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Back or neck pain can be caused by a variety of conditions including muscle strain, degenerative disc disease, spinal arthritis, spinal stenosis, spinal deformity, fractures and even tumors. Therefore, any persistent or lasting pain should be addressed by a doctor to facilitate diagnosis. Most back and neck pain though is caused by straightforward conditions such as muscle strain and degenerative discs. These can be treated with activity modifications, medicines and physical therapy. In some cases, spinal fusion can alleviate pain if conservative treatment is unsuccessful.