Chronic back pain

The term chronic back pain generally refers to the duration of symptoms, with pain that lasts for more than three months being considered chronic. Unlike acute back pain, which generally lasts for a few days or weeks at the most, chronic back pain can lead to an extended period of limited motion and tenderness in the affected area.

For some people experiencing chronic back pain, daily activities like work, shopping or going to the gym may be halted due to the persistent pain. If you find yourself in this situation, there are treatments available to regain your life from chronic back pain.

Causes and symptoms

The causes of chronic back pain vary, ranging from a minor muscle strain to a traumatic injury. Other causes may include degenerative spine conditions such as bulging or herniated discs, spinal arthritis and bone spurs. These spine conditions are very often the result of the natural aging process combined with risk factors like weight gain, poor posture, smoking and injury.

Symptoms of chronic back pain related to a spine condition may include:

  • Dull, burning, shooting, hot or stabbing pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Stiffness
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Weakness
  • Radiating symptoms into the lower body

Diagnosis and treatment

If you’re experiencing recurring or long-lasting back pain, we encourage you to visit your doctor for an evaluation. This will usually include a review of your medical history and a physical exam. Imaging tests may be ordered as well to determine the cause of your pain. These tests can include:

  • X-rays
  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • Thermography
  • Discography

Once you receive a proper diagnosis, your doctor will prescribe a back pain treatment plan that may combine different conservative therapies, such as:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Heat and ice therapy
  • Low-impact exercises
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Lifestyle changes such as posture improvement and weight loss
  • Massage
  • Acupuncture

Spine surgery may be recommended if weeks or months of conservative treatment have been attempted without finding the relief necessary for a good quality of life.

At Laser Spine Institute, our minimally invasive spine surgery treats many of the spine conditions that cause chronic back pain. Our minimally invasive decompression and stabilization procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, and are a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery.^

Contact us today to start recapturing your life from chronic pain. We can provide a free MRI review* to determine if you are a candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures.