Could My Lower Back Pain be a Back Sprain?

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As we get older, joint pain or discomfort ebbs and flows daily, and it seems like a way of life. However, any untreated spinal pain that persists, gradually worsens, or causes debility should be properly assessed and treated by an expert so you can continue on with your life uninterrupted. At Ospina Medical in NYC, NY, board-certified anesthesiologist Dr. Matthew Kohler offers anesthesiological and pain medicine services and can skillfully alleviate patients’ neck and back pain.

What causes lower back pain?

The back is made up of several vertebrae, nerves, and muscles that work together to provide the body with postural stability. Common movements, such as twisting, lifting, and bending, over many years can overstress any of these bodily networks, causing back pain or discomfort. Back pain can be a complex issue to diagnose, since there are multiple root causes that can occur alone or concurrently. Some common causes include:

  • Overuse injuries
  • Injuries resulting from poor body mechanics or positioning
  • Trauma-related injuries
  • Degenerative disease to the nerves, muscles, bones, or soft tissue

At Ospina Medical, Dr. Kohler utilize detailed assessment tools to determine specific causes and to create effective, customized treatment plans.

Could my lower back pain be a back sprain?

If your back pain has resulted from a traumatic or overuse injury, it’s possible that you have incurred a back sprain. The muscles and soft tissues of the back are small and highly susceptible to disease or injury. Back sprains generally result from sudden or improper twisting, bending, lifting, or overexertion. However, signs and symptoms of a back sprain frequently mimic other back-related medical conditions that cause spinal pain, such as herniated discs, arthritis, or pinched nerves.

What are some common medical conditions that cause back pain?

There is a lengthy list of injuries and medical conditions that cause back pain throughout the spine, including:

  • Spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative disc disease (DDD)
  • Herniated disc or disc bulge
  • Lumbar radiculopathy (pinched nerve)
  • Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
  • Sacroiliac joint disease
  • Vertebral compression fracture

Back pain can result from injury, overuse, failed surgeries, or other musculoskeletal/ neurological disorders, like:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Stroke
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Parkinson’s disease

Dr. Kohler will review your personal and medical histories so you can obtain the best treatment possible.

What causes neck pain?

Since the neck is the cervical portion of the spine, common causes of neck pain are similar to those that cause back pain: overuse injury, poor body mechanics, or other underlying medical conditions that directly or indirectly impact the spine. Many people may experience neck pain for the following reasons:

  • Whiplash injury or other sudden, forceful movements of the spine
  • Hunched positioning for a lengthy period of time
  • Strain from lifting or bending frequently
  • Joint inflammation from arthritis
  • Pinched nerves or nerve roots in the spine
  • Cervical muscle sprain or tear
  • Fracture of the cervical vertebrae

Neck pain is uniquely experienced by each individual and can range in severity depending on the root cause and the individual’s pain tolerance. New or unexplained neck pain can also indicate a serious medical issue, which should be addressed as soon as possible.

How are neck and back pain assessed?

At Ospina Medical, Dr. Kohler use multiple assessment tools, combined with observation and reviewing your medical history, to examine your spinal pain symptoms, including:

  • Manual muscle testing to evaluate muscle strength
  • Joint range of motion in the spine
  • Subjective pain scale
  • Imaging or scans to internally assess the problem
  • Sensation testing to assess damaged or pinched nerves

What treatments are available for neck and back pain?

Each treatment plan is customized and based on your personal goals, current pain levels, and specific loss of function. Our treatment options may include some or all of the following:

  • Advanced physical therapy
  • Spinal cord stimulation
  • Steroid or epidural injections
  • Image-guided procedures to inject bone marrow concentrate
  • PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy to stimulate natural healing

Could neck and back pain go away on their own?

With appropriate repositioning techniques, rest breaks, and strengthening exercises, acute neck and back pain can potentially diminish on its own without advanced treatment. Patients who are living with unexpected or chronic spinal pain that won’t go away with home-based lifestyle changes and exercise should seek out expert advice.

Where to go to learn more about treatment options for neck and back pain

If you reside in or around New York City, NY and are living with neck or back pain, and would like to investigate innovative treatment options, contact Ospina Medical and schedule a consultation today. Dr. Matthew Kohler works with patients to identify root causes and help them develop personalized treatment plans to reduce their pain and improve their quality of life.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.