Low back pain can be a very complicated and personal experience. A person with simple muscle strain may have severe low back pain while another with significant disk herniation may have very mild symptoms. Also, there is a lot of nerve supply overlap to most of the structures in the lower spine, which may make it difficult for your brain to pinpoint the part of the lower back that is injured. To solve the giant puzzle of low back pain and make sense out of solutions and diagnosis, let’s look at some of the common causes:
Lower Back Muscle Strain: Lifting a heavy object or sudden movements that place a lot of stress on the lower back can result in this type of injury. The pain can range from mild to severe, but generally does not last too long.
Lumbar Disc Herniation: The soft inner portion of the disc breaks through the tough exterior portion and may press against a nerve causing pain that radiates into the buttocks, groin, or the legs.
Lumbar Facet Joint Pain: These are joints present at the back of the vertebrae that permit spine mobility. Arthritic changes can occur resulting in the wearing of the cartilage leading to pain. Facet joint pain tends to get worse with hyperextending the back (leaning backwards) and improves with sitting down.
Lumbar Stenosis: The condition is characterized by narrowing on the spinal canal due to degenerative changes which puts pressure on the spinal cord. Pain with standing for a moderate amount of time is a frequent symptom of this condition. This is usually accompanied by numbness and tingling down the legs.
SI Joint Dysfunction: This strong, low-mobility joint absorbs and transmits forces between the lower and upper body. The joint can become dysfunctional when too much force is placed on it resulting in low back pain that may radiate to the legs.
Spinal Dislocations or Fractures: These may occur due to trauma such as a motor vehicle accident or a fall. Back pain that occurs after a traumatic injury should be evaluated for fractures or dislocations of the vertebrae.
To arrive at an accurate diagnosis, Dr. Moazazz will take a thorough medical history, perform a physical exam, and may order diagnostic tests such as X-rays or MRI scan to identify the source of your low back pain. Treatment offered will depend on the diagnosis but generally conservative treatments are offered and only when these treatments fail, will surgery be considered as an option.
Dr. Moazazz uses the latest innovative non-surgical and surgical treatments when indicated, such as the iFuse System, to improve stability and reduce pain in the lower back.
Dr. Payam Moazzaz specializes in advanced minimally invasive spine surgery that allows patients to heal quickly after surgery and return sooner to their active lifestyles. Please call (760) 904 5444 to book your appointment.