Some of the spinal tumors do not result in any symptom but mostly it leads to back pain and neurological deficits like numbness or weakness. The symptoms can be different as per where the tumor is located or if it is cancerous or not. This guide will make you understand the symptoms of spinal tumors.
What are the symptoms of a spinal tumor?
A spinal tumor can result in back pain which occurs due to the healthy tissues getting damaged such as the bones or nerves getting compressed. The spinal tumor pain can feel like:
- Upper or middle back pain
In most cases, the spinal pain is present in the lower back or neck whereas the spinal tumor pain is triggered in the middle or upper back. For 70% of the cases, the spinal tumor is present in the thoracic spine.
- Sharp pain
Spinal tumor pain is present in the back or it can travel to the spinal cord or nerve root. In severe cases, it can radiate to the abdomen, chest, arms, or legs.
- Pain is severe at night
The problem with this condition is that even rest cannot diminish the pain. Moreover, it is severe at night which affects your sleep pattern.
If your back pain problem is affecting your quality of life then you need to seek medical attention right away. The doctor will determine the back pain cause and give you a suitable treatment program.
- Pain is severe in the morning
When you wake up in the morning the pain is very severe.
- Pain worsens with touch
In some cases, the pain can flare up when you touch the spinal tumor or the nearby regions around it. It would be best that you do not get into a strenuous exercise regime.
The spinal tumor pain can be present in different levels of the spine like the lumbar spine and thoracic spine, especially when the tumor is very big.
When do you need to seek medical attention right away?
There are few red flags which mean you need to consult the health care professional.
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fever, chills, or shakes
If you have these symptoms then there is a possibility of cancer or some other serious health issue.
Neurological Deficits from a Spinal tumor
The spinal tumor grows big enough that it starts compressing the nerve root or spinal cord. Some of the examples include:
When one or more nerve roots get compressed or inflamed then it can result in numbness, weakness, or tingling sensation. The sign of the tumor can vary according to the location of the tumor. When the problem is very severe then it can radiate to the chest or abdomen.
When the spinal cord gets inflamed or compressed the neurological deficit can be experienced in the body. This condition can result in weakness or numbness which can travel to both legs and also affect the ability to walk properly.
- Cauda equina syndrome
The Cauda equina is the bundle of nerve roots that descend from the spinal cord because the nerves get compressed in the lumbar spine. The problem can result in different neurological deficits which result in tingling or numbness in the genitals, inner thigh, or buttocks. Additionally, it can cause bowel control and walking dysfunction.
If you have any of the above-given symptoms or faced them in the past then you should schedule your consultation right away.