Nerve Pain versus Muscular Back Pain – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Understanding the distinctions between nerve pain and muscular back pain is crucial in addressing back problems, such as chronic back pain.

Both conditions, while affecting the back, have differing symptoms and causes, as well as treatment approaches.

Let’s explore these differences in detail to better grasp the nature of muscular back pain, including some common causes, pain symptoms, pain management and treatments as well as prevention strategies.

Nerve Pain and Muscular Back Pain: What Sets Them Apart?

Nerve pain, often associated with conditions like pinched nerves (including a pinched sciatic nerve), is a result of impinged or compressed nerves, leading to symptoms like tingling, numbness, and severe pain.

On the other hand, muscular back pain arises from strain, injury (such as a pulled muscle), muscle spasms, or tension in the back muscles, resulting in localised discomfort and stiffness.

Symptoms of Muscular Back Pain and Nerve Pain

Muscular back pain typically exhibits symptoms that differ from nerve-related pain in the following ways:

  • Localised soreness or discomfort in specific muscle groups of the back, or even radiating pain that can be felt as chest pain
  • Stiffness in the affected area
  • Reduced range of motion due to muscle tightness
  • Dull, aching sensations that are often alleviated by rest or mild movement

On the other hand, nerve pain can present some symptoms that overlap, such as pain in the affected region, and reduced range of motion, but other symptoms characteristic of nerve pain can appear. Some examples include numbness, tingling, and in extreme cases loss of bladder or bowel movement.

Both muscle pain and nerve pain symptoms tend to affect the cervical spine and lumbar spine predominantly and lead to neck pain and lower back pain, respectively.

Muscular Back Pain and Nerve Pain Causes

Various factors contribute to muscular pain, including:

  • Poor posture or prolonged periods of sitting or standing, which can strain a muscle or muscle group.
  • Muscle strain strain due to sudden movements, heavy lifting, or overexertion, which can often happen during work (if you work in an environment that requires physical labour), or during workouts or sport activities.
  • Muscle tension or spasms.
  • Inadequate conditioning or muscle weakness.

Nerve pain is commonly caused by conditions that lead to a nerve becoming compressed, such as disc herniation, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, and bone spurs.

What all these conditions have in common is that they can be linked to compression of the spine, which is a spinal problem where the spinal column becomes squashed, and as a result presses down on other components along the spine.

Treatment Options for Muscular and Nerve Pain

Effective management of muscular back pain often involves the following approaches:

  • Rest and activity modification by allowing the affected muscles time to recover and avoiding activities that make the pain worse.
  • Working with a physiotherapist to reinstate spine mobility and obtain pain relief.
  • Applying heat or ice packs to alleviate soreness and reduce inflammation.
  • Engaging in exercises that target muscle strength, flexibility, and overall back health, such as physical therapy exercises.
  • Using pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medications under professional guidance.
  • Sometimes getting a massage can help loosen up tense muscles and improving blood flow to the affected area.

Nerve pain treatment should instead focus on releasing the trapped nerve, which is the trigger for the resulting symptoms. To alleviate this type of pain, it is best to decompress the spine, which is often the underlying cause of it.

Decompressing the spine is also beneficial in reducing back muscle pain, as the spine is massaged in the process.

To decompress the spine, using a spinal decompression device like the Spinal Backrack can be beneficial.

Backrack Spinal Decompression Device

The Backrack Spinal Decompression Device is a 100% natural and comfortable method relieving back pain caused by both muscular issues and pinched nerves. It stretches and relaxes the spine through bodyweight exercises that are easy to do at home. It has helped thousands of people become pain-free, so why not be one of them?
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