Where Back Pain Begins


Back pain can start at the vertebral disc level which serve as the spinal column’s shock absorbers. They cushion the vertebral bones and allow the spine to twist and bend. They have two main components either of which may crack or tear and leak fluid or a bulging disc material onto the nerve roots. This can be from aging, traumatic injury or stress of rapid motion.

Why it Occurs

This pain can occur in the back and neck area from weakness in the vertebral discs from damaged wear and tear of aging or traumatic injury. Hard work, repeated motion and overuse injury can lead to this weakness in the outer fibers of the disc wall. Radial tears form in and around the sensitive nerve fibers in the disc wall and can lead to ‘disco-genic’ back pain. If the discs soft nucleus pushes through to the outer edge of the disc wall it can cause local back pain at the disc level


When the disc ruptures or the inner nucleus pulposis bulgs or herniates through the tough outer wall of the disc in can compress the nerve or the nerve root. This can lead to pain, tingling, numbness or weakness in the distribution of the nerve level affected. This can be the cause of the radicular pain in one leg or arm, or both can be affected as well.


Treatment for the onset of back pain in usually conservative as the pain can resolve on its own over the course of several days to weeks. If it last longer and becomes a more chronic pain situation then over the counter medications such as NSAID can be helpful. More advance therapy including stronger medications or corticosteroids, either by mouth or epidural injection can decrease swelling of the nerve root and relieve pain