it is. Do not attempt to crack your back by yourself, have your doctor, or a trained professional do it. If you crack your back too much, it can lead to other health problems such has "hypermobility", which is the most common back problem associated with cracking your back. When you think of hypermobility, the easiest way to understand exactly what it is, is too think of a rubber band. When the rubber band is stretched over and over again, it loses it's "elasticity" to bounce back to it's normal shape. Which is exactly what happens with your spine when you over do it on the "Cracking" technique. Think of your back as a rubber band. It has elasticity in it to go back to it's normal shape. But the more and more you crack your back, it stretches the vertebrae, and the spine gradually loses it's elasticity to "bounce back" to it's normal form, just like a rubber band that is over stretched. This health problem is known as "HYPERMOBILITY". The younger the age you are that you start to crack your back, the more at risk you are to get back pains at an earlier age then normal, such as instead of getting back pains when your let's say, 55 years old, you'll start to get them at age 45 instead, because of the hypermobility you basically brought upon yourself by starting to crack your back at such a young age.

The above answer is interesting, but unfortunately is a common and incorrect interpretation of "back cracking". When a professional (eg: doctor of chiropractic) adjusts (cracks) your back, he/she does not stretch your ligaments more than you would during a normal day with normal activities (by turning to look over your shoulder, exercising, etc.). In fact, most of the stretch occurs on active structures like muscles that cross the joints, and this is what causes part of the therapeutic effect. If you "crack" your own back you may be stretching the ligaments a bit further, as you dont know the limits of your ligaments, but this will not cause them to become "loose" unless you hold that stretch for a very prolonged period. Further, the younger you are, the easier it is for those ligaments to become "tight" again if you do stretch them too far for too long (eg: When you sit with a poor posture you force your muscles in your back to support you. When your muscles tire out your ligaments must take over the job of supporting you, they slowly stretch and become damaged, but they will heal, especially if you are young).

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Back Neck and Spine
Scoliosis

What is mild scoliosis of the thoracic spine?

That means there is a mild lateral curve in the spine of the upper back.

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Conditions and Diseases
Back Neck and Spine
Pain
Back Neck and Spinal Pain

What causes left side sharp lower back pain?

If the pain is stabbing and intense, and radiates, it's consistent with nerve compression pain caused by either a bulging disk or a disk that's fully herniated. If the pain goes down the back of your legs, it's the Sciatic nerve being compressed by the L4/5 or L5/S1 disk; if the pain stops at the inside of the knee, it's the L3/4 disk nerve being compressed.

Regardless, the treatment is the same - get off your feet, and lie down. Sitting is out as it also puts pressure on the lower spine. If it lasts in its intensity for more than 3 days, you'll probably require an Epidural or Facet Injection (local or targeted steroid injections to reduce inflammation) so that the disk can retract and heal. However, be aware that for most, the shots and resulting pain are as bad or worse than the pain it's intended to deal with. In the years when I still got benefit from shots, it generally took 2 or 3 days for the pain from the injection to subside.

Muscle spasms caused by the pain of the nerve compression adds to the problem, and is the reason muscle relaxers are commonly prescribed. As the muscles / tendons contract during pain spasms, the area around the nerve becomes tighter, increasing the nerve compression and subsequently the pain. It's a vicious cycle.

As I said, pain lasting in intensity for more than 2 or 3 days needs to be checked by a doctor. The severity of the pain also can give you an indication of just how bad the problem is - if you can walk without support (cane, etc.) then it's not that bad, but still should be checked anyway. If you can walk but need support, then it's more serious and you should hve it checked immediately.

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Back Neck and Spine
CPR

When performing the head tilt chin lift what is the proper placement of hands?

One hand on the forehead, the other hand fingers should be lifting on the bony part of the jaw.

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Conditions and Diseases
Back Neck and Spine
Surgery and Hospitalization

Marsupialization how bad is the pain after surgery?

Pain was not bad I just had it done and I had packing in for one day and really the most painful part was pulling out the packing. I have Tylenol #3 for pain in case but surprisingly for a procedure in that area I was quite surprised. You will be a little sore, which is not surprising but nothing horrible bad.

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Back Neck and Spine
Chiropractic

What are medical reasons for back cracking?

What people often refer to as "back cracking" is medically termed spinal manipulative therapy, or a spinal adjustment. Spinal manipulation is the specialty of doctors of chiropractic (DC), but is also increasingly being performed by doctors of osteopathy and physiotherapists, especially as research continues to show areas where spinal manipulation has value. Research has definitivly shown that spinal manipulation is effective for the treatment of many causes of back pain, neck pain, some kinds of headaches, and some extremity joint conditions (eg: carpal tunnel). Spinal manipulation can also act as a form of short-term pain relief for painful conditions. There is also increasing evidence that is suggesting that spinal manipulation will help with sciatica, mid and upper back pain, dizziness, herniated disks, etc. Anecdotal evidence (weak evidence) suggests that spinal manipulation may be effective for SOME cases of infantile cholic, asthma, dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps) and hypertension (see reference below).

It should be noted that "cracking" your own back will likely not have the same therapeutic benefits of an adjustment performed by a skilled professional. Recent research has suggested that the "cracking" sound that comes from an adjustment of a joint has no therpeutic benefit in itself. It is currently thought by researchers that the high velocity and low amplitude stretch of proprioceptive musculature that surrounds the joint is what induces at least some of the therapeutic effect. Thus, simply "cracking" your own back by twisting yourself, etc. will not result in the same benefits as a proper adjustment by a skilled professional. Further, despite the fact that it is not dangerous if you are a young and healthy individual, there are some risks associated, such as fracture, sprain, strain, etc. These risks are very low when an adjustment is performed by a skilled professional, but when performed by yourself, or by another unskilled person, the risks increase. Although, even when performed by the unskilled, the risks tend to be relatively non-severe for young and healthy individuals.

REFERENCE:

Bronfort G, Haas M, Evans R, Leininger B, Triano J. "Effectiveness of manual therapies: the UK evidence report". Chiropractic & Osteopathy 2010;18(3).

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Back Neck and Spine

What is a sentence for desiccate?

The forest trees were desiccated by the blazing sun heat

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Back Neck and Spine

What to do if one side of your neck hurts and you cant move it at all?

Stiff neck can be caused by sleeping in an uncomfortable position and it is more frequent in children and young adults. Normally heat will help in reducing the pain. A hot water bottle or a hair dryer can be used to heat the affected area. However pain in the neck can be caused by more serious conditions and shouldn't be taken lightly.

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Conditions and Diseases
Back Neck and Spine

Radiating pain down the posterior aspect of the right upper extremity?

Sciatica.

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Back Neck and Spine
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

What causes numbness in fingertips?

lack of blood causes numbness


The numbness of your fingertips could be caused by variety of reasons and medical conditions. If the numbness is more pronounced in the mornings and is accompanied by some bluish discoloration, you may have a blood circulation problem. In a few cases, numbness in fingers may also point to deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals. In extreme cases, your symptoms could also be caused by a form of peripheral nerve damage caused by Type II diabetes. If there is a history of diabetes in your family, please consult a physician at the earliest. You should also visit a doctor if the numbness persists for several days at a stretch, or if you begin to experience any pain.

However, your symptoms appear similar to those seen in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome. This is a form of repetitive strain injury (RSI) caused due to prolonged repetitive movements of the hands and wrist. Commonly, such an RSI is linked to the nature of your work. For example, extended typing on a keyboard can produce pressure on the carpal tunnel, which forms a tunnel through which the median nerve runs to your fingers. Any pressure on this tunnel can compress the nerve, leading to the type of numbness you have described. You could also experience similar numbness if you sleep in an awkward position with your hands under your body, putting pressure on the nerves of your fingers. If so, a simple change in sleeping positions will reduce the numbness.
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Back Neck and Spine
Scoliosis
Surgery and Hospitalization

What happens if you bend after a scoliosis surgery?

As long as your movement isn't restricted anymore (after surgery, you'll have various post-operation restrictions that your surgeon gives you), nothing. Your spine will be solid bone where it was fused, so if you try to bend it, it's just like trying to bend your thigh in half - impossible. The muscles required to bend your spine are still there, though, so if you try to bend your vertebrae the muscles will strain to perform the impossible, and it sort of feels like trying to lift an insane amount of weight - impossible.

As long as you're not fused all the way to your tailbone, this shouldn't affect you too much. You can still bend over at the hips or kneel down to pick things up off the floor. You'll have great posture all the time. Most people don't have any problems living with fused spines; I was a varsity captain in tennis and had a fused spine all four seasons (fused T3-L3).

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Conditions and Diseases
Arthritis
Back Neck and Spine
Scoliosis

Is scoliosis a disability?

in the case of an SSDI application, it is always determined if the applicant can return to past work. If that is deemed not possible then it is determined if the applicant can be given any form of alternative work. If that also is not possible then the applicant's case will be approved for a medical vocational allowance. Thus in most of the cases it is through this route that people claim the social security disability benefits.

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Conditions and Diseases
Back Neck and Spine

Pain on right side back and arm?

Think of what are you doing lately. Work on a computer ? Weight... healthy lifestyle...

cholesterol control, blood pressure. pillows too high or too low... toilet just once a day or less..

eat fiber, enough water ? Problem on the vertebral column ? Have you taken a X-Ray of the column lately ? Stress related to familiar issues....relax....medicines taken lately...

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Health
Back Neck and Spine
Head, Ears, and Nose
Migraine Headaches

Do a head cold cause shoulder pain?

I have had a head cold that turned into a sinus infection and shoulder/neck pian for four days. It there a correlation with the two?

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Back Neck and Spine
Head, Ears, and Nose
Guinea Pigs

Could a lump on the back be connected with a severe neck problem?

Yes, it could be scar tissue or a muscle knot.

A lump on the back could be connected to a severe problem for the entire body. You need to be more descriptive about a lump. This could be a muscle knot or it could be a cancerous growth. Severe or insignificant must be assessed after a proper diagnosis. This requires more info.

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Back Neck and Spine

Small lump which moves on side of neck?

Sounds like a swollen lymph node, are you, or have you been sick recently? It is probably nothing to worry about unless it becomes very hard or painful.

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Conditions and Diseases
Back Neck and Spine
Skin Care

What causes red spots on your back?

It can be an allergic reaction to the detergant you use on your close.Stress can also cause that, as well as not washing regularly enough.

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Back Neck and Spine

What causes Post surgery muscle tightness and spasm?

This can be caused by the fact that a surgeon just cut through muscles, ligaments, tendons etc. in your back to get to whatever he/she was specifically repairing. Also, after surgery you are often bed-ridden for a while, and inactivity is a major cause of back pain. Give your back time to heal, try to get active again (based on your doctors recommendations) and if the pain never seems to go away then go back to your doctor/surgeon for further advice.

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Back Neck and Spine
Cardiovascular Health

What is inferior wall mild hypokinesia?

underactive contracyin of heart muscle

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Health
Back Neck and Spine

A sentence for the spasm?

Read this sentence 500 times and you should be able to properly induce spasm in at least one major muscle group in your body, if not please contact poison control and resume normal activities until such time as the paramedics should arrive at your domicile to treat you for this condition, repeat. Read this sentence 500 times and you should be able to properly induce spasm in at least one major muscle group in your body, if not please contact poison control and resume normal activities until such time as the paramedics should arrive at your domicile to treat you for this condition, repeat. Read this sentence 500 times and you should be able to properly induce spasm in at least one major muscle group in your body, if not please contact poison control and resume normal activities until such time as the paramedics should arrive at your domicile to treat you for this condition, repeat. Read this sentence 500 times and you should be able to properly induce spasm in at least one major muscle group in your body, if not please contact poison control and resume normal activities until such time as the paramedics should arrive at your domicile to treat you for this condition, repeat. Read this sentence 500 times and you should be able to properly induce spasm in at least one major muscle group in your body, if not please contact poison control and resume normal activities until such time as the paramedics should arrive at your domicile to treat you for this condition, repeat. Read this sentence 500 times and you should be able to properly induce spasm in at least one major muscle group in your body, if not please contact poison control and resume normal activities until such time as the paramedics should arrive at your domicile to treat you for this condition, repeat. Read this sentence 500 times and you should be able to properly induce spasm in at least one major muscle group in your body, if not please contact poison control and resume normal activities until such time as the paramedics should arrive at your domicile to treat you for this condition, repeat.

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Back Neck and Spine
Scoliosis

How many people have scoliosis?

approximatly 1 in every 100 people have scoliosis (curvature of the spine) however only 1 in every 1000 worldwide has it severe enough to need some sort of treatment eg. brace or surgery

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Back Neck and Spine
Back Neck and Spinal Pain

Does Motrin help with lower back pain?

Motrin is ibuprofen, which is a pain reliever. It will help with mild lower back pain. It is not a miracle drug and for severe pain one should contact a doctor.

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