Los Angeles’ Premier Pain Management Specialists located in Santa Monica, CA.

5 Common Causes of Back Pain

5 Common Causes of Back Pain

If back pain has got you down, you’re far from alone. Eighty percent of people experience back pain at some point, making it one of the most common ailments. Understanding the cause of your symptoms can help ensure that you get any treatment you need, as well as worthy comfort and ease. 

At California Pain Medicine Center in Santa Monica, California, expert pain management specialists, Dr. Joshua Prager and Dr. Gabriel Barnard, diagnose and treat back pain while aiming to pinpoint the underlying cause. 

1. Degenerative disc disease

Degenerative disc disease is a form of arthritis that stems from wear-and-tear of the cartilage in your spine. While most everyone can experience it, you may be more prone to this condition if you have a family history of spine issues, have had a spinal injury, or have spent a great deal of time lifting heavy objects. As cartilage wears down, the bones in your spine have less cushion and protection, which can result in back pain. 

2. Herniated disc

If your back pain derives from a herniated disc, it means that a part of the center of a disc has pushed outside of it and into your spinal canal. Also called a slipped or ruptured disc, this condition can occur in the early stages of degeneration. So if you’re on the road to degenerative disc disease, for example, you may notice pain from a herniated disc first. A herniated disc may also lead to sciatica.

3. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is another form of arthritis that can affect your spine, spurring chronic back pain. While osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease are sometimes used interchangeably to describe back arthritis, degenerative disc disease specifically involves discs in your spine. Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, causes inflammation of joints known as spinal facet joints.

4. Osteoporosis

Back pain associated with brittle, weak bones comes from osteoporosis. Osteoporosis can also make you more vulnerable to falls and fractures, which most commonly affect the hips, spine, or wrists. Osteoporosis can also cause a gradual loss of height and a stooped posture. Being female or having a small body frame can raise your risk for this condition, as can increasing age.

5. Spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis involves the narrowing of the bony openings within your spine. As these spaces narrow, nerves of your spine can become compressed, resulting in back pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness. While other types of back pain often feels like an ache, spinal stenosis pain may feel more electric-like and radiate into one of your arms or legs. The pain may also flare up during particular activities, such as lifting weights.

What to do about back pain

If you’re experiencing chronic or severe back pain, our team at California Pain Medicine Center can create a personalized treatment plan based on your specific needs. Depending on the cause and severity of your symptoms, we may recommend:

We can also go over lifestyle changes that may help and help you avoid surgery, especially if you schedule an exam sooner, rather than later.

To learn more about back pain or get the care you need, call our office or request an appointment through our website.  

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