Lower back pain causes and treatments

Lower back pain can lead to immobility and lost time at work. Some people even experience emotional distress or depression as a result of their reduced quality of life. An important first step in getting the treatment you deserve is to learn more about the source of you lower back pain and what is causing pain and discomfort. This knowledge can help you become a more engaged patient as you work with care providers to find relief.

The anatomy of lower back pain

The lower back includes the lumbar (lower) region of the spine and it is made up of vertebrae, discs, spinal nerves and joints. As we age, the joints and discs can experience wear and tear due to cartilage deterioration, leading to conditions such as herniated discs, bulging discs, bone spurs, facet disease and spinal stenosis. These spine conditions can cause the displacement of spinal anatomy that puts pressure on nerves and leads to lower back pain, among other symptoms.

Treatment for lower back pain

Upon diagnosing the underlying cause of lower back pain, your doctor will likely prescribe a conservative treatment program for you, which may include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Pain medication
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs, ice packs and heat compresses
  • Changes in lifestyle to reduce or eliminate the risk of additional back problems
  • Low back pain stretches or exercises

If weeks or months of conservative treatments do not help you to achieve low back pain relief, surgery may need to become an option. For years traditional open spine procedures have been the default option, but they involve many downsides, including a large incision, overnight hospitalization and a long and difficult recovery period.

However, with advances in medical technology and surgical technique, there is now a safer and effective alternative^ for treating spinal conditions in the form of minimally invasive spine surgery. These procedures are performed with a less than 1-inch incision, which spares supporting muscles and leads to a reduced risk of complication for our patients compared to traditional procedures.

Contact us today to learn more and to receive a review of your MRI or CT scan at no cost to help you find out if you may be a candidate.