Dorsalgia: Types, Symptoms and Treatment
April 26, 2021 | Farah Jassawalla

Dorsalgia: Types, Symptoms and Treatment

Simply termed, dorsalgia is severe pain in the back. It takes root from two words: “Dorsal” which means back, and “algia” which means pain. However, dorsalgia is more than just simple back pain. If we talk in specific terms, the pain involved in dorsalgia comes from the spine. Accordingly, the section of the spine that is responsible for the pain makes for a particular type of dorsalgia.

In all, there are six known types of dorsalgia. These are listed here:

1.    Cervical dorsalgia

Sometimes, cervical dorsalgia is also medically termed as cervicalgia. In this type, the cervical spine is involved. The pain you feel is in the neck region and occurs due to some injury or otherwise as a result of degeneration of the cervical spine.

2.    Cervicothoracic dorsalgia

As is evident in the term, this type of dorsalgia involves cervical and thoracic regions of the spine. The cervical spine is the uppermost part of the vertebral column that exists in the neck region. Whereas the thoracic spine is the second portion of the vertebral column. It is located between the cervical spine and lumbar spine. Hence, the pain in cervicothoracic dorsalgia comes from both of these portions.

3.    Thoracic dorsalgia

As compared to cervicothoracic dorsalgia, this type of back pain comes from only the thoracic vertebral segments. Typically, this type of dorsalgia is a rare occurrence.

4.    Thoracolumbar dorsalgia

Thoracolumbar dorsalgia involves both the thoracic and lumbar spine. Usually, this type involves both upper and lower back pain.

5.    Lumbar dorsalgia

The lumbar spine is located where the thoracic spine ends and continues down to where the sacral spine starts. As this part of the back is the most used of all in our daily movements, lumbar dorsalgia is more common among patients with this disease.

6.    Lumbosacral dorsalgia

This type involves back pain that roots from both the lumbar and sacral spine.

Symptoms of Dorsalgia

Varying between the six types, the symptoms of this disease are usually common across patients. You may feel a sharp or stinging pain in your back or only your neck. This pain also carries a burning sensation. You may have difficulty changing your position like climbing the stairs or rising from a chair or bed. In addition to that, there will also be pain or difficulty while bending down.

Overall, change of posture is painful for patients with dorsalgia. In some cases where nerves are compromised due to a bulge of spinal discs, the symptoms usually also include numbness in the upper and lower extremities. Sometimes, a stinging sensation is also experienced. Both of these problems make it difficult for the patient to carry out everyday activities with ease.

Treatment for Dorsalgia

Nonsurgical Treatments

When surgery is not involved, treatment of dorsalgia is mainly relied on with pain relief medications along with physical therapy. The medications include NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and muscle relaxants. The latter is used to curb muscle spasms which often appear as a result of intense back pain.

For treating pain in the nerves, the pain relief medications include Neurontin and Lyrica. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you can find suitable medications online at Shifa4U.

Surgical Treatments

These are the less conservative treatments if medications or other therapies are not working. These include microdiscectomy, electrical stimulation for treating dorsalgia, artificial disc replacement, spinal fusion and vertebroplasty.

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Farah Jassawalla

Farah Jassawalla is a graduate of the Lahore School of Economics. She is also a writer, and healthcare enthusiast, having closely observed case studies while working with Lahore's thriving general physicians at their clinics.