A Patients' Guide to Spinal Tumors

Symptoms of a Spinal Tumor

What are the symptoms of a spinal tumor?
Benign and malignant spinal tumors almost always present with back pain as the foremost symptom. Coincidentally, back pain is also the most common symptom of non-tumor spinal disorders. Low back sprain/strain, whiplash, disc herniation, and spinal stenosis are examples of common pain-related back problems.

While it is normal for back or neck pain to raise concern, there are several select signs and symptoms that suggest it is time to see your doctor.

Woman holding her low back having painBack pain that is …

  • Sudden, intolerable, persistent
  • Quickly worsens
  • Worse at night
  • Present when not active
  • Radiates (spreads, moves) to other parts of the body

Other signs and symptoms …

  • Difficult walking
  • Muscle weakness
  • Decreased sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Spinal deformity (e.g. non-posture-related spinal curve)
  • Bowel or bladder dysfunction (e.g. loss of control)
  • Paralysis

Often, pain caused by a spinal tumor (benign or malignant) is more pronounced at night and is not relieved by rest. If you experience any of these symptoms of spinal tumors, contact your healthcare professional immediately.


Updated on: 07/26/16
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