Radiating back pain — learn about the causes and treatment options

Back pain is one of the most common pains that people experience. At some point in life, almost everyone will experience at least minor back pain caused by an injury or the development of a spine condition. While these pains may begin as mild symptoms, they could develop into more chronic and severe pains if left untreated.

One indication of your back pain worsening is the development of radiating pain. Often when a spine condition begins to form, you may first experience local pain at the site of the issue. However, as the condition worsens and the pinched nerve root becomes more compressed, the pain may begin to travel from the spine out into other areas such as the lower body.

Causes of radiating back pain

Radiating back pain is typically the result of a compressed nerve in the lumbar (lower) spine. The spinal nerves are responsible for sending sensory signals between the brain and the rest of the body. When one of these nerves is compressed or irritated, it can cause signals of pain and other symptoms to travel throughout the lower back and into the lower extremities, including the hips, buttocks and legs.

Often, pinched nerves are caused by age-related spine conditions, such as:

  • Herniated disc
  • Bulging disc
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spinal arthritis and bone spurs
  • Degenerative disc disease

If left untreated, these mild conditions can progress and cause chronic, debilitating pain. You should consult your doctor to determine the cause of your radiating pain and form a treatment plan to reduce your symptoms.

Treatment for radiating pain in the back

Many cases of radiating back pain can be managed through conservative methods of treatment to relieve pain and improve spinal health and alignment. This can be achieved through yoga, physical therapy, chiropractic care and other methods of stretching and strengthening the spine, combined with pain management options like medication or spinal injections. Lifestyle changes like losing weight or quitting smoking may also be recommended.

If you have been trying different forms of conservative treatment for months and have not found any lasting relief, you may have started to explore surgery to treat your radiating back pain. At Laser Spine Institute, we offer minimally invasive decompression surgery and minimally invasive stabilization surgery to treat radiating back pain caused by a spine condition. Our board-certified surgeons+ are able to access the spine with a less than 1-inch incision, resulting in an outpatient procedure with less risk of complication compared to traditional open spine surgery. To learn more, contact us today.

Our dedicated team will be glad to help you receive a no-cost review* of your MRI or CT scan to determine if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures.