People experience lower back pain for many reasons. The spine is a complex structure made up of vertebrae, disks, spinal cord and nerves, all surrounded by numerous muscles and ligaments. Most of us will experience some form of lower back pain in our lifetime. In fact, outside of the common cold, lower back pain is the most prevalent reason for missing work in the United States.
What Causes Lower Back Pain?
Common causes include:
• Improper lifting
• Sudden twisting movements
• Illness and infection
How will the Doctor Diagnose the Problem?
Many spinal conditions can be diagnosed and treated with a visit to a neurosurgeon or pain management specialist. It’s important to identify the cause of back pain before effectively treating the problem. Your physician will conduct a comprehensive examination of the affected area and will possibly order laboratory tests and imaging, such as X-rays or an MRI. There are also tests that specifically test nerve function. How the pain is treated depends on the results of the diagnostic exams and tests.
Will I Need Surgery?
Most back pain can be treated without surgery. You may be prescribed bed rest or medication. Some conditions are best treated with exercise, weight loss, physical therapy or rehabilitation. Other cases are best treated by increasing muscle strength to provide better support for your spine, increasing flexibility and function. Additional treatment options include injections of steroids or organic components such as platelet-rich plasma or amniotic stem cells. A surgical procedure may be necessary if these treatments don’t work.
If you’re living with chronic pain, our specialists at NeuroSpine can help by working closely with your primary care or referring physician to ensure that you receive the best care and treatment. We serve all of Western Oregon at our two locations: the main campus in Eugene and our Roseburg clinic.
Contact us to make your appointment and get your life back!