Back pain is one of the most common neurological problems. It is usually caused by neurodegeneration of spine or spinal injury, which can negatively influence spinal bones called vertebrae and soft tissue structures, such as spinal discs between vertebrae, ligaments, and muscles in the area.
There are multiple different possible causes of back pain, primarily unrelated to the spine, which need to be considered in the differential diagnosis, such as endometriosis, kidney infection, various abdominal, thoracic, or pelvic abnormalities.
The main symptom is pain in the affected area, sometimes with projection into upper and lower limbs or on the trunk. The patient may also experience tingling or numbness, weakness on upper or lower limbs or problems with urination, which usually require immediate attention by a specialist.
The neurologist takes a medical history, performs a neurological examination, and usually recommends an XR, CT or MRI of your spine to review its structural changes.
If the back pain is not associated with any red flag symptoms, such as problems with urination or weakness, the neurologist usually prescribes different medication to manage the pain and recommends rehabilitation, where possible. If the first line of treatment fails, the neurologist may recommend different types of injections. If all conservative treatments fail, the neurologist may recommend a review by a neurosurgeon or spinal surgeon to consider surgical intervention.
When to see a doctor
Ideally, all patients with back pain should be seen by a neurologist to make a proper and precise diagnosis from the onset of symptoms. If you experience significant weakness on upper or lower limbs, or problems with urination, or if the back pain is associated with other symptoms such as fever, you must be reviewed by a specialist immediately.