Spinal Conditions

Back Pain

Back Pain

Overview of Musculoskeletal Pain

Musculoskeletal discomfort predominantly stems from muscles, bones, and the spine. Within this classification lie prevalent sports-related injuries alongside ailments such as fibromyalgia and myofascial pain. Skeletal discomfort may trace its origins to diverse factors, encompassing noninfectious inflammation (such as spondylitis), infections (like osteomyelitis), spinal fractures (e.g., vertebral compression fractures), and tumors affecting the skeletal structure.

Causes and Diagnosis of Back Pain

Back pain often stems from spinal disc issues, particularly as individuals age and these discs dehydrate and thin out. This can lead to conditions like degenerative disk disease, herniation, or disc bulging, which may directly cause pain or result in spinal cord or nerve root compression. Sciatica, characterized by shooting pain down the leg, exemplifies nerve root compression. Moreover, spinal disc and joint degeneration can lead to spinal stenosis, manifesting as pain, weakness, or numbness in the legs during activities like standing or walking. In severe cases, spinal stenosis can progress to acute cauda equina syndrome, requiring immediate medical attention. Additionally, back pain can be exacerbated by referred pain from conditions such as kidney stones, bladder or pelvic infections, and intra-abdominal issues like pancreatitis and gallstones. Diagnostic steps typically involve a comprehensive history and physical examination, followed by imaging studies like MRI or CT scans, with CT-myelogram serving as a more detailed albeit invasive option.

Treatment Approaches for Back Pain

Initial management of back pain usually involves conservative measures such as anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy. If back pain persists or worsens, further intervention may be necessary, including surgical options. At Dallas Neurosurgical & Spine, a conservative approach is favored, focusing on physical therapy, anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, and medications to alleviate nerve irritation. Should conservative measures prove ineffective or symptoms become severe, more advanced pain management techniques may be considered. Treatment plans are tailored to each patient’s unique condition, with surgical intervention reserved for specific cases where deemed necessary.