Spinal Conditions

Back Pain

Back Pain

Overview of Musculoskeletal Pain

Musculoskeletal pain primarily arises from the muscles, skeleton, and spine. This category includes common athletic injuries, as well as conditions like fibromyalgia and myofascial pain. Skeletal pain can originate from various sources, including noninfectious inflammation (spondylitis), infections (osteomyelitis), spinal fractures (like vertebral compression fractures), and tumors within the skeletal system.

Causes and Diagnosis of Back Pain

Back pain can be caused by issues with spinal discs. As people age, these discs dehydrate and thin out, leading to conditions such as degenerative disk disease, herniation, or disc bulging. Discs can be primary pain sources or cause pain through spinal cord or nerve root impingement. Sciatica, characterized by shooting leg pain, is a classic example of nerve root impingement. Spinal disc and joint degeneration can lead to spinal stenosis, causing pain, weakness, or numbness in the legs during standing or walking. Severe cases of spinal stenosis may lead to acute cauda equina syndrome, demanding immediate medical attention. Additionally, referred pain from kidney stones, bladder, pelvic infections, or intra-abdominal issues like pancreatitis and gallstones can contribute to back pain. Diagnostic steps include a thorough history and physical exam, followed by MRI or CT scans, with a CT-myelogram as a detailed but more invasive option.

Treatment Approaches for Back Pain

Initial treatment for back pain is generally conservative, involving anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy. Persistent or severe back pain might necessitate further intervention, including surgical options. Dallas Neurosurgical & Spine adopts a conservative approach, emphasizing physical therapy, anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, and nerve irritation reducers. If conservative methods prove insufficient or symptoms are severe, more advanced pain treatments may be considered. Treatment plans are specifically tailored to each patient’s condition, with surgical intervention reserved for certain necessary conditions only.