Lower back pain is one of the most common sources of chronic pain, affecting about 75-85% of people in the United States at some point in their life. When you experience lower back pain that doesn’t go away, it’s important to consult Dr. Carrie Shulman at The Florida Center for Neurosurgery because half of all people who have lower back pain have another episode within a year. To get expert help and treatment that targets the underlying cause of your pain, call the office in Clearwater, Tampa Bay, Florida, or use online booking to schedule an appointment.
Your lower back, or lumbar spine, is susceptible to degenerative changes and injuries because it supports the weight of your body while also allowing flexible movement. Your risk of lower back pain increases with age and when you engage in repetitive activities that increases pressure, such as sitting for a long time and lifting heavy objects.
The most common causes of lower back pain include:
Although the primary symptom — pain — is obvious, you can experience different types of pain and additional symptoms, depending on the cause of your lower back pain and whether a nerve is involved.
When osteoarthritis is the cause, for example, you’ll have back pain and stiffness in the morning that improves as you get moving, then worsens throughout the day due to activity.
If you have a herniated disc, lumbar spinal stenosis, or any other condition that compresses a nerve, your pain may be sharp and radiate through your buttocks and legs. Nerve involvement can also lead to tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness from your lower back to your feet.
First-line treatment of lower back pain focuses on eliminating inflammation and pain with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, epidural steroid injections, as well as losing weight, if needed.
Dr. Shulman may recommend adjusting or limiting activities, but maintaining motion and strengthening your back are important for long-term relief from lower back pain. As a result, your treatment may include physical therapy or prescribed back exercises.
When your pain persists, or you continue to have limited movement, Dr. Shulman may talk with you about surgical intervention. Several types of surgery are effective, so your recommended procedure depends on the cause of your lower back pain.
The procedures commonly used to treat degenerative spine conditions can all be performed using minimally invasive surgery — Dr. Shulman’s expertise. Minimally invasive surgery offers significant benefits over traditional open surgery. It’s done through a small incision, which avoids cutting through muscles. As a result, trauma is minimized and you recover more quickly.
If your lower back pain was caused by an injury, persists for several days, worsens, or you experience nerve symptoms, call The Florida Center for Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery or book an appointment online.