Radiating back pain

Back pain is one of the most common pains that people experience. At some point in life, almost everyone will experience at least minute 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, severe pains if left untreated.

One indication of your back pain worsening is the development of radiating pain. Usually when a spine condition begins to form, you will experience local pain in the back at the location of the condition. However, as the condition worsens and the pinched nerve root becomes more compressed, the pain may begin to travel from the spine into the local extremity.

For example, a spine condition in the lower back may begin with back pain near the bottom of the spine. As the nerve root is continually pinched, the pathway that travels between the nerve root and the extremity becomes engaged, allowing the pain to travel from the nerve root near the spine all the way to the buttock, leg or foot, depending on the severity of the pinched nerve.

Causes of radiating back pain

Radiating back pain occurs when a nerve root in the spinal canal is severely pinched. The nerve roots are responsible for sending sensory signals between the brain, spine and extremities. When one of these nerve roots is compressed, the pain signal travels through the nerve pathway from the spine to the arm and hand or leg and foot.

Often, pinched nerves are caused by common spine conditions, such as:

  • Herniated disc
  • Bulging disc
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Bone spurs
  • Degenerative disc disease

If left untreated, these mild conditions can progress and cause chronic, debilitating pain. You should consult your physician or spine care expert to determine the cause of your radiating pain and plan a treatment regimen 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. The purpose of many conservative treatments is to reduce the pressure on the impacted nerve root in the spinal canal by stretching the spine and realigning the spinal components. This can be achieved through yoga, physical therapy, chiropractic care and other methods of stretching and strengthening the spine.

Your physician may also suggest that you couple your physical treatment with pain medication or injections to help curb your symptoms until your condition is treated. Typically, conservative therapy takes a couple of months before accurate pain relief results can be determined.

If you have been trying different forms of conservative treatment for months and have not found any lasting relief, you may want to consider a surgical treatment option to treat your radiating back pain.

At Laser Spine Institute, we offer minimally invasive decompression surgery and minimally invasive stabilization surgery to help treat all forms of radiating back pain, from moderate to severe. Our procedures have proven better patient satisfaction scores and safer outcomes than traditional open back surgery, naming us the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery.

The type of surgery you are recommended will be determined by the location and severity of your spine condition, as well as the spine condition itself and your overall health history. For more information about the causes of radiating back pain and the treatment options available, please contact Laser Spine Institute today.