Lower back pain is a near-universal problem in that most people suffer from it at some point in their lives. According to a 2022 Harris Poll, a startling statistic emerged — over 72 million Americans suffer from low back pain. Plus, over a third declare that their pain is severe, and almost half report that their pain has been chronic over the last five years.
If low back is responsible for that much suffering, it’s easy to imagine that it would curtail your activities and limit your mobility, impacting your quality of life significantly.
The caring team at Advanced Spine and Pain takes a prudent but innovative approach to back pain, whether it affects your neck and upper (cervical) back, mid-back, or lower (lumbar) back. We offer an array of successful treatments, from conservative approaches to surgical solutions, that enable patients to return to being active and pain-free.
The toll of chronic low back pain
Persistent low back pain can stem from many problems.
You may have sustained a traumatic injury to your muscles and ligaments from an auto accident that results in back problems, for example, or it may be a result of a condition like osteoarthritis, osteoporosis (brittle bones), or spinal stenosis, a condition where your spinal canal narrows, and puts pressure on your spinal cord and nerve roots.
Those undergoing certain cancer treatments and those with scoliosis (spinal curvature) are also at high risk for lower back pain.
Herniated discs, injuries due to improper lifting techniques, and sitting for long periods are also common causes of low back pain.
It’s no wonder that low back pain and work absenteeism go hand in hand — and the cost of this missed work to companies is a staggering nearly $226 billion per year.
The problem also adds up to scores of people living with pain, whether sharp and severe, less localized, or pain that burns, tingles, and hinders movement. And often, it doesn’t stop at your lower back. Low back pain can spread to your hip, extend down your leg, and even cause discomfort in the sole of your foot.
Is there a treatment for my long-term low back pain?
Fortunately, the Advanced Spine and Pain team offers an array of treatments, including conservative approaches like over-the-counter pain medication or a course of physical therapy. A medical device, such as a lumbar brace, can also help by securing your spine and allowing tender ligaments and muscles to mend.
We may also ask about your office ergonomics or whether you’re using proper form when you exercise and suggest changes that support your back health.
Unfortunately, some people’s pain and mobility problems persist despite these treatments. In this case, we introduce the idea of additional groundbreaking treatments, including facet injections, a steroid injection that targets your lower back, addresses inflammation, and knocks out pain quickly.
Your facet joints join the bones of your spine, and your nerve roots go through them to many parts of your body, including your arms and legs. They also enable you to use your spine to twist and bend. Because of this, it’s easy to understand why an injection given in this location can help ease nagging lower back pain.
We administer a facet injection only after assessing your symptoms, ordering imaging tests, and talking to you about your history of pain. You may get a single facet injection or more than one, depending on your needs.
Before your injection, we numb the spot where you’ll get the injection. We often use X-ray technology to determine exactly where you should get your injection, and we might also inject contrast dye to ensure we place the needle correctly. Finally, we inject a mixture of steroids and local anesthetic into the facet joint.
Patients who don’t get positive results from other treatments often find success with facet injections. We make sure you’re comfortable during the brief procedure, and afterward, you can leave the office and go about your normal activities.
Finally getting relief from lower back pain and being able to move more freely can feel like a rebirth, especially when you’ve struggled with pain and movement limitations for a long time.
Call the Advanced Spine and Pain Office closest to you to make an appointment with us, or book one online.