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Lower Back Pain

Lower Back PainAccording to the World Health Organization, low back pain is the most prevalent musculoskeletal condition globally and stands as the primary cause of disability worldwide. But it is also a condition where most individuals could potentially benefit from rehabilitation.

There are numerous potential factors that contribute to lower back pain. While self-diagnosis might be tempting, it’s not advisable. Whether you suspect your problem resulted from playing a sport or by lifting a heavy box, pinpointing the exact cause can be challenging. For this reason, it’s recommended to consult an experienced pain management doctor who can conduct thorough assessments to get to the root cause of your condition. With proper guidance, your recovery can progress smoothly, minimizing any lasting side effects. Schedule an appointment today for a comprehensive evaluation.

With over 80 percent of adults affected by back pain at some point in their lives, it is a very common complaint. But relief is within reach in Wisconsin at Pro Spine & Pain. Our pain management experts will explore your options for alleviating lower back pain.

While the intensity of lower back pain varies widely, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that severe lower back pain forces between six and ten percent of workers to either change professions or cease working altogether. Early diagnosis and treatment by doctors or physical therapists are pivotal to overcoming this potentially debilitating condition. Seek an accurate diagnosis and effective lower back pain treatment to resume your work and hobbies seamlessly.

Back pain, much like other types of pain, falls into two distinct categories:

  1. Acute back pain: This is the most prevalent form of lower back pain, emerging suddenly and usually lasting no more than three weeks. Typically, it is triggered by a back injury.
  2. Chronic back pain: Less common, chronic lower back pain persists for over three months and is often associated with an underlying disease, untreated spinal conditions, or persistent wear and tear over time.

Symptoms of Lower Back Pain

Common symptoms include:

  • Sore muscles
  • Sharp or burning pain
  • Pain radiating down the leg, known as sciatica
  • Pain that intensifies with activity or decreases when lying down

While these symptoms may resolve on their own within a few weeks, they could get worse without proper care.

It’s crucial to seek prompt medical attention if you have any of the following complications:

  • Lower back pain beyond the age of 50
  • Persistent pain unresponsive to rest
  • Pain coupled with bowel or bladder issues
  • Presence of a fever
  • Leg pain extending around and below the knee [Link to Knee Pain], accompanied by tingling or numbness
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • History of cancer
  • Current or past use of steroids
  • Osteoporosis
  • Back pain combined with nausea and vomiting
  • Lower back pain on the left side combined with fever or impaired leg movement
  • Substance abuse

Causes of Lower Back Pain

The origins of lower back pain are often discernible through associated symptoms. To get rid of lower back pain, it’s essential to know why it has started.

Some common causes include:

  • Sacroiliitis, sacroilitis: This condition involves inflammation of the sacroiliac joints, connecting the lower spine and pelvis. While characterized by discomfort in the buttocks and lower back, the pain may extend down the legs. Prolonged periods of standing or stair climbing can make soreness worse. Sacroiliitis treatment may include pain relievers, rest, and alternating heat and ice.
  • Arthritis: Spinal arthritis, known as spinal stenosis, narrows the space around the spinal cord, resulting in irritation and discomfort. Although commonly linked with aging, painful symptoms can start as early as age 40.
  • Osteoporosis: Making bones more brittle, this condition can lead to spinal vertebrae fractures. Although typically occurring in older adults, osteoporosis can also result from insufficient calcium, vitamin D, and exercise.
  • Soft tissue strain: Repetitive activities or sudden overexertion can cause muscle strain or ligament damage, often described as a pulled back. This can frequently present as isolated soreness, such as lower left or lower right back pain affecting the individual’s range of motion.
  • Herniated discs: The spinal vertebrae are cushioned by discs with a tough exterior and soft interior. A disc becomes herniated when the rigid covering ruptures, allowing soft material to protrude, leading to a pinched nerve. This condition frequently causes sciatica.
  • Sciatica and Piriformis Syndrome: Resulting from a herniated disc pinching the sciatic nerve, sciatica is pain which can present either as lower right or lower left back pain that extends through the buttocks and down the leg. The sensation can range from numbness to intense pain on both sides of the body.
  • Infection: Lower left or lower right back pain may also stem from a kidney infection, gynecological issues, kidney stones, or appendicitis if there is pain on the right side.
  • Colitis: Pancolitis or ulcerative colitis are types of inflammation of the large intestine. These conditions are frequently combined with back pain.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis: Sometimes associated with ulcerative colitis, this condition is a type of inflammatory arthritis affecting the spine and sacroiliac joints.
  • Inflammatory arthritis: This condition, also known as rheumatoid arthritis, can affect the joints of the body, including the cervical spine.

Treatment for Lower Back Pain

If you’re among the many Americans looking for lower back pain relief, then consulting a healthcare professional who specializes in this condition is crucial to your quality of life. Instead of relying on anecdotal advice from friends on how to treat lower back pain, consult your Wisconsin pain management specialist for personalized guidance on how to relieve lower back pain. Attempting remedies based on others’ experiences can prove detrimental without a proper diagnosis, as some at-home treatments may prove ineffective or can even make matters worse.

Reach out to Pro Spine & Pain for a comprehensive and individualized examination, along with professional recommendations tailored to your specific needs.

A diagnosis from an expert doctor at one of our five Wisconsin locations will ensure a tailor-made treatment program, providing access to:

  • Pain medications, including corticosteroid injections and muscle relaxants
    Cutting-edge procedures
  • Pain management techniques, including physical therapy such as stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Minimally invasive surgical options

Updated on Apr 16, 2024 by Dr. Thomas Stauss (Pain Management) of Pro Spine & Pain

Thomas Stauss, MD

Thomas Stauss, MD, completed both his undergraduate and medical studies at the esteemed University of Wisconsin in Madison. Dr. Stauss values having access to a wide array of cutting-edge treatment options, ensuring effective relief for his patients' discomfort and a significant enhancement in their quality of life. More specifically, he specializes in utilizing implanted devices to manage chronic pain. Dr. Stauss’s primary objective is to uphold the dignity of each patient while delivering ethical and professional services.

More about Dr. Stauss