Chronic spine pain — causes and treatment

There are two ways you can classify the duration of pain related to issues such as a spine condition. First, acute pain is used to describe sudden pain that is temporary in nature. The second type of pain is known as chronic pain, which is generally defined as pain that lasts longer than three months. Often, neck or back pain can be linked to acute causes like a strained muscle, but in some cases degenerative spine conditions can cause chronic pain that should be addressed by a medical professional.

Causes of spinal chronic pain

Chronic spinal pain can often be linked to spine conditions resulting from the degeneration that occurs during the normal aging process. These conditions include:

  • Degenerative disc disease. As the spinal discs begin to lose water content, they shrink in size. This causes the discs to lose height and elasticity, potentially placing pressure on surrounding nerves.
  • Spinal stenosis. Stenosis occurs when the spinal column is narrowed due to displaced anatomy such as a bone spur or bulging disc. This constricts spinal nerves, causing pain and numbness.
  • Herniated disc. When a spinal disc splits or tears, the nucleus can be pushed into the spinal canal. This can cause compression to the surrounding nerves, subsequently causing the patient’s pain.
  • Bulging disc. When pressure is placed on a disc, it can bulge beyond its normal boundary. This can potentially result in pinched nerves.
  • Arthritis of the spine. With age, the cartilage that lubricates the joints in the spine deteriorates. In addition to joint inflammation and stiffness, this can lead to other conditions such as bone spurs.

Treatment for chronic spine pain

Patients dealing with chronic pain should first explore conservative treatment like rest, medication, weight loss, physical therapy, massage and exercise. If after exhausting those treatments you are still experiencing pain, reach out to Laser Spine Institute. Our board-certified surgeons+ specialize in treating a number of conditions that cause chronic pain through minimally invasive spine surgery. Contact us today for more information about our outpatient procedures that offer a streamlined experience with many benefits to our patients.

We are happy to provide a free review of your CT scan or MRI to determine if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures.*