Pain in the lower back is the leading cause of disability across the globe. In a 2012 National Health Interview Survey, more than 25% of surveyed adults reported experiencing lower back pain within the previous three months.
At best, lower back pain discomfort can be irritating. At worst, it can interfere with your daily life by disrupting your sleep and making it challenging to complete routine tasks.
But just because lower back pain is common doesn’t mean you have to suffer from its symptoms. Here’s a closer look at what causes this pain and what you can do about it.
Common Symptoms of Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is experienced anywhere below the bottom edge of the ribcage. The discomfort can range from a dull ache, to shooting or stabbing sensations that become so intense they even interfere with the ability to stand.
Acute pain can come on suddenly — often after an injury or strain, such as one experienced during heavy lifting. Chronic pain, on the other hand, can have more subtle causes and persist for more than three months. Regardless of the source or intensity, it’s a good idea to seek professional care for any back pain that doesn’t subside within 72 hours.
There are many potential causes of lower back pain beyond direct injury to the muscles and ligaments in the back. These causes may include:
- Spinal stenosis, or narrowing of the spinal column
- Ruptured or herniated disk
New Treatment Options
Fortunately, there are nearly as many ways to treat back pain as there are causes. Instead of simply dulling pain with medications, patients now have access to innovative and personalized treatments that address the underlying causes of back pain. While the recommended treatment will depend on the cause of your back pain – which is why consultation with your doctor is recommended — here are several ways the condition may be treated:
- Injections: Often used for low back pain that radiates down the leg, injections such as epidural steroids can alleviate swelling and inflammation to eliminate pain.
- Facet blocks: Facet joints are located on either side at the rear of the spine. Facet block injections to this area can administer anesthetic and anti-inflammatory steroid medication to alleviate symptoms.
- Radiofrequency ablation: Especially effective for pain in the lower back, during this treatment electric current is administered through a small needle, heating nerve tissues and eliminating their ability to send pain signals.
- Neurostimulation therapy: Artificial nerve stimulators can be implanted under the skin to deliver targeted electrical impulses to affected nerves. This treatment blocks pain signals, and can provide long-lasting relief.
If you’re struggling with persistent back pain and have yet to find lasting relief, turn to Alliance Spine & Pain Centers. We understand the challenges of ongoing back pain and offer personalized, state-of-the-art treatments delivered by experienced pain management specialists to help you feel like yourself again. To schedule an appointment, call (770) 929-9033, or view our full list of treatment options.