What Are Some of the More Common Causes of Chronic Back Pain?

Are you tired of constantly battling chronic back pain? You’re not alone. Chronic pain can be debilitating, leaving many of our patients unable to complete even basic daily tasks. The good news is that the practitioners at our Greenville spine center can diagnose and treat your back pain.

Below, we’ll explore some of the more common causes of chronic back pain. We’ll also provide insights on how to alleviate and, where possible, prevent it.

What Is Chronic Back Pain?

Chronic back pain is any type of back pain that lasts for three or more months. It can occur in various parts of your back, but most commonly in the lower back.

The specific location of your pain will often depend on the cause. When you first meet with your doctor, they’ll run a series of diagnostic tests to determine the nature and extent of your condition.

Some of the more common causes of chronic back pain include:

  • Muscle strains: Muscle strains are a common cause of chronic back pain, especially in people who participate in activities that involve repetitive motions or heavy lifting.
  • Degenerative disc disease: This condition occurs when the discs that cushion the vertebrae begin to deteriorate. The resulting inflammation and nerve compression can lead to chronic back pain.
  • Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint condition that can affect the spine and other joints in the body. The resulting pain can be chronic and debilitating.
  • Spinal stenosis: Spinal stenosis is often found in older adults. It occurs when your spinal canal starts to narrow. This puts intense pressure on your nerves, causing intense and chronic back pain.
  • Muscle imbalances or weakness in the core muscles of the back and abdomen
  • Poor posture and alignment: If you don’t stand up straight, your back will not have the full support it needs. You need to remember that your back is responsible for many of your body’s movements. It’s under a lot of pressure.
  • Inactivity or a sedentary lifestyle: If you don’t get enough exercise, you’re bound to put on weight. Every extra pound you carry around puts a strain on your back. This can cause chronic back pain that gets worse the more weight you gain.
  • Obesity: People who are seriously overweight are almost guaranteed to suffer from chronic back pain. One piece of good news is that, if you lose weight, your back pain may dissipate or disappear altogether.
  • Aging: As we get older, our body gets run down and can no longer perform the way it used to. Sadly, chronic back pain is another side effect of growing older.

back pain can disrupt your everyday life

Diagnosing and Treating Chronic Back Pain

There are many potential causes of chronic back pain, so it is important to consult with a healthcare professional to get an accurate diagnosis.

Greenville Spine Center offers a variety of diagnostic tests to help identify the source of your pain, such as:

  • X-rays: X-rays can help rule out other causes of back pain such as fractures or arthritis.
  • CT scan: A CT scan can provide more detailed images of your spine than an X-ray.
  • MRI: An MRI can give even more detailed images of your spine and is often used to diagnose herniated discs or spinal stenosis.
  • Bone scan: A bone scan may be ordered if your X-rays and other tests do not show a clear cause of your back pain.

After undergoing these diagnostic tests, your doctor will be able to develop a treatment plan to address the source of your pain and help you find relief. Some common treatments for chronic back pain include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Medications
  • Epidural injections
  • Surgery

Physical therapy is often recommended as the first line of treatment for chronic back pain.

A physical therapist can help you identify and correct any biomechanical dysfunctions that may be contributing to your pain. They can also teach you exercises and stretching techniques to help alleviate your symptoms.

Will Your Doctor Prescribe You Medication?

If conservative measures like physical therapy fail to provide relief, your doctor may prescribe medication to help manage your pain. Commonly used medications include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), muscle relaxants, and opioid analgesics.

These medications can be helpful in reducing pain levels, but they come with the potential for side effects such as stomach upset, drowsiness, and constipation.

Are There Other Possible Treatments?

Many people report that they want to avoid medication if at all possible. This is especially true given the addictive nature of many narcotic pain medications.

Epidural injections are another option for treating chronic back pain. These shots are typically given in the lower back and deliver medication directly to the affected area.

The most commonly used medication for epidural injections is corticosteroids, which can help reduce inflammation and pain.

For some patients, surgery may be the best option. There are a variety of surgical procedures that can be used to treat back problems. However, as the practitioners at our injury center will confirm, surgery is a last resort.

Make an Appointment at Our Greenville Spine Center Today

If you’re suffering from chronic back pain, you have options. There’s no reason to suffer day in and day out. We suggest you contact our Greenville spine center and schedule your initial assessment.

Once we have a chance to examine you and run the necessary diagnostic tests, we’ll confirm your condition. From there, we will create a custom-tailored treatment plan to get you on the road to recovery.

All you have to do is call us at 864-535-0144 today and schedule your first appointment.