5 Common Causes of Back Pain

Grappling with back pain? If so, you’re far from alone. Back pain is the leading cause of disability around the world and one of the most common reasons people miss work each year. And while anyone can experience it, back pain is especially likely if you’re over age 30, lead an inactive lifestyle, or have a chronic medical condition that adds strain to your back or raises your risk of injury.

At Coastal Pain Medicine in Pompano Beach, Florida, Dr. Patrick Brennan and his team create customized treatment plans to relieve persistent back pain. Our minimally invasive treatments aim to help you find lasting pain relief while preventing the need for surgery.

Read on to learn the five conditions we often treat that cause and worsen back pain.

1. Degenerative disc disease 

As you grow older, shifts in your body take place on a cellular level. One of these changes is reduced moisture in your intervertebral discs. These rubbery cushions serve as shock absorbers in your spine. If they start to dry out or change shape or size over time, you have what’s known as degenerative disc disease. The upset in the balance in your spine it causes often leads to chronic back pain.

2. Fibromyalgia

If your back pain is part of widespread pain throughout your body that feels like a sharp or stabbing ache, you may be dealing with fibromyalgia. Pain from this disorder tends to be pretty constant and may coincide with heightened sensitivity to touch, digestive problems, and difficulty sleeping. 

 

While no one knows the precise cause, fibromyalgia may stem from abnormal processing of your brain’s pain signals. Family history of fibromyalgia, infections, and emotional trauma may also bring back pain and its other symptoms.

3. Osteoarthritis 

Arthritis is a progressive condition that causes pain and inflammation in your joints. While there are many types of arthritis, osteoarthritis is an especially common form that is especially likely to cause back pain. It results from “wear and tear,” as cartilage in the discs between the joints and vertebra in your spine deteriorate over time. For this reason, your risk for back pain from osteoarthritis increases with age.

4. Spinal stenosis

When you have spinal stenosis, your spinal canal has narrowed, causing compression or restriction of your spinal cord and nerve roots. This leads to numbness, pain, or weakness in your back or legs, especially after walking. Spinal stenosis often occurs as a complication of osteoarthritis that affects the spinal column. As discs in your spine degenerate, narrowing of your spine and related pain becomes more likely.

5. Whiplash

Whiplash is another common cause of back pain that we frequently see in our office. While whiplash has a reputation for causing neck pain, many people experience symptoms lower down around the spine. You may also experience swelling and stiffness in your lower back. Whiplash results from a sharp or sudden movement of your neck or trunk. You might be jolted forward, backward, or side-to-side in a car accident, for example.

How we can help

Treatments for back pain vary depending on the severity and cause of your symptoms. In some cases, rest, lifestyle changes, ice therapy, and over-the-counter pain medications suffice. If you have a chronic condition or symptoms that fail to improve through other means, however, you may benefit from a minimally invasive, in-office procedure.

If you’re bothered by chronic back pain, Dr. Brennan and his team may recommend:

To learn more about these treatments or get the diagnosis or care you need, call our office or request an appointment through our website.

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