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Back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide. However, before treating back pain, it is vital to know the underlying cause. The highly skilled NJ Spine and Wellness team specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of back pain to help our patients get better faster.

What Causes Back Pain?

Back pain can arise for a variety of reasons and can be classified into two types: acute and chronic. Acute back pain is pain that resolves within six weeks and usually develops as a result of a minor fall or injury. Chronic pain is less common and lasts longer than three months. This condition will likely require the use of an imaging test to locate the source. 

Whether your back pain is acute or chronic, understanding the root of your discomfort is the first step to mitigating your pain. The following are some common causes of both acute and chronic back pain.

Herniated Discs 

Typically caused by wear and tear, herniated or slipped discs occur when the soft gel-like tissue of a disc bulges out and compresses the surrounding nerves, leading to pain and discomfort.

Spine Fractures

If you break a section of your spine due to a sudden force to your back or a fall, you may experience severe back pain. You can also develop a compression fracture in your spine if your bones become brittle or porous due to osteoporosis.

Injured Tissues 

When the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support your spine become sprained, torn, or strained, it can lead to considerable back pain. An injury may occur due to a car accident, a fall, or a sports injury.

Degenerative Disc Disease

As you get older, the intervertebral discs that absorb shock between your spine’s vertebrae gradually shrink and tear. With less cushioning between the vertebrae, the bones may rub together, causing friction and pain. 

Arthritis 

The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis, is a wear-and-tear degenerative condition that can negatively impact the spinal cord over time. Most frequently, osteoarthritis can cause a narrowing of the passageway surrounding the spinal cord, also known as spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis can lead to significant weakness, pain, and loss of sensation in the back. 

Sciatica 

Also known as lumbar radiculopathy, sciatica is a condition that involves the sciatic nerve. When the sciatic nerve is pinched or compressed, it becomes inflamed and leads to pain radiating down the back and legs.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a condition that occurs when the foramina in the spine narrows, putting pressure on the spinal nerves and leading to a range of symptoms. Spinal stenosis can worsen over time, so early treatment is essential.

Diagnosing Back Pain

When visiting NJ Spine and Wellness for your back pain, our team first conducts a comprehensive evaluation to diagnose the source of your discomfort. During your evaluation, your provider will review your symptoms and medical history and perform a physical. The physical will assess your ability to stand, walk, sit, and lift your legs. To get more details about the source of your pain, your specialists may recommend further testing, such as: 

  • X-ray
  • CT scan
  • Electromyography
  • Bone scan
  • MRI 

The experts at NJ Spine and Wellness then use the information gathered from your assessment and tests to formulate an accurate diagnosis.

Treatment for Back Pain 

Once the source of your back pain has been diagnosed, the team at NJ Spine and Wellness uses a multidisciplinary approach to craft a personalized treatment plan. Your treatment may include various kinds of conservative techniques to cause minimal disruption to your life while providing the best chance of relieving your pain.

Take The First Step Towards Getting Better, Faster

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