Almost everyone over 35 years of age has occasional or constant back pain. While it is not unusual for the lower back to hurt, it is sometimes so painful that it interferes with the quality of life.
Infamous lower back pain is just a symptom of another problem and can mean many things. First and foremost, some people refer to pain in their buttock as “back pain.” Doctors don’t think of buttock pain as back pain as it is related to nerve compression and may extend from the buttock to the leg. Back pain is pain in the midline of the back and the muscles around it.
There are many things that can cause back pain. The spine is a number of bones stacked on top of each other and move as well. That means they have joints between them. The joints are held together by muscles that are in turn are controlled by nerves from the spine. Back pain can be from the bones, joints, muscles, and the nerves.
Back pain caused by the bones can be a result of the following conditions:
- Fractures: they could be traumatic fractures, or weaken bone that collapses (such as osteoporosis or even boney tumors)
- Tumors of the bone without fractures
- Infections of the bone.
Each bone in the spine sits on top of the next one on 3 joints. These joints are like tricycle wheels: One big one in the front (Disc) and two small ones in the back (facets). Both the disc and the facets can create joint pain that affects the lower back.
- Disc Pain caused by degeneration and destruction, infection, or slippage.
- Facet pain caused by degeneration, separation/slipping, or fractures
The harder the muscles have to work to stabilize the spine, the more they hurt, just like any other muscle in the body. Muscles can be over-worked if:
- The joints are unstable and are slipping
- There is a curvature to the spine and the muscle have to work harder to keep the body straight
- The muscles are damaged themselves for some reason
- The muscles are trying to immobilize the spine to protect the nerves.
The nerves that come out of the spine not only go to the legs, but also go to the muscles and joints in the back. If the nerve is being damaged by compression or otherwise, the back can hurt just like the legs. This is important because in a lot of patients, back pain improves significantly from treating the nerves.
Treatments for Back Pain
As you might imagine, the treatment for each and every condition can vary significantly. Patients should ensure that their doctors provide a thorough back pain consultation. Looking at the MRI without examining the patient or listening to their complaints accurately might lead to the wrong treatment that will not improve the back pain. Just because something appears on an MRI, doesn’t necessarily mean it is the underlying source of the back pain.
Watch Dr. Gravori Discuss Back Pain
Schedule a Consultation with an Expert Los Angeles Spine Surgeon Today!
If you are suffering from chronic lower back pain that is affecting your quality of life, schedule a consultation with board-certified spine surgeon Dr. Gravori today! Call ProMedSPINE in Los Angeles at 888-75-SPINE to find out more information about the lower back pain treatment that is right for you!
Next, read What Is Spinal Stenosis?