Chronic Back Pain
Chronic Back Pain Is A Catch All Term
Back pain is a term for a variety of problems that cause pain anywhere along the spine.
Arthritis: Arthritis is the break down in the facet joints of the back, and this can cause pain on movement.
Degenerative Disc Disease: Degenerative Disc Disease is one of the most common causes of lower back pain. It refers to symptoms of back or neck pain caused by wear-and-tear on a spinal disc.
Sciatica: When Disc affect the nerve roots, it can lead to pain that shoots into the arms or legs which is called Sciatica.
Failed Back Surgery is a general term that refers to the condition of patients who have had back surgery or spine surgery and continue to experience pain after surgery.
Vertebral Compression Fractures occur when a vertebral body in the spine collapses leading to pain, deformity and loss of height.
Back Sprains and Strains Most episodes of low back pain are caused by damage to the soft tissues supporting the lower spine such as the muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Who gets it?
Anyone is at risk for back pain. Older adults are more susceptible to osteoarthritis in the back, and kyphosis is generally seen in older females. Anyone who leads a sedentary life is also at risk.
The deconditioning of the spine can lead to problems with the support musculature, and this can lead to disc herniation. Disc herniation leads to nerve root pain, such as Sciatica. However, even those who are active are at risk for back pain. Those who play sports are more likely to receive a trauma to the back that can rupture disc or misalign vertebrae.
If you work in a job that requires lifting, you are far more likely to develop back pain from any of the causative factors. In addition, carrying extra weight can put strain on the back, particularly the lumbar region, because it can lead to a disc rupture.
What kind of pain results?
Back pain can cause a number of painful feelings.
First, you may feel muscle strain in your back if you have strained or sprained the complex musculature of the spine. Second, you may feel stiffness on moving your back, and this is particularly true if you have arthritis, kyphosis, or scoliosis. These conditions keep the back from moving smoothly against itself, and this can cause a stiff feeling in the joints that support the back.
One of the primary causes of back pain arises from nerve problems. When discs herniate, they often press on the nerves that run close to the spine. This can cause shooting pain down an extremity, weakness, numbness, and tingling.
Diagnosis is the Key to Treatment
Diagnosis before treatment sounds so simple but with the back, diagnosis of the exact location and cause of your pain can be difficult and time consuming. Back pain is not straight forward and can be due to a variety of conditions.
Before we can treat your back pain, we need to identify the exact anatomical cause of your back pain, so that we are certain that the treatment or procedure we recommend is appropriate for your back problem.
Chronic Back Pain Treatment
Medications: Back pain responds well to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, but antidepressants and anti-seizure medications are also important in treatment. Injections: Lumbar, cervical, and transforaminal steroid injections bring the medication directly to the site of inflamed discs or impinged nerves. Facet joint injections are helpful for facet joint arthritis.