Do you have back pain? You aren’t alone. Around 80% to 90% of Americans deal with back pain at some point in their life.
Any part of your back can ache, whether it’s your upper, middle, or lower back. Pain in the back can be acute (sudden and brief) or chronic (persistent, lasting more than 3 to 6 months). Acute back pain usually gets better on its own, but chronic back pain can get so bad that it prevents you from living your daily life normally. At that point, it’s time for medical intervention.
Let’s talk about the common causes of back pain, how to deal with it, and where you can go to get expert care from a spine surgeon in Colorado Springs.
Common Causes of Back Pain
Back pain can be due to any problem with the spine, muscles, and other tissue of your back. The most common spine-related causes of back pain include:
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Spondylolisthesis (slipped vertebrae)
- Herniated disk (slipped disk)
- Degenerative disk disease
- Spinal stenosis
- Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
- Trauma or injury to the spine
- Tumor on or near the spine
Ways To Deal with Back Pain
Most mild cases of back pain are due to straining your back muscles. With a little rest and at-home remedies, this kind of back pain usually goes away quickly. After your strain, use a cold pack for the first two days or so to reduce swelling. Then, alternate between a heating pack and a cold pack to relieve pain and promote healing. Over-the-counter pain relief medication can also be used, and make sure to get plenty of rest and fluid. It’s best not to resume the activity that caused your back strain until you are pain-free.
While mild cases of back pain can be treated with rest, ice, and heat, some cases require additional types of treatment. It is important to see a doctor if your pain does not improve with at-home remedies.
When To See a Doctor For Back Pain
You must see a health care professional if you have:
- Weakness in the legs
- Numbness and/or tingling in your legs, buttock, or anus
- Swelling in your back
- Back pain that radiates down your one or both legs
Back Pain Evaluation
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, evaluate your health history, and run some diagnostic tests. This includes X-rays, MRI, CT scans, or bone scans to determine the cause of your pain and help the doctor give you a precise diagnosis.
You can also directly visit a spine surgeon with a complaint of back pain in order to get a quicker diagnosis and treatment plan.
What Does a Spine Surgeon Do?
A common misconception about spine surgeons is that they only treat patients with surgery. However, the truth is, that spine surgeons recommend nonsurgical spine treatments first, as most patients find relief from these conservative treatment methods. These nonsurgical back pain treatments include:
- Prescription medications
- Physical therapy
- Lifestyle adjustments
- Epidural injections
- Chiropractic adjustment
In instances where nonsurgical treatments fail to fix the problem or relieve symptoms, surgery is the only option. Depending on the reason for your back pain, your spine surgeon may perform surgeries like:
- Spinal fusion – fusing two or more vertebrae
- Discectomy – disk removal
- Disk arthroplasty – disk replacement
- Laminectomy – removal of bone from vertebrae
- Foraminotomy – enlarging the passageway where nerves pass through vertebrae to relieve nerve compression
- Spine tumor surgery
Spine Surgeon Colorado Springs, CO
At Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery, our highly experienced and skilled spine surgeons are committed to providing you individualized, comprehensive, and evidence-based care for a wide range of problems in your nervous system, including the spine and back pain. We also offer minimally invasive spine surgeries to provide you faster relief with a short recovery period.
To schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified spine surgeons, give us a call at (303) 790-1800 or use our online form to request an appointment today. We look forward to treating you and getting you back to your life pain-free!