Back pain is a rather common disorder and can have several causes. Dr. Maurizio Fornari, Head of Neurosurgery at Humanitas, guest in Buongiorno benessere on Rai1, spoke about back pain.

“What we commonly call backache is lumbar back pain, which is related to the alteration of one of the structures that make up the lumbar segment of the column. The column is very important because it supports the whole skeleton and at the same time it has a great dynamic action: maintaining the movement by protecting the nervous structures inside it”, explained the specialist.


Disc fragility

“The structures that are first damaged are the most fragile, that is, the discs: cartilaginous structures, largely made up of water, proteins and sugars, subject to considerable wear. By far the most frequent and most experienced pathology in youth is discopathy or herniated disc. In most cases the hernias of the disc regress by themselves and only in rare cases is surgery necessary; then there can be a protrusion, responsible for a very acute pain (the so-called blow of the witch), which is related to the stretching of the longitudinal posterior ligament”.


When the pain reaches the legs

“In the presence of back pain only, which does not involve the legs, it means that the nervous structures (and in particular for the lumbar segment, the nerve roots) are not affected and therefore the problem is borne by the disc. If the pain radiates to the leg it means that one of the roots is crushed,” said Dr. Fornari.

Dr. Fornari then showed what happens during the specialist visit and what needs to be investigated, such as the intensity of pain, the strength of the feet, the reflexes, and the sensitivity.


Watch the entire interview with Professor Fornari from 23.35 minutes, click here.