BACK PAIN: SYMPTOMS, CAUSES AND TREATMENTS
Back pain is a debilitating condition that can significantly impact one’s quality of life. Our pain management specialists provide a range of treatments to address this issue, including medications, injections, and surgery, tailored to the underlying cause and severity of the condition.
With approximately 80% of people experiencing back pain at some point, its widespread occurrence underscores the importance of understanding and managing this condition. Globally, it stands as a leading cause of disability, significantly impeding daily tasks, work productivity, and overall well-being.
While this type of pain can affect individuals of all ages, its prevalence tends to increase with age, often due to age-related degenerative changes in the spine such as osteoarthritis and disc degeneration. Additionally, our sedentary lifestyles, characterized by prolonged sitting and lack of physical activity, contribute to the rising incidence of pain.
The pain can manifest in various forms, ranging from localized discomfort to widespread sensations throughout the back. It can also extend beyond the back, causing pain that radiates to other areas of the body, such as the buttocks, legs, or abdomen. The intensity of the pain differs from person to person and can vary depending on its type, causes, and location.
Activities involving lifting or bending can exacerbate the discomfort, while rest, prolonged sitting, or standing may aggravate the symptoms. Some individuals experience intermittent episodes of pain, while morning stiffness tends to improve with movement. The discomfort can radiate to the buttocks, legs, or hips, and individuals may also experience numbness or weakness in their legs or feet. These various aspects of back pain underscore its complex nature.
Pain can arise from various factors, often resulting from a combination of causes. Here are some common contributors to this condition:
- Injury or trauma: Falls, car accidents, or other traumatic incidents can result in pain through fractures, sprains, or other injuries affecting the back.
- Medical conditions: Certain health conditions like kidney stones, infections, or tumors can cause referred pain in the back.
- Lifestyle factors: Sedentary habits, lack of exercise, obesity, and smoking can all contribute to pain.
- Muscle or ligament strain: Straining back muscles or ligaments can occur from sudden movements, improper lifting, or overstretching, leading to muscle spasms and localized pain.
- Poor posture during activities, sitting, or standing.
CONDITIONS THAT MAY CAUSE BACK PAIN
Some of the conditions that can further contribute to backache and require specific attention and treatment approaches are:
- Herniated or bulging discs occur when the cushions between the vertebrae rupture or bulge, compressing nerves and resulting in the commonly known condition of a herniated or slipped disc.
- Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back due to age-related degeneration, which can compress nerves and result in back and leg pain, weakness, and reduced flexibility. Arthritis and falls also contribute to this condition.
- Osteoporosis weakens bones, leading to compression fractures of the vertebrae, causing pain and a stooped posture.
- Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that can cause back pain, muscle imbalances, and postural changes.
- Sciatica is characterized by nerve root compression in the lower back, resulting in leg pain, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness. It is often caused by a herniated disk or spinal stenosis affecting the sciatic nerve, which controls leg muscle function.
- Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, typically affects the knees, hips, and fingers. It results from the natural deterioration of joint cartilage over time or due to injury, leading to bones rubbing against each other, bone spurs, and joint stiffness after periods of activity or inactivity.
Failed back surgery and other post-surgical pain syndromes,
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
Postherpetic neuralgia (shingles)
Nerve injuries or pinched nerve
Sacroiliac joint dysfunctions
Vertebral subluxation complex
Explore the range of treatments we provide for chronic back pain relief. Click on each option to learn more about the procedure and its benefits.
Epidural Steroid Injection (cervical, thoracic and lumbar)
Epidurolysis (lumbar and caudal)
Facet or Hypoapophyseal Joint Injections
Selective Nerve Root Blocks (cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine)
Discography (diagnostic, cervical, thoracic and lumbar)
Radiofrequency Ablation – RFA
Implantation of trial and permanent Spinal Cord Stimulators
Sacroiliac Joint Injection