Chronic Back Pain
At one time or another, most adults struggle with back pain. In fact, 80 percent of our population experiences an LBP episode during their lifetime. In the United States, low back pain is the second most common cause of disability among adults. Low back pain is attributed to an estimated 149 million days of lost work per year. While a minor ache or a short bout of pain is normal, chronic back pain is something entirely different. This symptom can prevent you from carrying out basic tasks and enjoying life to the fullest. Sometimes the source of your back pain can be difficult to pinpoint. That’s why you need doctors who are leading the way in minimally invasive spine care and the treatment of chronic back pain.
At Desert Institute for Spine Care in Arizona, we diagnose, treat and rehabilitate the spinal conditions related to chronic back pain. While this symptom may be a common medical complaint, we take the time to understand your unique situation so we can utilize the most innovative and effective treatments to restore your lifestyle.
What Is Chronic Back Pain?
Any pain is challenging to deal with, but chronic back pain is more than just a nuisance. Back pain can range in severity from an acute, dull ache to a chronic constant or sudden sharp and shooting pain. The onset can be sudden, resulting from lifting a heavy object or from an automobile accident. Low back pain can also develop over time as we age from the natural wear and tear that our bodies endure during our active physical daily lives.
There are two types of pain:
- Acute – pain lasting only a few days to a few weeks. Most low back pain episodes are acute and usually get better with rest, relaxation, and over-the-counter medication like Ibuprofen. If pain persists for weeks, conservative treatment may include exercise and strengthening the core muscles to stabilize your low back.
- Chronic low back pain is pain lasting three months or longer. About 20 percent of people affected by acute low back pain develop chronic low back pain with persistent symptoms at one year.
When low back pain is a persistent lingering symptom or side effect, it may indicate an underlying spinal condition. Often, this symptom can be linked to an identifiable cause such as herniated discs or spinal stenosis. Patients suffering from chronic pain are recommended to seek a spine surgeon’s opinion for further evaluation and treatment.
The doctors at DISC first strive to accurately diagnose the cause of your chronic back pain and other spinal symptoms. Using a proprietary diagnostic technique called Personalized Pain Mapping, we can find the specific pain generator and begin to work with you to create a unique treatment plan.
What Causes Chronic Back Pain?
Anyone can develop back pain, even young people. The onset of chronic lower back pain is often the result of mechanical damage. Mechanical means that the source of your back pain is chronic wear and tear to the moving parts of your back, such as your spinal joints, discs, vertebrae or soft tissues. Mechanical damage can occur due to aging, poor posture, an inactive lifestyle or insufficient physical activity.
Some of the most common causes of chronic back pain are the following conditions:
- Strain or sprain: Whether due to heavy lifting or a sudden, awkward movement, back strain or sprain is a common injury that can occur to the spinal muscles, tendons or ligaments. Those in poor physical health are more likely to struggle with these issues regularly.
- Herniated disc: Discs are the rubbery cushions separating the vertebrae that act as a cushion and support. When the soft material inside a disc ruptures or bulges, it can press on a nerve and lead to chronic back pain as well as numbness in an arm or leg.
- Sciatica: Whether due to a bulging disc or bone spur, sciatica describes pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve from the lower back down the leg.
- Spinal stenosis: Whether due to wear and tear or arthritis in the spine, spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal that can put pressure on the nerves within the spine.
Common Symptoms of Chronic Back Pain
Chronic back pain is a symptom in and of itself. However, it can also coincide with a wide range of other symptoms, such as:
- Muscles aches
- Shooting or stabbing pain
- Burning sensation
- Pain that radiates down the leg
- Pain that worsens when walking, standing, bending, twisting or lifting
Chronic Lower Back Pain Treatment in the Phoenix, AZ Area
DISC is known as a leader in minimally invasive spine care and surgical techniques. We are your one-stop shop for all types of spinal disorders. Once one of our board-certified orthopedic surgeons provides you with an accurate diagnosis, we then determine what type of customized treatment is needed. For some patients, non-surgical interventions such as medication or therapeutic pain injections are sufficient to treat the source of your pain.
If your condition continues to worsen, this may warrant a surgical solution. We are leaders in minimally invasive spine surgery. In fact, the DISC team is comprised of innovators in an endoscopic spine surgery technique that utilizes the Selective Endoscopic Discectomy™ (SED™) instrumentation which allows for quicker recovery times. Our goal is to find an effective solution for your lifestyle and help you fully understand your treatment process.
Contact DISC to Discuss Your Treatment Options for Chronic Back Pain
Don’t let chronic back pain rob you of one more day. It’s time to enjoy life again. Let the back pain specialists at DISC recommend a personalized treatment option for your chronic back pain so you can go back to doing what you love. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.