Back pain can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain that makes it hard to move. It can start quickly if you fall or lift something too heavy, or it can get worse slowly.
Anyone can have back pain, but some things that increase your risk are:
1. Getting older
2. Poor physical fitness
3. Being overweight
5. Your job – lifting, pushing, or pulling while twisting your spine; or working at a desk and not sitting up straight can cause back pain
6. Smoking – Your body may not be able to get enough nutrients to the disks in your back if you smoke. Smoker’s cough may also cause back pain. People who smoke are slow to heal, so back pain may last longer.
Research has shown that four out of five people will experience back or lower back pain at some point in their lives, back pain lasting longer than a few weeks is not considered normal. Therefore, it is vital for you to seek professional treatment before symptoms worsen. To help determine the cause of your back pain, your provider may need some results if any of the following diagnostic tests were performed: X-ray, Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computerized tomography (CT) scans and EMG studies.
CONDITIONS & SYMPTOMS
Back pain symptoms can include feelings of muscle aches, stabbing or shooting pain, stiff or limited flexibility in the back or lower back and radiating pain down one or both legs.
Diagnosis/ What does it mean?:
Muscle-related back pain can be caused by improper lifting techniques, overuse, poor posture or a sudden awkward movement or fall.
Herniated Disc/ Disc Bulges
Spinal discs are located in between the spinal vertebra. At times the substance in between the disc can bulge out of place or rupture, putting pressure on the surrounding nerves causing back pain.
Sciatica is back pain that stems from the sciatic nerve, which is a large nerve from the lower back that radiates down the back of each leg. Sciatica is a symptom of another underlying problem, such as a spinal stenosis, a pinched/irritated nerve in the lower back or a herniated disc.
Other Painful Conditions
If you have spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, scoliosis, compression fractures, arthritis or osteoporosis you may also experience bone and joint pain in the back.
Treatments for the Back
Back pain can have many causes, and many times back pain will resolve itself in two to four weeks with rest, ice and heat. However, sometimes we need more than exercises and therapeutic modalities. That’s where our professional and friendly staff at Interventional Pain Medicine lend a helping hand.
There are a number of treatment options that our doctors can perform to help reduce back pain, which include:
- Epidural Steroid Injection
- Facet Joint Injection
- Trigger Point Injections
- Radiofrequency Ablation
- Physical therapy