Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.

My Spine Hurts! Could I Have Spinal Tumors?

Spinal tumors are growths that form in or around your spinal cord, the bundle of nerves and tissue that runs through your spine and connects nearly every part of your body to your brain. They are relatively rare, but when they do occur, they can cause pain, numbness, spinal deformity, and muscle weakness.

The first sign of a spinal tumor is often back pain. Pain is your body’s way of telling you something isn’t right — but there are so many possible causes of back pain, there’s no way to know if it’s a tumor without visiting a specialist.

George Kakoulides, MD is a neurosurgeon specializing in diagnosing and treating spinal tumors, along with a range of other spinal conditions that can compromise your health. If you have back pain that’s not going away, it’s time to learn more about what could be causing it and get a treatment plan that’s right for you.

Understanding the common causes of spine pain

Your spine consists of 24 moveable vertebrae bones from your neck to your lower back, and two fixed vertebrae forming your tailbone at the end. Your spinal cord runs through the center of your vertebrae, and vertebral discs cushion each bone.

Back pain is a common issue. In fact, an estimated 80% of people experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. But the cause of back pain is often musculoskeletal. That is, the pain originates from the bones, tissues, or nerves within your spin.

Neck pain

The bones in your neck are called the cervical spine. There are seven vertebral bones in your neck, and conditions like cervical spinal stenosis and cervical herniated discs can cause spinal pain in this region.

Spinal stenosis is common with age and it develops when your spinal column narrows and pinches your spinal cord in certain places, causing pain or numbness. A herniated disc could be the result of an acute injury or simply getting older, and it develops when a spinal disc deteriorates and puts pressure on spinal nerves.

Lumbar pain

Your lumbar spine is your lower back. The lumbar region consists of five vertebral bones, and it’s one of the most common areas for pain. Lumbar spinal stenosis and lumbar herniated discs are common causes of lower back pain that don’t indicate a spinal tumor.

Signs of spinal tumors

Spinal tumors range in size, location, and symptoms. Tumors can be malignant (cancerous) or noncancerous (benign), but symptoms can be similar between the two. 

If you have a spinal tumor, what starts as back pain may spread to your hips, legs, feet, or arms. Other symptoms that could indicate a tumor include:

The earliest sign of a spinal tumor is often back pain, but since back pain is a common complaint that could indicate any number of spinal issues, it’s important to seek a professional diagnosis.

Uncovering the cause of your spine pain

If you have back pain, make an appointment with a specialist. Dr. Kakoulides and our team offer thorough evaluations for back pain. We consider all possible conditions to reach a diagnosis and recommend the best course of treatment for you.

The severity of your pain isn’t always indicative of the severity of your condition. That means you could have serious pain, but Dr. Kakoulides might find that the cause is a herniated disc, which is generally easy to treat and may not require surgery.

On the other hand, you could experience more mild pain and be diagnosed with a spinal tumor. If a tumor is identified, Dr. Kakoulides may confirm its location with an MRI or CT scan. He may recommend surgery to remove the tumor. If it’s cancerous, you may need chemotherapy and/or radiation.

Trust your spine to an expert. Call the office nearest you or request an appointment with Dr. Kakoulides online now.

You Might Also Enjoy...

5 Effective Treatments for a Herniated Cervical Disc

Are you bothered by neck pain and stiffness? Have you noticed tingling or weakness in your arms? It could be a herniated cervical disc — and you don’t have to live with the discomfort. Learn about the top treatments for herniated cervical discs.

Are Spine Fracture Symptoms Obvious?

Back pain is common. But with so many possible causes, finding out what’s wrong isn’t always easy. Sudden, intense back pain could indicate spine fracture — particularly if you’re an older adult. Learn the signs so you can find the proper treatment.

Indications That a Discectomy May Be Recommended

Discectomy is a minimally invasive procedure to treat damaged spinal discs. It’s a common surgery for severely herniated discs, but when is the right time to consider it? Learn more about herniated discs and when discectomy could be right for you.

What Is ACDF and Am I a Candidate for It?

Neck pain that doesn’t go away can erode your quality of life. If you’ve tried conservative treatments without relief, it might be time to consider a minimally invasive surgery like ACDF. Find out how it works and what it can treat here.