Many people are affected by low back pain. Based on a recent study, low back pain causes a third of work-related disability, and many working people develop persistent back pain.
Where Does Back Pain Most Likely Occur?
The lower (lumbar) back region has more back pain. The vertebrae are separated by cushioning gel-filled discs, which support much of the body’s weight. The spaces between each irregular shaped bone serves as shock absorbers through the spinal column. Bands of tissues (ligaments) hold each bone in place. The tendons attach the muscles to the spinal column.
What Causes Back Pain?
Most back pain is mechanical in nature. However, wear-and-tear, as well as aging can affect the spine. Common causes of back pain include:
Degenerative disc disease – This occurs when the discs lose integrity, tear, and slip out of place.
Herniated disc – This is where a disc inner material bulges through the tough outer layers.
Radiculopathy – This involves compression, inflammation, and spinal injury.
Sciatica – This type of radiculopathy is caused by compression of the large nerve that runs down the buttocks to the back of the leg.
Spondylolisthesis – When a vertebra slips forward, it pinches on a nerve as it exits the spinal column. This leads to pain.
Spinal stenosis – Narrowing of the spinal column puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, which causes numbness and pain, and this worsens with walking over time.
What Are The Risk Factors For Back Pain?
Certain risk factors can increase a person’s chances for back pain. These include:
Age – Most back pain occurs between ages 30 and 50 years of age; however, when people grow older, loss of bone strength from osteoporosis and other degenerative problems can lead to fractures.
Weight gain – Being obese or overweight can put much stress on the back causing back pain.
Genetics – Ankylosing spondylitis and other conditions are linked to genetic.
Occupation – Certain jobs require twisting, lifting, pushing, pulling, and vibrating the spine, which may cause back pain and injury. Illinois Pain Institute is effective in treating work-related injuries and focuses on getting people back to their work and play after injuries on the job.
How Is Back Pain Treated?
At Illinois Pain Institute, our goal is to fix the source of back pain, which may be treated using interventional pain procedures . Some common back pain treatment options are:
Nerve blocks – This approach involves injecting an anesthetic or neurolytic agent on a nerve to stop pain signal transmission.
Epidural steroid injection – The doctor injects an anti-inflammatory steroid agent into the epidural space, which decreases inflammation. An anesthetic is often added to the injection when necessary.
Physical therapy – Exercises and strengthening can alleviate back pain by improving muscle function.
Medications – Medication may be appropriate in treating the source of your back pain. Prescribed agents include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, analgesics, anticonvulsants, and antidepressants which reduce nerve irritation.