An estimated 30 million Americans live with persistent back pain, making it one of the most common forms of chronic pain. Lower back pain, in particular, is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and a frequent reason for missed work in the United States. At The Spine Institute of Southeast Texas in Pearland, Houston, and Lake Jackson, Texas, Dr. Thomas Jones II has the diagnostic tools to uncover the underlying cause of your pain and the expertise to apply the right treatment. If you’re looking for long-term back pain relief, call or book your appointment online today.
Your spine is a complex structure made up of bones, joints, discs, ligaments, and nerves. When something is wrong with any part of this structure, even simple movements can lead to stiffness, discomfort, or pain.
Some of the most common causes of chronic back pain are:
Discs are rubbery layers of cartilage that cushion the bones of your spine. When a disc ruptures in your lower back, it leaks material that can irritate nearby spinal nerves and cause searing back pain that may radiate down one of your legs.
Osteoarthritis is an age-related condition that causes the breakdown of cartilage in your spinal joints, which often leads to lower back pain. Spinal stenosis, or the age-related narrowing of the spinal canal, can cause back pain as well as sciatic nerve pain.
Lumbar spondylosis, or the degeneration of spinal discs over time, is another age-related cause of chronic lower back pain.
Heavy lifting, sudden movements, or traumatic falls can cause painful microscopic tears in the muscles or ligaments in your back. When a back injury also causes nerve or tendon damage, it can lead to inflammation and persistent back pain that worsens with time.
Lower back pain that radiates into your buttocks may be a symptom of sacroiliac (SI) joint strain, damage, or dysfunction.
Sitting at a desk or standing for long periods of time can result in chronic lower back pain, particularly if you have poor posture or wear unsupportive shoes.
Men and women of all ages experience back pain, but it’s most common among middle-aged and older adults. Some of the factors that increase your chances of developing chronic lower back pain also act to exacerbate the problem once it exists. These include:
Smoking can contribute to chronic back pain, too, because it reduces the number of nutrients and oxygen that reach your spinal discs.
To formulate a treatment plan that addresses your back pain at its root, Dr. Jones performs a comprehensive diagnostic investigation to determine the underlying cause of your problem.
For many adults with chronic lower back pain, anti-inflammatory pain relievers, epidural steroid injections, and targeted physical therapy exercises can go a long way in reducing inflammation and alleviating discomfort.
Back pain that doesn’t respond well to non-invasive methods can often be treated successfully with surgery. Whenever possible, Dr. Jones uses minimally invasive endoscopic surgical techniques for minimal disruption to surrounding tissues and faster post-surgery recovery.
If you’ve been living with back pain for far too long, call The Spine Institute of Southeast Texas or schedule an appointment online today.