What is spinal pain and dysfunction?

The spine, also known as the vertebral column or the backbone, is the body’s central support structure and connects different parts of the musculoskeletal system. The spine is responsible for protecting and enclosing the spinal cord within the spinal canal. It carries the weight of the body above the pelvis and enables us to move around.

Damage to the spine or the spinal cord affects your ability to move due to pain and inflammation. This is called spinal dysfunction. Spinal pain, especially in the lower back and the neck, is often debilitating.

What causes spinal pain and dysfunction?

  • Overuse, muscle strain or an injury to the muscles, ligaments and spinal discs.
  • Poor posture
  • Pressure on the spinal nerves due to certain conditions such as herniated disc and pinched nerves.
  • A fracture on one of the vertebrae.
  • Osteoarthritis due to the breakdown of cartilage that cushions the small facet joints in the spine.
  • Myofascial pain which affects the connective tissues of the group muscles.

Rarely, spinal pain can also be caused by other conditions such as gallbladder disease, cancer or an infection. Signs and symptoms of spinal pain and dysfunction include a dull, burning or sharp pain, as well as muscle tightness or stiffness.

How is spinal pain and dysfunction treated?

Spinal traction provides a number of benefits, including:

Physical therapy involving flexibility and strength exercises for the back and abdominal muscles may be recommended to help treat spinal pain and dysfunction. This can include the use of injection therapy to reduce inflammation around the nerve roots. Spinal traction can also be indicated, which involves the use of pulleys and weights to help stretch the back, as well as relieve pain.

Other complementary therapies such as acupuncture and dry needling may also be used to treat spinal pain and dysfunction depending on your condition and needs.


“Take care of your body,
and your body will take care of you.”