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lower back pain

Lower Back Pain

Nearly 80% of adults suffer from lower back pain and almost 20% of adults report having low back pain within the last 90 days.

What is lower back pain?

It is a common reason for missed work. In 1990, it was ranked as the sixth most common medical condition. By 2010, it rose to the third most common condition.

Pain in this region can range from mild to very severe. It tends to impact the lives of both men and women equally. Those with a sedentary lifestyle are likely to develop some form of back pain. Many of these conditions are the result of accidents or from lifting heavy objects.

The majority of these conditions are considered to be short-term or acute, lasting no more than several weeks. Acute back pain tends to involve mechanical problems with the spine, back muscles, nerves or intervertebral discs. When these conditions extend to a period of time between four and twelve weeks, they are considered subacute.

A chronic back problem lasts for at least 12 weeks. Roughly 20% of those who suffer from acute lower back pain will later develop chronic problems. Those experiencing chronic pain are very likely to consider medical treatment options.

What are the symptoms of lower back pain?

Many individuals will experience numbness in the leg, foot, and groin region when a low back condition exists. Some people will have difficulty going to the bathroom and experience feelings of nausea, fever and chills. Those with lower back pain that is due to an injury or is very intense should seek medical attention.

The lower area of the spine is called the lumbar spine. It is composed of a series of vertebrae known as L1 to L5. This part of the spine is critical to normal daily functioning. It absorbs a significant amount of body weight. Pain in this region is likely to radiate into the legs.

Just below the lumbar spine is the sacral region. It is composed of a series of vertebrae known as S1 to S5 which link the spine to the pelvis. The tailbone (coccyx) is composed of four bones creating the lumbosacral joint. Due to the interconnected nature of these parts, damage to one area can create pain elsewhere.

What causes lower back pain?

The most common causes of low back pain are strains or sprains. A sprain results from overextension that creates a ligament tear. When the overstretching occurs involving a tendon or muscles it is called a strain. These injuries can result from participating in sports, lifting heavy objects, and repeated use.

Other common causes of lower back pain include:

  • Sciatica

  • Cauda Equina Syndrome

  • Spinal Infection

  • Ankylosing Spondylitis

  • Arthritis

  • Spinal Stenosis

  • Scoliosis

  • Cancer

  • Pregnancy

How is lower back pain treated?

Lower back pain is typically treated either surgically, non-surgically, or by a combination of the two. The following are some of the most common surgical solutions to lower back pain.

Spinal fusion involves “welding” the larger bones of the spine. The bones may also be stabilized with rods, screws, and other hardware. It is often used to correct an irregularly shaped spine or when joints are unstable and create pain when movement occurs.

A laminectomy creates space that allows relief in the nerves of the spine. A plate of bone known as the lamina is removed. The procedure is now highly successful in relieving pain. A discectomy is another procedure used to reduce problems associated with the discs of the back.

The surgeon will generally access the region by making a small incision. There are two primary types of discectomy as follows:

  • Percutaneous: A part of the disc is removed using a device that is extended through the incision.
  • Microsurgical: An incision that is less than one inch is made. A microscope is then used by the surgeon to remove disc fragments to provide relief.

When there are fractures in the vertebrae, the surgeon may perform vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty. These procedures involve applying a stabilizing material that is similar to cement. The purpose is to restore the vertebrae to the proper alignment and spacing.

Non-surgical options often include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Prescription medications
  • Massage therapy
  • Alternative medicine

AZ Pain and Spine Institute
Lower Back Pain Treatments

Here at Arizona Pain and Spine Institute, we improve our patients’ quality of life by alleviating and managing their pain. Some of our Lower Back Pain treatments include:

Why Choose AZ Pain - Image

Why choose AZ Pain and Spine Institute to treat your Lower Back Pain?

We have a team of medical practitioners, pain management doctors, and staff who are experts on pain management, including Lower Back Pain. We use state-of-the-art technology and effective approaches in achieving our mission. We care about your well-being and are committed to making your life pain-free.