Morning joint stiffness, sore back, stiff neck

There are many conditions that cause stiff joints and back and neck pain. Trauma, ageing, improper body mechanics, and normal wear and tear can all injure your spine. Spinal surgery is one of the seven core areas of orthopaedic surgery.

Back pain is very common especially in middle age where the results of our youthful activities can morph into long term pain and lack of mobility.  Spinal surgery is not always the answer and is useful in fact in only a small percentage of patients.  Most back problems can be taken care of with nonsurgical treatments, such as anti-inflammatory medication, ice, heat, gentle massage and physical therapy.  When conservative treatments don't help, back surgery may offer relief.  But it doesn't help every type of back pain.

Lumbar spine conditions can be related to many factors and some of these are:

  • Sciatica from prolapsed discs
  • Sponylolisthesis where the vertebrae may slip in relation to the next, commonly referred to as a slipped vertebra
  • Spinal stenosis where the spinal canal narrows or
  • Low back pain from degeneration of one or more of the discs due to disease
  • Other factors may be from spinal injuries from car accidents or sports injuries or from spinal tumours.

Damage to any part of your back or pressure on the nerves in your spine can cause back pain and other symptoms. The back pain may be unrelated to the spine but the rule of thumb is – if the pain is severe, causes discomfort and lack of mobility so that you can no longer work, play or enjoy your sport then you should get it checked out by your doctor who will advise of the next step. This may be to see a spinal surgeon.