Lower back pain is a prevalent problem in the United States — around 80% of Americans experience back pain at some point during their lives. If you have lower back pain that interferes with your life, contact the University Pain and Spine Center in Englewood Cliffs, Somerset, Monroe Township, Freehold, and Clark, New Jersey. The team offers expert diagnosis and state-of-the-art treatments to heal your back and relieve your pain. Call the University Pain and Spine Center, or make an appointment online today, for expert pain management services.

Where Lower Back Pain Begins

Some types of back pain are treated with over-the-counter medications and ointments. Your healthcare provider may recommend prescription medications, cortisone injections or physical therapy. If these methods are not effective, you may benefit from surgery to correct a problem in your spine.

When should I talk to a doctor about lower back pain?

Minor injuries, like muscle strain, if you overdid it at the gym, usually go away with a couple of days of rest and at-home care like heat, ice, and over-the-counter pain relievers. If your pain persists, contact the University Pain and Spine Center for diagnosis and treatment.

You should also make an appointment if your pain interferes with your mobility or ability to complete your everyday responsibilities.

How is the cause of lower back pain diagnosed?

The team at the University Pain and Spine Center provides comprehensive exams to identify the cause of your lower back pain. They begin by reviewing your symptoms, lifestyle, and medical history.

Your doctor examines your spine, hips, and buttocks for signs of injury or inflammation. They might ask you to walk around the office or perform some stretches so they can see how your pain limits your mobility and if any specific positions trigger your pain.

If necessary, the team orders diagnostic imaging studies like X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans to study the internal structures of your lower back in detail. In some cases, they use spine injections to help refine their diagnosis and pinpoint the location of your problem.

How is lower back pain treated?

The team at the University Pain and Spine Center offers a wide range of innovative treatments for back pain. Depending on your condition, your treatment plan might include:

  • Spine injections
  • Physical therapy
  • Nerve blocks
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Vertiflex® Superion® Indirect Decompression System
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Coflex™ interspinous stabilization
  • Intradiscal electrothermal therapy
  • Intrathecal pump implants
  • Kyphoplasty
  • Spinal fusion
  • Discectomy
  • Spinal cord stimulator

If you have lower back pain that interferes with your life, call the University Pain and Spine Center, or make an appointment online today, for expert diagnosis and state-of-the-art treatment.

What causes lower back pain?

Your lower back provides support and stability to your upper body, allowing you to twist and bend. It also absorbs shock with every step you take. As a result, your lower back, also called the lumbar spine, is vulnerable to a variety of injuries and degenerative conditions.

Some of the common causes of lower back pain include:

  • Muscle strains
  • Connective tissue injuries
  • Herniated discs
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Compression fractures

Many patients think that sciatica is a back injury. Sciatica is actually the collective term for a group of symptoms caused by sciatic nerve compression.

In addition to lower back pain, sciatica includes pain that radiates into your legs, numbness, tingling sensations, and muscle weakness. Depending on the location of your sciatic nerve compression, you can have symptoms on one or both sides of your body.