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3 Surprising Issues That May Be Caused by Your Spine

By Kate Gardner 

Your spine at birth is made up of 33 vertebrae in three sections: the cervical spine, the thoracic spine, and the lumbar spine. We usually think spinal problems cause back pain, but they can also cause pain, numbness, and dysfunction in other parts of the body too. Read on to learn about some surprising ways spine problems can affect your health. 

Ear Pain and Hearing Loss

Your cervical spine is made up of the first seven vertebrae, what we typically call the neck. Dysfunction of the cervical vertebrae can cause head, neck, and shoulder pain but it can also cause ear pain, vertigo, and hearing loss. A study published in the journal Basic Clinical Neuroscience found people with cervical spine problems had an increased risk of ear pain and hearing loss. This was especially true if the person had a hard time turning their head to the left because of their cervical spine pain. 

Chest and Abdominal Pain

The thoracic region of your spine is what you might call the middle part. It is the longest section of your spine, sitting under the cervical area of your neck and above the lumbar region of your lower back. According to, a herniated disc in the thoracic region can cause fluid to leak and irritate any one of the 12 thoracic nerve root pairs. Irritation and compression of these nerves can cause pain in the back, around the rib cage, and in the chest and abdomen. If you're experiencing chest or abdominal pain, it's important to be evaluated by a healthcare professional. 

Foot Pain 

Down at the bottom of your spine, you have your lumbar vertebrae. Problems with your lower back are known to cause pain in the hips and legs, but did you know they can even affect your feet? Your sciatic nerve exits your lumbar spine and travels all the way down your leg. When this nerve becomes compressed, you can experience pain in your feet. Foot pain caused by the lumbar spine tends to be only on one side and is usually accompanied by leg pain. 

Chiropractic Care for Your Spine

Subluxations of the spine occur when the vertebrae become misaligned. These subluxations can compress and irritate the nerves that run through your spine to the rest of your body. As you can see, this can cause pain just about anywhere! Chiropractors can help treat spinal subluxations by manipulating the spine and bringing vertebrae back into proper alignment. Spinal manipulation can reduce pain and discomfort while improving flexibility and range of motion. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in McKinney, Tex. 

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