Back pain can severely impede your quality of life. If you’re one of many Americans with back pain, you may find hope at the Palm Beach Health Network. At our Joint and Spine Institute, our bone doctors can evaluate pain and stiffness caused by
walking, standing or sitting up.
Lower back pain is a common concern, although the pain can also be experienced from the neck to the hips. Back pain is usually not a serious concern and will resolve over time. Still, it can indicate
other problems in the muscle, discs and nerves on the back or a problem with nearby organs like the kidneys.
Who Experiences Back Pain?
Back pain can affect many of us at least once in our lives. However, there are risk factors that can increase our chances of experiencing back pain, such as:
- Fitness level – People who are not physically fit may have weak back and stomach muscles that can affect spine support. Back pain can also result from strenuous exercise after being inactive for a long time.
- Weight gain – A poor diet high in calories and fat and an inactive lifestyle can lead to obesity. Extra weight can add stress to the back, leading to back pain.
- Job-related risk factors – Jobs that stress the back such as heavy lifting, pushing, pulling or twisting and desk jobs that require people to sit for a long time in an uncomfortable chair can lead to back pain.
- Age – when people age, bones also age. Hence, people aged 45 and up are more prone to back pain.
Heredity – Certain inherited conditions and diseases can cause back pain.
Why Does My Back Hurt?
There are many causes of back pain, from a simple strain to conditions unrelated to the spine.
Mechanical/Structural Problems: The spine is composed of 24 bones sitting on top of each other with joints, discs and ligaments in between.
When problems arise within these parts, back pain may be experienced. The back pain may present as any of the following conditions:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Herniated or ruptured discs
- Spinal stenosis
- Fractured vertebrae
Inflammation and Other Medical Conditions
- Inflammatory arthritis of the spine
- Kidney stones or infections
- Infections of the bones and discs within the spine
When to Consult a Back Pain Doctor?
Back pain ranges from a specific part of the back may it be lower back pain, upper back pain, middle back pain, pain spreading all over the back and even spreading to other parts of the body such as the legs, abdomen or buttocks, depending on what causes
back pain. There are different types of back pain according to how long you have enduring pain, including:
- Acute Back Pain – Back pain that comes and lasts a few days to a few weeks.
- Subacute Back Pain – Back pain that happens suddenly or over time and lasts up to 12 weeks.
- Chronic Back Pain – Back pain that lasts more than 12 weeks.
When you experience subacute back pain or chronic back pain, it may be time to consult a back pain doctor. Consult our back doctors immediately if you experience the following symptoms:
- Numbness and tingling
- Severe back pain that doesn’t improve with medication
- Back pain due to a fall or injury
- Back pain with trouble urinating; numbness, weakness or pain in the legs; fever; unexpected weight loss
- Loss of bowel or bladder contro
- Chest pain
- Swelling or deformity in your back
These symptoms may be a sign of something more severe and may need to be treated urgently.
Back Pain Treatment in Palm Beach County
Our spine specialists may initially suggest conservative, non-invasive treatments, including pain management and physical therapy, which have shown tremendous results in many of our patients.
- Over-the-counter or prescription drugs which can be taken orally (ibuprofen, naproxen, acetaminophen) or topically (gels, lotions, creams, patches, sprays that contain ibuprofen and lidocaine)
- Muscle relaxants
- Steroid injections
- Cold or hot packs – may temporarily relieve discomfort and pain as a lower back pain treatment. Ask your back pain specialist if you will need hot, cold or a combination of both for back pain treatment.
- Physical therapy helps improve mobility and posture by strengthening back muscles that support the spine.
- Lifestyle changes – an active lifestyle paired with a healthy diet can help maintain or aid in weight loss. This helps to remove the extra pressure on the spine.
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation – this procedure involves radio waves passing through needles into the nerves to stop pain signals.
- Acupuncture – a Chinese practice that may be used to relieve pain.
If these options fail to provide relief, our bone doctors may suggest surgery. Rest assured that we have our spine specialists who will be with you from diagnosis to rehabilitation from your back surgery.
- Laminectomy – a spinal stenosis treatment performed by removing the bony spurs and walls of the vertebrae.
- Discectomy – a herniated disc surgery relieves pressure on a nerve root or spinal canal.
- Laparoscopic spinal fusion – a degenerative disc and spondylolisthesis treatment performed by joining two or more vertebras in the spine.
- Foraminotomy – a spinal stenosis treatment performed to relieve pressure on the nerves.
- Disc replacement surgery – a procedure performed by replacing a damaged or diseased disc with a synthetic one.
- Microendoscopic disc repair
- Reconstructive procedures
- Spinal stenosis
- Treatments for herniated discs such as herniated disc surgery
Treatment varies depending on the type of back pain you’re experiencing. Back surgery is not for everyone, and our bone doctors will thoroughly conduct various examinations to make sure if back surgery is for you.
Beyond Back Pain
We do more than treat back pain. Our team of orthopedic back specialists aim to address all issues related to your spine and its complex relationship with your brain, an area of medicine called Neurology.
Why Choose Palm Beach Health Network?
At Palm Beach Health Network, we have a team of spine specialists that consists of back pain specialists, orthopedists, neurologists, back pain surgeons and physical therapists who are there for you from diagnosis to rehabilitation.