Pain Conditions: Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar, Sacral Spinal Pain

The function of the spine and vertebrae is twofold: protect the spinal cord, which provides mobility and sensation communication to the brain; and support our trunks, which enables movement of our heads, arms, and legs. The spinal column is comprised of four regions: cervical (neck), thoracic (chest/trunk), lumbar (low back), and sacral (pelvic). A tubular bundle of nerves grouped together according to ascending or descending tracts makes up the spinal cord, which carries electronic signals, like pain, to and from the brain to the rest of the body. Whether you have experienced the sudden onset of traumatic spinal injury or you live day after day in severe chronic spinal pain, the functionality (mobility or feeling) of certain parts of your body, particularly the spinal column or cord, could be drastically compromised. For your quality of life, it is important to seek the medical attention of pain management and treatment specialists, such as those found at the Regional Pain Institute. Read on to learn about a variety of common spinal pain conditions, as well as correlating symptoms and causes.

Types of Spinal Pain


Common Causes

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

Tingling, numbness, or throbbing pain at or below the level of injury where some or all sensation to touch is lost. Loss of sensation and/or strength and/or bladder/bowel functions.

Damage to the spinal cord at the time of injury.

Spinal Stenosis

Frequent falling, clumsiness, pain, and difficulty when walking, numbness, tingling, hot/cold feelings in the legs.

Aging, arthritis, heredity, instability of the spine (or spondylolisthesis), tumors of the spine, and trauma.

Facet Joint Arthropathy

Pain that worsens following sleep or rest, twisting or bending backwards

Previous back injury, fractures, torn ligaments, and disc problems.

Herniated (ruptured) Disc

Deep, sharp, or cutting pain localized to the back or radiated to the area of the body to which the nerve travels.

Heavy lifting or trauma.

Discogenic Pain

Usually more pain in back flexion.

Degenerative disc disease, aging, or injury.

Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

Intractable pain and varying degrees of functional incapacitation.

Failure to remove pain as a result of prior back surgery.

Compression Fractures

Sharp, localized spinal pain.

Injury due to Osteoporosis


Shooting, stinging, and burning pain associated with bizarre sensations.

Trauma, surgery, infection, repeated exposure to certain chemicals.

If you have spinal pain or have experienced one or a combination of the symptoms noted above, contact the Regional Pain Institute. Our pain management physicians will evaluate your spinal pain condition and perform a variety of tests to provide you with an accurate diagnosis. There are many pain management treatments available to help patients just like you find the spinal pain relief they deserve. Based on the type of your pain and the location (cervical/neck, thoracic/chest, lumbar/lower back, or sacral/pelvic) along the spinal column, the pain management specialists and physicians at the Regional Pain Institute will help determine the most effective treatment solution for you and your condition. The spinal column and spinal cord are critical components of your body; entrust your care only in the hands of the pain management experts at the Regional Pain Institute.