CHRONIC LOWER BACK PAIN SHOULD BE TREATED BY SPINE SPECIALISTS
What is Causing your Lower Back Pain?
Lower back pain could be from a wide range of causes, most that can be treated nonsurgically, including:
- Muscular – ordinary strains and sprains or muscle spasms
- Joint Pain – The facet joints (the joints of the spine) from normal wear and tear of life
- Spondylolisthesis – caused by a vertebra slipping out of place putting stress on the joints of the spine
- Stenosis – narrowing of the spinal canal, either congenital or from the wear and tear of life
- Osteoporosis – wearing down of vertebrae, that can eventually cause fractures
- Scoliosis – The spine can develop a “S” shape that you were born with or that can develop as you age, that can put stress on the joints of the spine
- Spine Tumor – cancer that erodes into the bone of the spine
Symptoms that Require Immediate Attention
Everyone has lower back pain now and then, but if you experience any of these symptoms, or shooting leg pain lasts longer than a week, you need to see a spine specialist as soon as possible.
- Foot Drop (Difficulty lifting foot or big toe up off the ground)
- Weakness in legs
- Trouble walking
- Issues with bladder or bowel control
Learn More About Lower Back Pain
Why Get Evaluated by a Spine Specialist?
We treat back and leg pain everyday. We want to help find a nonsurgical or surgical treatment in order to avoid:
- Persistent pain that affects quality of life
- Permanent neurologic deficit, like a foot drop
- Going from doctor to doctor with no improvement
- Reliance on pain medications
Treatments for Lower Back Pain
Back stretches and/or exercises can be incorporated into your daily routine in order to decrease pain and quality of life. Improving core strength also improves lower back strength.
Steroid Injections (either an Epidural or facet injection) can be used both as a diagnostic and therapeutic treatment option. Using radiographic guidance, a needle is inserted into the epidural space and the area is injected with steroid, anesthetic, or a combination of the two.
This is done by a Pain Management physician, usually an Anesthesiologist or a Physiatrist, board certified in pain management.
Prescribed or over-the-counter pain medications work to reduce inflammation and ease pain. Oral pain medications should only be only a short term solution to your leg or back pain.
If you are unable to get sustained pain relief from nonsurgical treatment and/or your quality of life has not improved, then surgical intervention may be the best treatment for your pain. If weakness is associated with your pain, then surgery may be first line treatment.
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