There is a reason that upwards of 80 percent of all adults will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives.[i] Much of it has to do with the anatomy of the lower (lumbar) spine.
This area bears much of the weight of the upper body before transferring it to the pelvis. This includes the weight of all of the upper body’s bones (including the skull) as well as the organs (lungs, heart, kidney, liver, etc…)
Also, the lumbar facet joints, the small, cartilage-lined points of contact where each individual backbone (vertebra) meets the one above and below it, are vertical and not designed to bear load.[ii]
Acute cases of lower back pain are often caused by muscle or ligament strains from repeated heavy lifting or awkward movements. They come on suddenly and often resolve themselves with basic care such as over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, continued movement to avoid stiffness, and heat or ice therapy.
But chronic lower back pain, that which last for several months and does not resolve with basic treatment, might be caused by a number of conditions, including:
There are several treatments available to help patients who suffer from chronic lower back pain. These include:
These treatments are performed under local anesthetic and do not require hospitalization or lengthy rehabilitation time. Many patients experience pain relief very quickly. These interventions should be performed by a qualified pain management specialist who understands the best course of treatment based on the specific cause of the patient’s pain and the degree of pain they are in.
Dr. Skaribas is double board certified in Pain Medicine and Anesthesiology and has more than 25 years of experience performing minimally invasive treatments to address chronic pain. He was one of the first physicians in the United States to perform Vertiflex. Having performed more Vertiflex procedures than anyone else in the Houston area, he now instructs other physicians on how to perform the treatment.
[i] American Chiropractic Association: Back Pain Facts and Statistics
[ii] Physiotherapy Clinic: Spinal Anatomy