Back Pain

Back Pain Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

At some point in their lives, almost everyone will experience back pain. It is a common medical symptom that leads many people throughout the world to visit a doctor. Although back pain is uncomfortable, it can be prevented or relieved. Back pain is most commonly experienced in the following areas:

  • Lower (lumbar) back pain. Lower or lumbar back pain typically occurs as a result of straining.
  • Upper back pain. Poor posture during the day or sleeping may cause upper back pain.

If you are experiencing chronic back pain that does not go away on its own, understanding the following causes and treatments is essential in order to find relief.

What Causes Back Pain?

Back pain can be a temporary or chronic condition and can occur from something as simple as a pulled muscle or from something more serious such as a chronic disease. There are several medical conditions that may lead patients to experience back pain. Some of these include:

  • Pinched nerves.  A pinched nerve occurs when an injury to a muscle, joint, or disk causes one of the millions of nerves in your body to become irritated, sending pain signals to your brain.  Learn more about pinched nerves »
  • Irregular spine curves. If your spine curves in an unusual way, back pain is a possibility. If your spine curves to the side and you have been diagnosed with scoliosis, you may develop back pain as well. Learn more about this condition »
  • Osteoporosis. Brittle, weak bones caused by Osteoporosis can force your spine’s vertebrae to establish compression fractures and trigger back pain.

Individuals of all ages can develop back pain. There are also a number of factors that may increase your risk of developing back pain. Several of these risk factors are excess weight, lack of exercise, incorrect lifting, diseases such as cancer and arthritis, smoking, and psychological conditions such as anxiety and depression.

How Can I Relieve my Back Pain?

Back pain can only be diagnosed and treated by a physician. There are many conservative treatments such as stretching, exercise plans, and non-invasive forms of physical therapy that may relieve back pain. Medications such as muscle relaxants, narcotics, topical pain relievers, injections, and antidepressants may also be viable options.

While surgery may make sense for some patients when conservative treatments fail, it is not common. If your back pain is correlated with progressive muscle weakness or radiating leg pain due to nerve compression, surgery may help. It may also make sense if your back pain is related to a herniated disk, spinal stenosis, or other structural issues that have not improved with other forms of treatment.

At EmergeOrtho: Foothills Region, we’re here to help you relieve your back pain symptoms and make sure that your back is in its normal condition. EmergeOrtho: Foothills Region is a top-notch back pain treatment center in the Unifour area for the following reasons:

  • We don’t require an MRI to see a doctor.
  • Our board-certified, fellowship trained surgeons provide patients with the highest quality treatment.
  • All surgeries and procedures are performed at multiple hospitals, which are conveniently located in the Unifour area to save you a long drive.
  • You have the option of choosing from the following hospitals for your surgery or procedure: Frye Regional Medical Center and Catawba Valley Medical Center in Hickory, Caldwell UNC Healthcare in Lenoir, and Carolinas Healthcare System Blue Ridge in Morganton.

When you visit us, you can expect a comprehensive evaluation of your back. A board-certified surgeon will investigate your back and analyze your ability to walk, lift your legs, stand, and sit. The surgeon will also ask you to rate your back pain on a scale from zero to 10.

This evaluation will give the surgeon the knowledge and resources necessary to create a treatment plan that is individualized to your particular condition. Let EmergeOrtho: Foothills Region assist you in relieving your back pain so that you can get your life and health “back” on track.