Lower Back Pain

What You Need to Know

Almost all people will experience back pain during their lives. Most back pain is self-limiting and is alleviated with time. Back pain is the number one cause of doctors’ visits, the number one cause of disability, and a large expense to the United States. There are many possible causes of back pain, so a correct diagnosis is important. Early evaluation by a pain physician and quick adoption of a treatment plan leads to the best outcomes.

Causes

Back pain can be caused and aggravated by musculoskeletal disorders, bad posture, cigarette smoking, obesity, degenerative disc disease, disc herniation, lumbar facet syndrome, spinal stenosis and spinal surgery.

Symptoms

  • Decreased functioning.
  • Decreased quality of life.
  • Severe back pain.

As with many conditions, diagnosis is key. Epidural, facet and trigger point injections can all be used diagnostically, as can electromyogram (EMG) testing, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and X-rays.