Back pain is a common cause of pain and disability in the U.S. and worldwide. At Prestige Emergency Room in San Antonio, TX, patients are carefully evaluated to ensure the underlying condition is properly diagnosed so the most appropriate back pain treatment can be provided for immediate and long-term relief of pain and other symptoms.
What causes lower back pain?
The back is a large area that comprises muscles, bones, joints, nerve and other tissues, each of which is subjected to strain and stress throughout the day. Even simple actions like long periods of standing or sitting or sleeping on a flimsy mattress can cause strain that can increase the chance of back pain. Of course, come causes of back pain are far worse, including degenerative diseases like arthritis, overuse issues like herniated discs, and traumatic injuries like car accidents and slip-and-fall accidents. Having a back pain diagnosis exam at the first sign of back pain is the key to helping symptoms resolve as quickly as possible as well as preventing future or more severe damage.
What is sciatica?
Sciatica is a condition that causes pain in the lower back that usually radiates down one or both legs. It occurs when one or both branches of the long sciatic nerve become compressed or impinged where they exit the spine, usually as the result of a “slipped” disc. Other symptoms of sciatica include numbness, burning sensations, tingling or weakness in the leg muscles.
What is cervical radiculopathy?
Cervical radiculopathy is a condition that occurs when a nerve becomes pinched or compressed in the neck area of the spine (the cervical spine). Like sciatica, cervical radiculopathy can cause local pain as well as pain, numbness, tingling and burning sensations extending into the shoulders, arms and hands. Without treatment, muscles become weak, and grip strength can be affected. Cervical radiculopathy is a common “side effect” of whiplash injuries from car accidents and falls.
How is back pain treated?
Often, back pain treatment includes medication to help relieve both pain and inflammation so the injured area can heal. Physical therapy can help restore strength and flexibility to the area. Sometimes, though, more invasive back pain treatments may be needed to repair damage in the spine. Before any back pain treatment, a comprehensive back pain diagnosis with imaging tests will be performed to help identify the underlying cause, so the most appropriate care can be provided.