Back Pain Treatment And Relief
Performed by Compassionate, Board-Certified Pain Doctors.
Back pain may be aggravated with movement or it may radiate into the upper or lower extremities. Patients may also have limited range of motion or tenderness upon touch. There are also certain red flags that indicate a more serious condition that may require emergency evaluation or surgery. These include weakness, numbness or tingling, fever, weight loss, or problems with bowel or bladder control. Generally back pain can be attributed to mechanical causes, most of which are relatively benign, although a small number of cases are due to more serious illness.
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Back Pain Causes
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:
- Degeneration (e.g. osteoporosis)
- Muscle strain
- Mechanical problems (e.g. a herniated disc)
- Vertebral fractures associated with osteoporosis
- Rare, more serious causes include cancer, infection, vascular problems, and damage to nervous tissues
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Back Pain Treatments
Most health care practitioners will assess patients suffering from back pain symptoms by carrying out a detailed history and physical examination.
Occasionally, imaging tests including X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or computed tomography may be ordered. If infection is suspected, blood tests may be ordered as well. Once the source of pain is identified, treatment can be targeted to address the underlying issue.
There are several treatments that attack the source of your back pain:
- Facet injections
- Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty
- Medial branch blocks
- Proper nutrition and exercise
- Percutaneous discectomy
- Peripheral nerve stimulation
- Physical therapy
- Trigger point injections
- Chiropractic manipulations
- Disc denervation
- Epidural steroid injections
- Infusion techniques
- Lysis of adhesions
- Peripheral nerve blocks and ablation
- Selective nerve blocks
- TENS unit
- Spinal cord stimulation (SCS)
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