Low Back Pain

#1 Reason for Pain Specialist Office Visits

Almost everyone will suffer some form of lower back pain during their lifetime. It is the most common cause of job-related disability, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. This often debilitating pain interferes with every aspect of daily life, from tasks as simple as getting dressed, to preparing meals, to sitting in a chair, let alone the more strenuous activities like sports and exercise or recreation.

Lower back pain may resolve itself in a short period of time with little to no intervention. However, persistent low back pain which does not resolve requires evaluation. As with many painful conditions, a consultation with a medical professional can determine whether the pain may be treated medically or surgically. However, chronic pain that does not or will not respond to these treatments may be a candidate for a pain management program that incorporates a multidisciplinary approach.

Common Lower Back Pain Conditions

Lumbar Stenosis

This condition is associated with radiating pain down the legs and feet, numbness, pain, and feelings of weakness. Lumbar Stenosis symptoms are the result of the narrowing of the spinal canal. This narrowing causes compression of nerves, which control sensation and movement. There are multiple treatment options for this condition.

Lumbar Facet Pain

One of the most common causes of low back pain is facet joint disorder. These facet joints in the low back become inflamed and can cause excruciating pain. Facet Arthropathy will effect bending, twisting, and even the motion of walking can be unbearable.  This is true even when the condition is acute. The pain can radiate into the buttocks and legs, mimicking a disc condition. Pain management is crucial for patients experiencing this kind of condition.

Lumbar Strain

Everyone experiences lower back strain to varying degrees. The routines of our daily lives can place stress and strain on the low back with things like lifting children, doing yard work, or sometimes just from sitting in the same position for extended periods of time. When this strain occurs, the muscles of the low back become inflamed, a natural response to strain. The muscles will tighten, adding to the sensation of discomfort, and when they do not relax, the low back discomfort can become painful and progressively worse if not treated. There are several treatment options available for lumbar strain.

Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

The sacroiliac joints are found in the lower back joining the spine and the pelvis. Strain to the sacroiliac joints, often the result of excessive stress to the region, can result in excruciating pain. Inflammation in the sacroiliac joint can radiate pain into the upper leg, making walking or sitting next to impossible. Carolinas Pain Center offers several treatment options for sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

Piriformis Syndrome

Piriformis syndrome, a neuromuscular disorder, affects the sciatic nerve which begins in the lower back and runs through the buttocks and down in the legs. Through normal wear-and-tear of the hip and leg motions, or due to trauma or excessive pressure, the piriformis muscle can constrict the sciatic nerve. Patients with piriformis syndrome describe it as painful, with a numb sensation, often accompanied by weakness in the affected leg. Consultation with a pain management specialist will help determine the best course of action for managing this pain.

Coccydynia

The coccyx, or tailbone, is made of several fused vertebrae. When these vertebrae experience injury or strain of their connective tissues, they become inflamed and painful. Sitting may be a very unpleasant or painful experience for patients with this syndrome. Evaluation by a pain management specialist is essential to determine the best course of treatment.