Secondary Conditions to Lower Back Pain

Back pain is very common. However, veterans are especially susceptible to developing secondary conditions to lower back pain.

If you suspect you have a secondary condition resulting from lower back pain, schedule an appointment at Virgin Islands Neurology. Our experts can help provide the relief that you need. Our practice is conveniently located in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

A woman with secondary conditions to lower back pain.

What Is Back Pain?

Back pain is physical discomfort that occurs along your spine or back. Low back pain can range from a mild, constant ache to sudden and severe pain.

This pain can result from many different injuries, conditions, or diseases. For some, the pain can become so severe that it makes it difficult or impossible to walk, work, carry out everyday activities, and even sleep.  

Acute back pain usually lasts from a few days to a few weeks and comes on suddenly, whereas chronic back pain lasts more than three months. In addition to the pain, it can lead to other secondary conditions that further complicate your situation.

Man having his lower back pain treated with physical therapy.

Common Secondary Conditions to Lower Back Pain

Below you will find of list of some of the most common secondary conditions to lower back pain.


Sciatica is caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve, which is located deep in the lower back. It can cause shooting pain that radiates down one or both legs.

External Popliteal Nerve Damage

This condition is highly connected with sciatica and often occurs after experiencing trauma to the head, neck, or spine.


Radiculopathy occurs when the nerves in your lower back are compressed. This compression can cause a range of symptoms, such as sharp pain that shoots and radiates in your lower back down into your legs, as well as weakness and numbness.

Degenerative Arthritis of the Spine

Back pain can alter how you walk, run, sit, or lift items, causing unusual wear and tear on your joints and resulting in arthritis.

The most frequent type of spinal arthritis is degenerative arthritis of the spine. Also, your likelihood of developing this form of degenerative arthritis increases if you have previously suffered a back or spinal cord injury.

Urinary Frequency or Incontinence

Back problems can cause urinary frequency or incontinence to worsen over time.


Myelopathy is a serious condition that can occur if you have suffered a back injury or trauma in the past. Myelopathy is caused by compression on your spine. You may experience sharp, radiating pain. This condition can also cause loss of bowel or urinary control.

Depression and Other Mental Health Conditions

Chronic back pain can majorly impact your mental health, causing depression and other disorders.

In addition, back problems can lead to conditions such as obesity and other disabilities that can affect your hip, legs, or feet, profoundly impacting your quality of life.

Are Secondary Conditions Common Among Veterans?

Yes, secondary conditions are very common among veterans. If you are a veteran and chronic pain following your military service prevents you from working, you may be eligible for disability benefits.

When it comes to veterans, secondary conditions are a condition, medical illness, or injury that is either directly caused by or aggravated by a service-related disability. It is not uncommon for a veteran to develop multiple service-connected secondary disabilities.

When Should I See a Doctor?

You should see a doctor if your back does not improve after a few weeks of rest. Additionally, you should see a doctor if your pain is constant and intensifies or extends into your legs.

You should see immediate medical attention if you notice new bowel or bladder control problems or if a fever accompanies your pain.

Available Solutions for Secondary Conditions of Back Pain

There are solutions available to relieve the pain of secondary conditions. Conservative treatment for secondary conditions may involve the following:

Surgical intervention may be required if these conservative treatments do not alleviate your pain.

If you are a veteran and believe you have a secondary disability related to your service-related disability, you must file a claim accompanied by detailed medical evidence to receive VA disability benefits. There needs to be a nexus or clear, direct service connection to your secondary disability.

In order to receive VA disability compensation, you must provide a diagnosis of the secondary service connection. Your VA disability rating will depend on the severity of your condition(s).

Secondary conditions to back pain can make a difficult situation harder to deal with. However, with the proper care from our specialists at Virgin Islands Neurology, your pain can be managed or even alleviated.

Schedule an appointment with our team of back pain experts in the U.S. Virgin Islands today! We look forward to helping you get your life back on track.