Causes of chronic back pain

The most common cause of chronic back pain is undiagnosed muscle strain. Oftentimes, a strained muscle in the back does not receive the proper treatment or rest, causing it to continually stress and worsen. Simple tasks, such as sitting at a desk or behind a steering wheel for long periods of time, place stress on the muscles, ligaments and tendons near the spine. If this muscle is strained, it could impact a nerve root near the spine and result in symptoms of pain and limited mobility.

However, symptoms of nerve compression could also be developed by other spinal injuries, such as degenerative disc disease. If you are suffering from chronic back pain and discomfort near the spine, you should consult a doctor to determine the cause of your symptoms so you can take the next step toward pain relief. To learn about the possible spine conditions that can cause chronic back pain as well as the treatment options that may be recommended by your doctor, read the following article.

Various spine conditions can cause chronic back pain

The spine is often susceptible to developing certain spine conditions with the natural degeneration of the spine over the years. These risks are increased with negative lifestyle habits, such as obesity and smoking. Some of the most common spine conditions that can lead to nerve compression and chronic back pain include:

  • Degenerative disc disease. The discs begin to lose their water content and elasticity during the natural aging process, causing a disc to rupture, herniate or tear.
  • Spinal stenosis. This condition occurs when the spinal canal or the pathways for nerve roots become compressed, either through swelling, the growth of bone spurs or protrusion from damaged discs.
  • Herniated disc. The torn or split outer wall of a disc allows the disc’s gel-like center to expand into the spinal canal, which is a potential cause of nerve compression.
  • Bulging disc. An intense pressure within the disc forces the disc’s outer layer to expand into the spinal canal, causing a potential pinched nerve.
  • Osteoarthritis. As we age, the cartilaginous layers that lubricate the facet joints where the vertebrae meet wear down.

Chronic back pain treatment options

The back pain symptoms associated with most of these conditions will generally fade on their own with time, especially when treated using over-the-counter medication, physical therapy, rest and other conservative options. If chronic back pain continues to cause ongoing disruptions in your life for several weeks or months, then reach out to our team today and ask for a free MRI review* to determine whether you would be a candidate for our outpatient procedures.

Depending on the cause, severity and location of your back pain, our board-certified surgeons+ may recommend a minimally invasive decompression surgery or a minimally invasive stabilization surgery to achieve nerve decompression. Our minimally invasive spine surgery is performed through a small incision and offers patients a safer and effective procedure and shorter recovery time^ when compared to traditional open back surgery. Contact Laser Spine Institute today so we can help you on your journey to wellness.