Nearly everyone goes through at least one bout of lower back pain over the years, but for many, it turns into a chronic problem that limits their daily activities. Jitesh Kar, MD, a board-certified and fellowship-trained neurologist at the Neurology Institute of Huntsville in Huntsville, Alabama, works closely with each patient who has lower back pain, identifying the cause of their pain and developing a tailored treatment plan designed for their unique needs. If you need help with back pain, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.
Your lower back supports the weight of your upper body while allowing the full range of twisting and bending movements. This combination of pressure and motion makes it easy to develop sprains and strains, the most common causes of lower back pain.
Muscle strains and ligament sprains occur when the soft tissues stretch beyond their limits. In some cases, they may partially or completely tear. Sprains and strains can occur from a sudden injury, overuse, or poor body mechanics.
As you get older, you’re more likely to have lower back pain due to degenerative disease. The following conditions all develop slowly due to age-related changes:
As degenerative conditions get progressively worse, they compress your nerves and lead to spinal instability. Both problems can cause debilitating lower back pain.
Stiffness, tightness, general aching, and limited mobility usually accompany lower back pain. When you have neuropathy due to compressed nerves, you may also experience pain, tingling, and burning that travels along the affected nerve.
This problem is especially severe with sciatic nerve compression. As a result, you have sudden, severe pain that radiates down your leg, a well-known symptom called sciatica.
Lower back pain treatment initially takes a conservative approach with options such as changing your activities to reduce stress, improving posture and body mechanics, and physical therapy. Depending on the severity and underlying cause of your pain, strengthening your core muscles and losing weight may be all you need to relieve your pain.
Many patients benefit from anti-inflammatory medications or muscle relaxants. If your pain doesn’t improve, Dr. Kar at the Neurology Institute of Huntsville may recommend interventional treatments, such as an epidural steroid injection.
Other types of interventional therapies use different techniques to block the nerve signals carrying pain messages to your brain. When the message doesn’t reach your brain, you won’t feel the pain.
As a last resort, you may need surgery to treat underlying problems such as a herniated disc or a compressed nerve. Common lower back surgeries include:
Dr. Kar explains how the recommended surgery works and its benefits and risks so you can make an informed decision.
You can get relief from acute and chronic back pain by calling the Neurology Institute of Huntsville, or scheduling an appointment online.