Almost everyone will experience low back pain at some point in their lives. This pain can vary from mild to severe. It can be short-lived or long-lasting. However it happens, low back pain can make many everyday activities difficult to do. Pain Management and Spine Specialist Aashish Bharara, MD, and the team at Perimeter Orthopaedics, PC in Atlanta, Georgia, evaluate and treat all types of back pain. Their modern facility has everything you need, from on-site imaging procedures to an ambulatory surgery center. Call or book an appointment online today for complete care of back pain.
Your spine is made up of small bones, called vertebrae, which are stacked on top of one another. Muscles, ligaments, nerves, and intervertebral disks are additional parts of your spine. Back pain is different from one person to the next. The pain can have a slow onset or come on suddenly. The pain may be intermittent or constant. In most cases, back pain resolves on its own within a few weeks.
Back pain can range from a muscle aching to a shooting, burning or stabbing sensation. In addition, the pain may radiate down your leg or worsen with bending, twisting, lifting, standing or walking.
Back pain can signal a serious medical problem. Seek immediate care if your back pain:
• Persists past a few weeks
• Is severe and doesn't improve with rest
• Spreads down one or both legs, especially if the pain extends below the knee
• Causes weakness, numbness or tingling in one or both legs
• Is accompanied by unexplained weight loss
• Causes new bowel or bladder problems
• Is accompanied by a fever
• Follows a fall, blow to your back or other injury
Low back pain caused by spinal degeneration and injury. Back pain often develops without a cause that your doctor can identify with a test or an imaging study. Conditions commonly linked to back pain include:
- Muscle or ligament strain: Repeated heavy lifting or a sudden awkward movement can strain back muscles and spinal ligaments. If you're in poor physical condition, constant strain on your back can cause painful muscle spasms.
- Bulging or ruptured disks: Disks act as cushions between the bones (vertebrae) in your spine. The soft material inside a disk can bulge or rupture and press on a nerve. However, you can have a bulging or ruptured disk without back pain. Disk disease is often found incidentally when you have spine X-rays for some other reason.
- Arthritis: Osteoarthritis can affect the lower back. In some cases, arthritis in the spine can lead to a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord, a condition called spinal stenosis.
- Osteoporosis: Your spine's vertebrae can develop painful fractures if your bones become porous and brittle.
In general, treatment for low back pain falls into one of three categories: medications, physical medicine, and surgery. Medications and therapeutic treatments combined often relieve pain enough for you to do all the things you want to do.
• Physical therapy can include passive modalities such as heat, ice, massage, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation. Active therapy consists of stretching, weight lifting, and cardiovascular exercises. Exercising to restore motion and strength to your lower back can be very helpful in relieving pain.
• Spinal injections are often used and our Board-Certified Pain Management Specialist, Dr. Aashish Bharara has everything you need, from on-site imaging procedures to an ambulatory surgery center.
• Other exercise-based programs, such as Pilates or yoga are helpful for some patients.
Dr. Bharara is a trained specialist in pain management and spinal injections to prevent surgery from being needed, if possible. If nonsurgical treatments fail to resolve your back pain, or if you have a serious injury, surgery may be necessary.
To find relief from back pain, call Perimeter Orthopaedics, PC, or book an appointment with Dr. Bharara today.