The most common pain complaint Dr. Nikesh Seth hears about is back pain. That’s no surprise, since back pain is the leading cause of disabilities around the world—and it’s also the most common pain treated at Integrated Pain Consultants. However, why back pain is so prevalent is another question.
The spinal cord has a lot of very important jobs. The spine, and back in general, is also charged with carrying heavy loads on a daily basis. We often take for granted what our back does for us until it starts to complain. From slipped and bulging discs to nerve pain and more, there’s a lot that can go “wrong” with this complex system.
There are a few common causes of back pain, including:
1. Degenerative disc disease. Most adults will have some degree of degenerative disc disease in their life. This occurs due to age and simple wear and tear. The discs that cushion the vertebrae can be over-used, and when this happens they degenerate. The more they degenerate, the more pain there will be. If and when the bones are allowed to rub against one another, the pain can be debilitating and severe.
2. Radicular pain. Radicular pain can be tough to diagnose because it starts in the spine but radiates to other parts of the body (usually the lower limbs). It’s a type of compressed nerve, and there are many treatment options available.
3. Facet joint arthritis. There are many types of arthritis, and facet joints (located in the back) can be prone to developing arthritis. Just like any condition, the key to a fast and effective treatment is early diagnosis. Arthritis can also be debilitating, but there are options available.
4. Compression fractures. The spine is at risk of a compression fracture, which is a break in the spinal bone(s) due to compression. Just like any break, there are varying degrees of severity. However, treatment is available. Kyphoplasty, or permanently reinforcing the break with a special cement, is one possible treatment.
5. Bulging discs. When the discs between the spine “bulge out,” this can cause intense pain. It might also be a precursor to the more serious slipped disc, which is why fast treatment is a must.
If you’re one of the millions of people suffering from back pain, know that help is available. Schedule a consultation with Integrated Pain Consultants by calling 480-626-2552.