Answering Frequently Asked Questions About Back Pain
At Pain & Spine Physicians, many patients suffer from upper, middle, or lower back pain in our North Texas clinics. It’s harmful to assume back pain is a normal part of aging and will go away on its own. Ignoring back pain could result in more severe health issues. If you’re seeking acute or chronic back pain relief, we would be happy to help you identify the cause of your back pain and suggest treatment. Below, please find the answers to the most common questions we receive about back pain. Whether you live in the DFW Metroplex or San Antonio, our pain specialists can help. Call for an appointment!
What Is the Most Common Cause of Back Pain?
Back pain is one of the most common patient complaints worldwide. Nearly 80% of the population will experience some form of back pain within their lifetime. Short-term or acute back pain could be caused by several things, including sprains or strains to your muscles or ligaments or disc degeneration. When your discs degenerate, it changes your spinal structure, affecting the nerves, joints, and vertebrae along your spinal column. Injury or trauma often causes acute back pain, which may go away in time with self-care. Chronic back pain refers to back pain that doesn’t go away quickly. If your back pain lasts longer than three months, you may need back pain treatment or surgery to resolve your issue. Other common lower back pain causes include bulging or herniated discs, injured muscles, sciatica pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, spinal stenosis, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, facet joint syndrome, scoliosis, spinal tumors, fractures, and damage to the nerves, muscles, ligaments, vertebrae, or internal organs.
What Are Common Symptoms Associated With Back Pain?
The symptoms can vary depending on the location and severity of your upper, lower, or middle back pain. Back pain symptoms typically include a combination of the following:
- Muscle spasms
- Aching or stiffness
- Numbness in lower extremities
- Difficulty standing
- Dull, aching pain
- Muscle weakness
- Decreased range of motion
- “Pins and needles” sensation in the legs
- Stabbing or shooting pain
- Joint dysfunction
How Can I Prevent Middle or Lower Back Pain?
Back pain prevention begins with practicing healthy habits. Maintaining a healthy weight and good posture, exercising regularly, and avoiding heavy lifting (or learning to lift correctly) can all reduce your risk of developing upper, middle, or lower back pain. Investing in ergonomic office furniture can go a long way in improving your posture. Look for exercises that help you develop a strong core and back muscles when working out at the gym or home.
Does Bad Posture Cause Back Pain?
In some cases, yes. When you spend hours hunched over a computer keyboard or slumping in your chair, you’re arching your back and causing stress on your spine. Over time, bad posture can damage the soft tissues that support your back. We recommend investing in ergonomic furniture, especially if you work from home. There’s been an uptick in people with lower back pain since the pandemic began and more people began working remotely.
Is Walking Good for Lower Back Pain?
We usually recommend resting (sitting or lying) for lower back pain. However, walking promotes muscular movement and blood circulation, which may aid in the healing process. Getting regular exercise from walking can also help you strengthen your muscles, improve your range of motion, and boost your mood, especially the more you get outdoors in the Texas sunshine!
When Should I See a Doctor for Back Pain Treatment?
Most people suffering from acute back pain will feel better within six weeks with rest and self-care (applying ice and heat and taking over-the-counter pain relievers). If your back pain persists or becomes more severe, it’s probably time to see a doctor. If you experience neurological symptoms (numbness or weakness in your legs) or a loss of your bodily functions, seek immediate medical care.
What Back Pain Treatments Are Available?
Many patients with back pain see improvements with chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy, or epidural steroid injections. If you’re experiencing lower back pain, we may suggest a lumbar epidural steroid injection. Medicine is inserted into the nerve canal (to the side of your spinal cord) to reduce inflammation in the epidural space. At Pain & Spine Physicians, we also use nonsteroidal injectable medications to help with pain management. Our back pain treatments are tailored according to each patient’s specific needs. As a last resort, some patients with back pain caused by a herniated disc may require surgery. You will need to consult an orthopedic surgeon to see if back surgery is right for you.
Does My Back Pain Require Immediate Medical Attention?
If you’re experiencing loss of bladder/bowel control, muscle weakness, high fever, severe stomach or abdominal pain, and back pain, please seek urgent medical care. You could have a kidney stone, sciatica, spinal stenosis, internal bleeding, cancerous tumors, or another severe health condition.
What Are the Best Lower Back Pain Exercises to Do?
The best lower back pain exercises include low-impact aerobics, swimming, stretching, biking, stationary cycling, tai chi, and resistance exercises. Simple daily activities such as gardening or housecleaning may help alleviate lower back pain for some patients. Consult your doctor before exercising.
Why Choose the Pain Specialists at Pain & Spine Physicians?
Pain & Spine Physicians’ board-certified doctors and world-class nurse practitioners are dedicated to helping patients seek effective pain relief. Rather than mask your back pain symptoms with over-the-counter medications, we seek to get to the root of your issue so we can treat it accordingly. Whether you have upper, lower, or middle back pain, diagnosis may require a physical exam and medical image testing before we can recommend treatment. Our staff has a wide spectrum of specialties, including medicine, anesthesiology, rehabilitation, surgery, and psychiatry. Our goal is to get you long-lasting or permanent pain relief so you can go back to living an active, healthy lifestyle. We’ll utilize state-of-the-art technology and treatments to avoid the use of invasive surgery or medication unless they’re absolutely necessary. Don’t suffer in silence with back pain – seek relief from our clinics.
Get Lower Back Pain Relief With Our Pain Management Program
If you’re seeking lower back pain relief in North Texas, Pain & Spine Physicians could be the solution. Our pain specialists welcome the chance to diagnose your back pain and develop a personalized treatment plan to improve your quality of life. We have locations in Frisco, Dallas, Flower Mound, McKinney, Sherman, and Southlake to serve your needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!