What Causes Back Pain?
Back pain, especially lower back pain, is unfortunately common. Muscle, ligament, nerve, and spine injuries are frequent causes of this pain. Additionally, poor posture, degenerative diseases like arthritis, and regular wear and tear can also cause back pain. At Greater Austin Pain Center, we carefully identify the root causes of every patient’s pain and find personalized solutions.
A medical examination is necessary to identify the cause of your back pain in order to determine the appropriate course of treatment. The majority of people with back pain find relief with non-surgical treatments. However, for a small number of people with low back pain, symptoms persist, and surgery can be an effective treatment.
Many of the common back pain issues encountered stem from the lumbar spine, which is located in your lower back. Curving below your waist, the lumbar spine connects your upper body (head, trunk, and arms) to your lower body. Strong ligaments and muscles connect to your spinal column, providing back stability and movement.
Your spinal cord and spinal nerves at the lumbar level send signals for sensation and movement between your brain and lower body muscles. The spinal cord tapers near the first lumbar vertebra (L1) and forms a group of nerves called the cauda equina. This nerve group is involved with regulating bowel and bladder functions.
Six intervertebral discs are located between the vertebrae in your lumbar spine. The discs are made up of strong connective tissue, with a tough outer layer is called the annulus fibrosus. Their gel-like center is called the nucleus pulposus. The discs and two small spinal facet joints connect vertebrae to each other. The discs and joints allow movement, provide stability, and cushion from impact.
- Abnormalities in soft tissues
- Compressed, pinched, or irritated nerves
- Bone spurs
- Narrowing of spinal canal (stenosis)
- Degeneration of discs
- Herniated discs
- Misaligned vertebrae
- Pain through back, legs, buttocks, and feet
- Weakness/numbness in lower extremities
- Loss of bladder and/or bowel control (Cauda Equina Syndrome)
- Imaging studies (X-ray, CT scan, MRI, and more)
- Non-surgical methods: facet injections, spinal cord stimulation, compression fractures
- Surgery for serious conditions: laminectomy, discectomy, spinal fusion
- Physical therapy
Back Pain Treatment in Austin, Kyle, Dripping Springs
The treatment for low back pain depends on its cause, severity, and duration. The majority of low back symptoms are treatable with pain medications, short periods of rest, and exercise. Physical therapists at Greater Austin Pain Center can provide treatments to reduce pain and frequency of muscle spasms. They will show you exercises to gently stretch and strengthen your back and abdominal muscles, while also showing you proper postures or body mechanics to use during movements.
The majority of low back symptoms are treatable with pain medications, short periods of rest, and exercise.
Epidural Steroid Injections (ESIs)
Short, outpatient treatment injections that provide pain relief in the cervical, lumbar, thoracic spine
Facet Joint Injections
Joint injections that anesthetize the facet joints and block pain
Am I At Risk?
If you have been consistently experiencing back pain (especially in the lumbar region) and you have noticed any of the above symptoms, please contact the Greater Austin Pain Center without delay. We look forward to scheduling an appointment with you, or simply just answering your questions about pain management.