Southwest Florida Neurosurgical Associates


Back Pain: 4 Common Causes and Effective Treatment Options


If you suffer from back pain, you are certainly not alone. 80% of Americans have suffered from back pain. Of those who experience back pain, 1 in 3 adults says daily tasks, exercise, sleep, and other activities are impacted by back pain. The good news is, back pain is treatable.

In order to find the most effective form of treatment, the root cause of back pain must be determined. Here are four common causes of back pain and effective treatment options.

1. Spine Conditions

If your spine is misaligned, or something is wrong with the discs or vertebrae, the result is often a spine condition that causes pain in the back. Many different spine conditions exist.

Some of the most common conditions of the spine include:

  • Herniated disc. Wear and tear causes the discs between the vertebrae to push through the exterior.
  • Spinal stenosis. The spine and nerves receive added pressure due to a narrowing of the spinal canal.
  • Degenerative disc disease. The discs between the vertebrae shrink, which causes the bones to rub together.
  • Cervical radiculopathy.A bone spur or slipped disc causes a pinched nerve.

All of these conditions cause pain in the back. Depending upon the specific spine condition, other symptoms might include numbness and tingling in various parts of the body, stiffness in the neck or shoulders, and muscle weakness that causes problems with balance and coordination.

For spine conditions, a variety of effective treatment options are available. Some ways to treat common spine conditions include medications, physical therapy, and epidural injections.

In some instances, surgery by a neurosurgeon may be necessary. For low back pain, surgeries that are especially effective include lumbar decompression and lumbar fusion. A lumbar discectomy is an effective surgical procedure for a herniated disc.

2. Car Accidents

Car accidents can cause serious injury to the body. Whether the car accident is a rollover, side collision, rear-end collision, or collision with an object in the road, back injuries are usually a result. Any type of back injury causes back pain.

Some of the most common types of painful back injuries from car accidents include:

  • Whiplash
  • Spinal fractures and compression fractures
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Sacroiliac joint pain

A herniated disc can also be from injuries sustained in a car accident.

Physical therapy is a benefit for certain types of car accident injuries, such as whiplash. One of the most effective forms of treatment for spinal compression fractures is a minimally invasive procedure called kyphoplasty.

If a car accident causes sacroiliac joint pain that cannot be helped with physical therapy or injections, SI joint fusion is an effective option. Treatment for spinal cord injuries often depends upon the type of injury, the severity, and the part of the spine that sustained injury.

3. Arthritis

Joint inflammation is usually referred to as arthritis. This condition causes pain and stiffness, which usually worsens as a person gets older. Since the spine contains joints, this part of the body has the potential to become arthritic.

The three different types of arthritis that affect the spine include:

  • Osteoarthritis. This develops due to a breakdown of the cartilage between the joints, causing pain and inflammation.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis of the spine. This autoimmune disorder causes the immune system to attack the lining of the joints in the spine.
  • Spondyloarthritis. Different types of spondyloarthritis exist, each of them affecting the joints in the spine and also where the ligaments attach to the bone.

Along with back pain, other symptoms of arthritis in the spine include loss of flexibility in the spine, swelling and stiffness in other parts of the body, and weakness and fatigue in the entire body. Arthritis in the spine can also contribute to other issues including pinched nerves and spinal stenosis.

Some effective treatment options for arthritis in the spine include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, facet joint injections, and lifestyle changes that will help to reduce stress and inflammation. If none of these noninvasive forms of treatment work, SI joint fusion and spinal decompression surgery may be necessary.

4. Car Accidents

Certain lifestyle choices can have a negative effect on the condition of the back. When these choices are maintained over a long period of time, it eventually leads to chronic back pain.

Some lifestyle choices that commonly cause back pain include:

  • Having poor posture
  • Wearing high heels
  • Being overweight
  • Not getting enough exercise

Stress, anxiety, and depression can make back pain even worse. Doing things to take care of your back and living a healthy lifestyle can do much for reducing back pain.

Do you suffer from back pain? No matter what the cause, the neurosurgeons and pain management physicians at our specialized clinic for back pain can help. Contact Southwest Florida Neurosurgical & Rehab Associates to schedule your appointment. We look forward to seeing you.

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