Back Pain Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

Back Pain Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

Experiencing back pain is quite common, so much that many have grown accustomed to living in pain with no relief. In fact, eight out of 10 people will experience back pain at least once throughout their lives, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Back pain can come on quickly in sharp, stabbing pains, or it can come on as a gradual, dull ache that lasts for years. Regardless of how your pain begins, it’s important to pay attention to certain pain symptoms that you shouldn’t ignore.

Common symptoms of back pain

In some cases, back pain isn’t serious and will go away within a couple weeks’ time. Common symptoms of back pain may include:

  • Stiff or sore feelings along the spine, from the neck to the tailbone
  • Sudden, localized pain in the neck or back that often occurs after heavy lifting or laborious activity
  • Persistent ache in the mid to low back after prolonged standing or sitting
  • Difficulty standing without pain or muscle spasms in the back

When to see a doctor

Other types of back pain are serious and should be evaluated and treated by a doctor. It’s important to seek medical attention if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Pain doesn’t subside after a few days of rest, ice, or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications
  • Tingling, numbness or weakness in the groin, arms or legs; which can be a sign of spinal cord damage (seek immediate medical assistance)
  • Radiating back pain that extends down the buttock to the back of the leg and into toes, which is a sign of sciatica
  • Pain is exacerbated by coughing or bending over forward at the waist, which is sign of a herniated disc
  • Pain involves a fever, burning while urinating, or frequent and/or urgent urination, which can be a sign of an infection
  • Difficulty with bowel or bladder control (seek immediate medical assistance)
  • Pain in an area of a previous injury of surgery
  • Relentless pain or pain that worsens over time
  • Pain associated with bruising or pressure
  • Pain is involved with excessive swelling or a deformity
  • Decreased range of motion

Back pain can manifest itself in many forms. But the spine specialists at Spine Surgery of Idaho offer advanced diagnostics and state-of-the-art techniques to effectively treat your pain. It’s time you stop living with pain. Call (208) 944-0056 to schedule an appointment today.

Back Pain Treatment: What Are Your Options?

Back Pain Treatment: What Are Your Options?

Back pain is one of the most common pain conditions among Americans, affecting millions of people every year. Back pain can prevent you from participating in activities you love and even make it difficult to complete your normal daily routine.

What causes back pain?

Back pain can occur suddenly and be brought on by a variety of factors, sometimes even without a specific cause. The most common form is acute back pain, which lasts under six weeks. The lesser common form is chronic back pain, which lasts more than three months. Back pain can be brought on by a few conditions, including:

  • Muscle or ligament strain
  • Bulging or ruptured disks
  • Skeletal abnormalities
  • Osteoporosis
  • Arthritis

Back pain can be felt in different ways. You may experience muscle aches, sharp shooting pain, radiating pain, or limited flexibility or range of motion.

How is back pain diagnosed?

An accurate diagnosis is crucial to developing a successful treatment plan. Diagnostic tests and techniques that may be used to identify the source of your pain may include:

  • Magnetic resonance image (MRI)
  • Nerve blocks and epidural injections
  • Computerized tomography (CT)
  • Bone density scan
  • Dynamic X-ray
  • Myelography
  • Discograms

What are the most common forms of treatment?

Your diagnosis will help your doctor to determine which pain treatment method will be best for your condition. The spine specialists at Spine Surgery of Idaho will explore noninvasive or minimally invasive treatment techniques before suggesting more advanced surgical options. Some treatment options may include:

Physical therapy or massage

Physical therapy or massage can help to build and recondition the muscles and tendons at the pain source, allowing you to move more freely with less pain. Physical therapy may include applying heat or cold, or performing certain exercises.

Medications

Sometimes, certain medications may help to ease back pain. After a thorough exam and diagnosis, your doctor may recommend pain medications for relief.

Injections

Injections to help relieve pain may be the right treatment option for you. Injections contain a local anesthetic and/or steroid to help temporarily treat and/or locate the source of the pain.

Surgery

Surgery is typically the last treatment option explored. Surgery is sometimes necessary to permanently treat your back pain at its source. There are many surgical treatments available, which will depend on your specific condition.

If you’re tired of suffering from back pain, call the spine specialists at Spine Surgery of Idaho today at (208) 844-0056 to schedule a consultation.

The Most Common Types of Spine Surgery

The Most Common Types of Spine Surgery

Deciding to have spine surgery can be a difficult choice to make. Usually, spine surgery is recommended only after nonsurgical treatments have been unsuccessful. Learning about your treatment options is one of the best ways to make the right decision for your health.

Benefits of spine surgery

The most important and obvious benefit to spine surgery is to get relief from chronic back pain when other treatments have failed. Most pain will reduce after surgery and recovery. The benefits of reduced pain will include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Increased range of motion
  • Increased activity
  • Improved mood
  • Reduced dependence on pain medication
  • Increased productivity
  • Ability to work again

Risks involved with spine surgery

Most patients who have spine surgery won’t experience any complications during or after their procedures, but with every surgical procedure comes some degree of risk. Some risk factors include:

  • Reaction to anesthesia or other drugs
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Recurrent disc herniation
  • Nerve damage

Most common types of spine surgery

There are many types of spine surgery. The type of procedure you may need will depend on your condition and its severity. They include:

  • Spinal fusion – The most common form of spine surgery, spinal fusion involves surgically joining the spinal bones (vertebrae) together, restricting the motion between the bones and preventing the stretching of the nerves.
  • Laminectomy – Laminectomy consists of removal of parts of the bone (lamina) in order to relieve pressure on the nerves that could be the source of pain or weakness. Sometimes spinal fusion is performed along with a laminectomy for further spinal support.
  • Foraminotomy – A foraminotomy surgery involves enlarging the nerve openings on the side of the vertebrae in order to widen the gap through which nerve roots exit the spine. This can help relieve pressure on the nerves for reduction — or elimination — of pain.
  • Discectomy – A discectomy involves removing part or all of a slipped or herniated disc to relieve pressure on a spinal nerve.
  • Disc replacement – To help improve motion and relieve pain in the spine, an artificial disc can replace a damaged spinal disc.
  • Interlaminar implant – An interlaminar implant is a device placed in between two vertebrae to help support and maintain the space in between. This is an alternative to spinal fusion in select patients.

In some cases, patients will not experience a reduction in spinal pain after their surgery. It’s highly recommended to explore nonsurgical options prior to choosing spine surgery. For more information, call the spine specialists at Spine Surgery of Idaho today at (208) 944-0056 to schedule an appointment.