Dr. Tural's health blog

What Are The Common Causes Of Back Pain And Neck Pain? Which Department In The Hospital Deals With Back And Neck Pain? How Is It Diagnosed?

What are the common causes of back pain and neck pain?

What does our spine do?

To understand causes of back pain and neck pain, we need to focus on our spine. The spine provides support to the whole body. It provides standing upright, balance and movement in all directions. It also protects the vitally important spinal cord. In order to fulfill these functions, different structures such as bones, muscles, discs, nerves and joints that make up the spine must be robust and work in harmony.

Our spine is made up of 33-34 vertebrae. 24 of these vertebral bones on the upper side are connected to each other through cartilages called intervertebral discs. These vertebrae are divided into 3 groups. These are 7 neck, 12 back and 5 lumbar vertebrae. The coccyx was formed by the fusion of five of the other 9-10 vertebrae, and the tailbone was formed by the fusion of 4-5 small vertebrae at the bottom.

common causes of back pain and neck pain

What are the causes of back pain and neck pain?

Back pain and neck pain can be caused by any of the different structures that make up the spine, such as bones, muscles, discs, nerves, and joints. The majority of these pains in the patients we examined in our clinic are due to mechanical stress disorders. Among these, the most common ones are muscle strain, herniated disc and degeneration. The prognosis is good in most cases in mechanical disorders. Most of these pains heal in a short time. A small proportion of them become chronic and worsen the quality of life of patients.

Very rarely, back pain and neck pain may be due to inflammatory diseases, infections and bone diseases, and pain from other organs (such as an aortic aneurysm).

Which department in the hospital deals with back and neck pain, and how is it diagnosed?

Which department should I make an appointment for?

Questions that patients with back pain and neck pain often have difficulty in finding answers to; “Do I need to go to the doctor?”, “Which department?”, “Which doctor?”, “Can I go to the pain doctor?” and similar questions. So, is there only one answer to these questions? Of course, the answers to these questions will be very different for each patient.

In most cases, tolerable acute pain subsides within a few weeks with simple home remedies or on its own, and there is no need to consult a doctor. However, if the pain occurs after trauma and/or suddenly and is not tolerable, or if the pain lasts for weeks and becomes chronic, it is absolutely necessary to go to a doctor and be examined.

The other question that patients and their relatives should answer is “which department” or “which doctor” should an appointment be made for. Especially if there is unbearable pain after trauma and/or suddenly. It is absolutely necessary to apply to the emergency department. If the general condition of the patient is good, if there is no serious trauma, but if there is acute (sudden onset) back, and/ or neck pain, then orthopedics or neurosurgery departments dealing with spine surgery can be consulted. In other cases, it is necessary to make an appointment to the family doctor or physical therapy and rehabilitation department. In cases where back pain cannot be controlled and there is no surgical pathology, it would be appropriate to apply to the pain medicine department  (or pain doctor).

How do doctors diagnose back and neck pain?

The doctor first listens to the history and complaints of the patient who comes to the outpatient clinic with the complaint of back pain or neck pain. Then performs the physical examination and, if necessary, may request advanced examinations such as x-ray films, MR imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), and electromyography (EMG). In addition, blood tests and special tests may be required for the diagnosis of some diseases. When necessary, the patient is consulted with the doctors of other branches and the patient’s pain is tried to be treated with a holistic approach.

We hope that the information we provide will be useful, and the patients and their relatives with back pain and neck pain, apply to the right department at the right time and their pain is taken under control in the best way possible.