One of the leading types of musculoskeletal pain affecting patients in the United States, lower back pain can arise from a variety of factors, including acute injury or an underlying condition. Scheduling an appointment with a spine specialist can help you to better understand the source of your lower back pain and to start thinking about treatment options. By equipping yourself with the right information, you can make a more informed and empowered decision on how to live a pain-free life.
Causes of Lower Back Pain
Whereas lower extremity pain refers to pain that travels down the buttocks and into the legs, lower back pain describes pain that is isolated in the lower back. This pain can be caused by a number of factors, including osteoarthritis, spondylolisthesis, and spinal stenosis. Lower back pain can also result from a spinal injury like a compression fracture or disc infection. In rarer situations, cysts and tumors can also contribute to lower back pain.
While some individuals are genetically predisposed to lower back pain, there are several other risk factors that may increase your chances of developing lower back pain. These lower back pain risk factors include having poor posture, smoking, or being obese or of old age. Those who perform strenuous manual labor or repetitive motions are also at an increased risk for lower back pain.
Individuals who experience lower back pain may also experience limited range of motion, decreased flexibility, and the inability to stand up straight. More severe symptoms include constant or intense pain, weakness, numbness, tingling, bladder problems, and bowel problems. It is critical to seek the care of a neurosurgeon or spine specialist when you are experiencing any of these symptoms to curb existing pain and to prevent more serious conditions from arising.
Depending on the severity of your condition, your spine doctor may recommend a number of treatment options for lower back pain, including physical therapy, medicines or pain treatments, epidural steroid injections, nerve and branch blocks, and joint injections. Individuals who are unresponsive to non-invasive treatment may benefit from spine surgery.
The founder of Kraus Back and Neck Institute, Dr. Gary Kraus is a leading Houston neurosurgeon specializing in spine health, spine surgery, and non-surgical spine treatments. For more information, please visit us online or call us today at (888) 816-8954 to schedule a consultation.