The Spine Center

Highly skilled & patient-centered care.

Low Back Pain

This type of pain can be short or long term and the intensity can vary but it is one of the most common health complaints. In most cases, the exact cause of low back pain cannot be determined.

Causes:

Acute Low Back Pain (Short-term)

Short-term lower back pain occurs immediately after an injury occurs, such as lifting a heavy object improperly or a car accident. This pain may result in feeling a sharp pain, burning sensation, or a dull achy feeling and can vary in intensity from mild to severe enough that you are unable to move.

Individuals who suffer from acute lower back pain will recover within 4-6 weeks. Your physician may recommend physical therapy to increase muscle strength, stability, and prevent future injuries.

Chronic Low Back Pain (Long-term)

Long term lower back pain affects every aspect of an individual's life from daily movements, such as standing, to one simple motion such as bending from the waist. This pain not only lasts over a period of time, but also increases in intensity.

Risk Factors of Chronic Low Back Pain if you:

Diagnosis: Your physician, in a physical examination, will ask you a series of questions about your injury and how it occurred. He or she may also have your perform a series of movements in order to determine where the pain is radiating from as well as to determine how serious the injury is. Diagnostic imaging may include: X-rays, CT scans, and/or MRI scans.


Treatment: For both acute and chronic low back pain, your physician may recommend physical therapy to strengthen the muscles that support the spine, promote healthy dietary habits in order to promote weight loss, and stress the importance of good posture when lifting heavy objects.

Acute Low Back Pain

If you are suffering from acute low back pain, your physician will direct you to stop your normal physical activity for the first few days. It will not only help reduce the swelling, but can calm the symptoms you are experiencing as well. Your physician will also help you manage your pain. Individuals with acute low back pain may be advised to use cold packs for 15-30 minutes several times a day along with some anti-inflammatory medications and pain relievers, such as aspirin.

Chronic Low Back Pain

Those with chronic low back pain may be prescribed pain medicines to help decrease swelling as well as to ease the pain. If the pain is not eased with medication, the following procedures may be recommended based on your medical history and individual circumstances.

Nonsurgical Options

Anti-inflammatory medications

  • This is to help provide pain relief.

Back Brace

  • Recommended for children until skeletal maturity is reached since the spine can be manipulated during the growth process.

Physical Therapy

  • Includes exercises that strengthen spine muscles as well as relieve pain. These exercises target the hamstrings and abdominal areas, which are also crucial to posture and strong healthy spine muscles.

Surgical Options

Fusion with Bone Graft

  • In essence, the fusion with bone graft is a 'welding' procedure whereby two vertebrae are fused together with bone grafts or instrument such as metal rods.

Fusion with Instrumentation

  • By fusing vertebrae together the range of motion is limited. But, if we fuse spinal instrumentation to prove stability to the spine after two vertebrae have been fused together, the spine will be able to bend and rotate.

Kyphoplasty

  • This procedure is used to treat kyphosis caused by fractures to the spine or is the result of osteoporosis.
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer that involves the spine
  • Certain medical conditions
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Herniated disc
  • Kidney infection or stones
  • Medical conditions that affect the female reproductive organs
  • Muscle or ligament strains or tears
  • Osteoporosis
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Spine curvatures, such as Kyphosis
  • Are over age 30
  • Are overweight
  • Are pregnant
  • Do not exercise
  • Feel stressed or are depressed
  • Have arthritis or osteoporosis
  • Smoke
  • Your occupation involves heavy lifting, bending, or twisting, or whole body vibration

Diskectomy

  • A diskectomy procedure is done to remove all or part of the cushion that is in between the vertebra, protecting the spinal column. This procedure is commonly done for individuals who suffer from a herniated disc, but is also used to relieve the pressure and pain in the lower back if it is chronic and persistent.
  • Foraminotomy