Lower back nerve pain

Living with lower back nerve pain can be frustrating, especially when simple tasks like taking out the trash or walking your dog become excruciatingly painful chores. While many adults will experience pain in the lower back at some point in life, the chronic pain of a lumbar (lower) spine condition is something that may require more treatment than just rest.

Before you schedule your doctor appointment to discuss your lower back pain, you may be wondering what exactly causes nerve pain, what are the available treatments and how long does it normally take to recover? These are all questions your doctor can answer, but you should have a general knowledge of what to expect before the appointment.

Causes and symptoms

Lower back nerve pain is the most common type of spinal nerve pain because the lumbar spine supports most of the weight of the body and is extremely flexible. This combination of stress and mobility makes injuries common and often accelerates the development of degenerative spine conditions in the lower back.

Over the years, regular wear and tear can take its toll on the spine and, as a result, the discs that cushion the spine deteriorate, the facet joints that connect vertebrae become arthritic and the spinal canal gradually narrows. While these conditions often occur naturally as the spine weakens with age, they pose a risk for nerve compression in the lower back. If this happens, the following symptoms may result:

  • Sciatic nerve pain
  • Chronic lower back pain
  • Muscle weakness in the legs
  • Numbness or tingling in the lower extremities
  • Diminished reflexes and motor skills

Treatment options

For many patients, lower back nerve pain is the result of a minor injury that can be caused by something as simple as overdoing a workout or roughhousing with the kids. When a strain or sprain causes your back pain, a little rest and some pain medication are usually all that is required to find relief.

If, however, a degenerative spine condition is the source of your discomfort, a visit to your physician is necessary. Once the cause of your pain is diagnosed, your physician will work with you to develop a treatment plan designed to relieve nerve compression and pain. These treatment plans often begin conservatively with methods like physical therapy, at-home stretches and pain medication.

Effective outpatient procedures

If your lower back nerve pain has not reduced after several weeks or months of conservative treatment, you should research the minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive decompression surgeries and stabilization surgeries are safer and effective alternatives to traditional open back surgery,^ often making them the clinically appropriate first choice over traditional open back surgery. For many patients, a decompression surgery is recommended, though some patients do require a stabilization procedure if the spine condition has weakened the lumbar spine.

To learn more about the benefits of both procedures over traditional open back surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute today.