Everyone experiences back pain, right? But your back pain is different – very different. You don’t want to take medication and just “live with it” anymore. No one else can feel your pain and know how severe it is. But you’re also afraid. It’s gotten much worse than it used to be and you haven’t really taken care of your back. You don’t focus on posture. You spent a lot of time lifting weights when you were younger. You sleep on your stomach (gasp!). You slouch and don’t lift with your legs. If there were a checklist of what to do to hurt your back, you would check every box.
Now, one terrifying word is starting to creep into your thoughts – surgery. And it’s driving you crazy. Maybe you’re even avoiding the doctor so you won’t have to hear that surgery is required to repair your back. The good news is that doctors always recommend non-surgical treatment plans before resorting to surgery. You have nothing to lose. If you do need surgery, you need to know. If you don’t, you will soon if you don’t begin a non-surgical treatment plan.
What are some conditions that your doctor may diagnose you with that can cause so much pain? Here are a few of the most common ones.
A Herniated Disc
You’ve heard of them but were never sure what they are. In between each of your vertebrae is a disc that acts like a shock absorber. It absorbs the impact of your daily activities and prevents vertebrae from touching each other. When a disc slips out of position or ruptures, it’s called a herniated disc. It can cause pain in two ways – allowing your vertebrae to touch or by pinching a nearby nerve.
Degenerative Disc Disease
If your pain has been consistently getting worse over time, this is one of the conditions that could cause that. It affects your spine slowly over time. Your intervertebral discs naturally break down as you get older – it’s part of the human condition – nothing abnormal. But certain injuries start the process sooner. And, some people have worse disc degeneration than others.
Spinal stenosis is another condition that can occur as you age. It is the narrowing of the spinal canal, leaving less room for your vertebrae and nerves to coincide peacefully. It can also lead to a pinched nerve.
Sciatica is referring to pain caused by the pinching of the sciatic nerve, which travels from your lower back down your legs. You’d feel sharp pain shooting down your legs.
Those are some of the more common conditions that can cause your severe pain – you can see pinched nerves are a very common cause of pain. Depending on how serious your condition is, an NJ spine doctor will do everything he or she can do to treat it without surgery. So now that you have a basic understanding of common causes of back pain, go see an NJ spine specialist today to get diagnosed before your condition worsens – along with your eventual diagnosis.