Back pain can range from a mild, annoying “crick” to a severely painful and debilitating problem.
No matter the cause or symptoms, all cases of persistent back pain are worth professional evaluation and care. Even if a condition seems relatively minor now, it is well worth taking steps to reduce the risk of it developing into something worse.
Our experts at Premier Podiatry & Orthopedics always take the unique needs of each patient into mind when providing diagnosis and care. We will determine the root of your back pain and recommend the best course of treatment to provide relief.
Identifying Back Pain
It might sound a bit silly at first to discuss all the factors that can surround back pain. Your back hurts. Isn’t that enough?
But back pain can vary in severity, location, and simply how it “feels.” It could be a dull ache, tingling jolts, or an unbearable searing sensation, among others.
Additionally, other symptoms can be associated with different types of back pain. Some of them include:
Difficulty standing up straight
Pain, tingling, or numbness that radiates down your legs
Taking note of all the symptoms surrounding your back pain, as well as when pain tends to worsen or change (e.g. times of day, certain actions, etc.) can all provide important clues to aid diagnosis and thorough treatment.
Causes of Back Pain
Back pain can develop through many different causes. Identifying the exact cause and the factors contributing to it are essential if we want to effectively treat the problem.
Potential causes of back pain can include, but aren’t limited to:
Strains and Sprains – The most common causes of back pain, when muscles, tendons, or ligaments become overstretched.
Disk-related Conditions – Disks exist between the vertebrae of our spines, providing cushioning. Back pain can develop when a disk shifts from its normal position and pinches a nerve (becomes herniated), tears, or becomes thinner and less protective over time.
Arthritis – Osteoarthritis can be a common cause of pain in the lower back.
Sciatica – Pressure on one or both sciatic nerves, each running through the hips and down one leg, can cause pain in the lower back. This pressure may be caused by a herniated disc, bone spur, or other firm tissue compressing the nerve.
Fractures – Bones in the spine can break from severe impacts, such as falls or automobile accidents. Conditions such as osteoporosis can cause bones to become brittle and significantly increase the risk of painful fractures.
Other Conditions – Certain types of infections may cause back pain. Other conditions such as tumors or kidney stones may also be responsible.
Treating Back Pain
In addition to identifying conditions responsible for back pain, we also must understand what caused them. Was it a physical injury? Are structural or medical issues involved? If we address only the symptoms of a condition and not why it happened in the first place, it may be likely to happen again.
When you see us for back pain, we will conduct a thorough physical exam. This will likely also include questions about your symptoms, so do not hesitate to write down anything important you think we should know about them before coming in to see us. Sometimes it’s easy to forget to bring up important points while in the exam room!
Depending on the situation, we might also order X-rays or other imaging tests to verify or rule out certain conditions. Blood tests or urine tests might also be necessary, to rule out certain conditions such as kidney stones.
Once we have a firm understanding of the condition at hand, we can recommend a course of treatment to best meet your needs. Parts of a treatment plan might include:
Medications, such as over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs. Injections might also be recommended to relieve pain or muscle spasms.
Physical therapy to strengthen and condition muscles, as well as improve or maintain range of motion and flexibility.
Laser therapy to help relieve pain and accelerate healing of soft tissue injuries.
Changes to physical activity routines, work environments, and other factors that may be contributing to your condition.
The use of braces or other equipment to provide better support to areas of the back.
In most cases, recovery is achievable using conservative treatments alone. If they do not provide the results we need, however, or a case is severe, then surgery might be necessary to provide the relief a patient needs.
Get Help for Back Pain
You have too much to do and enjoy in life to have persistent back pain keep holding you back. Our team is here to help you find the best means of putting that pain behind you.