Back pain is a very common complaint. According to recent statistics, approximately 80% of adults in the United States will experience some form of back pain during their lifetime. Back pain is a common reason for missed time from work and is a leading cause of work-related disability claims.
Back pain can be classified as either acute or chronic in nature, depending on the duration of a patient’s symptoms.
Our office provides treatments and services for the following:
- Facet Joint Injections/ Medial Branch Blocks
- Facet Joint Rhizotomies (nerve ablation)
- Intrathecal Drug Delivery/ Implantable Spinal Pump
- Lumbar Discography
- Spinal Cord Stimulator
- Transforaminal Epidural Injections/ Nerve Root Injections
Causes of Back Pain
The back is a complex structure that is comprised of muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, and intervertebral discs. Problems in any of the structures that make up the spine can result in back pain. The spine is divided into four regions: cervical (neck), thoracic (upper back), lumbar (lower back), and sacral region.
The most common causes of upper and lower back pain are due to strained muscles and ligaments, which can result from heavy lifting, improper lifting, abrupt or awkward movements, poor posture, or muscle spasm.
However, there are numerous other causes of back pain that result from structural issues in the thoracic and lumbar spine, including:
- Disc herniation: Between each vertebrae in the spine is an intervertebral disc. When the outer layer of the disc weakens, the inner layer can rupture, resulting in inflammation and irritation of surrounding spinal nerves, which can cause back pain.
- Disc bulging: Similar to disc herniation, when the inner layer of the disc bulges outward, it can result in increased pressure on surrounding spinal nerves, which can cause back pain.
- Sciatica: A herniated or bulging disc may create a sharp, shooting pain that travels from the back, through the buttock and down the back of the leg.
- Arthritis: Osteoarthritis is a common condition that can affect multiple joints of the body, including the joints of the spine. When this happens, the degeneration that occurs can lead to back pain.
- Abnormal curvatures of the spine: Scoliosis and kyphosis are two types of abnormal spinal curvatures that can result in back pain.
- Osteoporosis: This condition can lead to a weakening of the bones that make up the spine, which increases the risk of compression fractures, when this type of fracture occurs, back pain can result.