If you’ve never experienced lower back pain, consider yourself lucky, and if you have, consider yourself a member of a long-suffering majority. Statistically speaking, eight in every ten Americans will have back pain at some point.
There are some times that you know exactly why your back is hurting – maybe you fell or were in a car accident. Maybe you were working around the house and know the exact moment when you lifted something too heavy or twisted the wrong way. But there are other times when our pain is a mystery that needs to be solved. You might be suffering from degenerative disc disease, a process that takes place over time as we age, or perhaps you have a pinched nerve. Finding the right solution is directly related to knowing the cause, so if you’ve had pain for more than a few weeks and it isn’t getting better, the first step you should take is to get your problem diagnosed by a lumbar spine specialist in New Jersey. Seeking help does not automatically mean that you’re going to end up having surgery – in fact, most patients are able to find dramatic improvement through conservative approaches including lower back stretching and strengthening and exercise.
Common Causes of Lower Back Pain
• Degenerative disc disease – part of the aging process that results in degeneration of the spinal discs that act as shock absorbers between the vertebrae of the spine.
• Pinched or compressed nerve – pressure put on the nerve by a bulging disc or compression between bone, ligaments or tendons.
• Muscle strain – common result of improper form when lifting or trauma such as from falling or being in an automobile accident.
• Lack of exercise – though many people believe that exercise will hurt their back, doing the right exercises can help to keep our muscles and joints from becoming too tight or weak. Choosing the proper exercises can return flexibility and strength.
The Diagnostic Process
When back pain does not go away after a week or two, it is time to make an appointment with a physician who understands the intricacies of the human spine and who can help you diagnose your problem and find the best remedy for your situation. At our lumbar spine specialist practice in New Jersey, we begin with a thorough physical examination and interview to learn more about your overall health, the pain you are experiencing, and what led up to it. We will likely order diagnostic tests such as X-Ray or MRI to provide a better sense of what is happening internally.
In almost all cases, our process begins with a conservative approach. We may prescribe over-the-counter medications, physical therapy, a course of exercises or lifestyle changes or other interventions to see whether we can solve your problem without surgery. It is only if these conservative approaches are unable to help you that we discuss other alternatives. It is always our goal to restore you to a pain free life.
For more information on how we can help, contact our office today to set up an appointment.