Could Your Lower Back Pain be a Symptom of Something Else?

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According to a recent study by the Mayo Clinic, the third leading cause of trips to the doctor is back pain. As many as 31 million Americans are suffering from back pain at any given time, with 80% of us experiencing back pain at some time in our lives. And while the most common cause of lower back pain is a strain or sprain due to an injury at work, while exercising, or doing something around the house, lower back pain can sometimes have a more serious cause. That’s why at Ospina Medical in New York City, NY, Dr. Matthew Kohler and Dr. Rajivan Maniam, along with their expert staff, provide the latest testing and diagnosis to pinpoint the cause of your lower back pain and treat it.

We’re going to tell you more about some of the more serious causes of lower back pain, when you should see a doctor, and how to get relief.

What are the most common causes of lower back pain?

Muscle and ligament sprains or strains are the two most common causes of lower back pain. They may have you laid up for a day or two, followed by a week of taking NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) with some stiffness and soreness.

Usually, with a little rest, ice, heat packs, and some stretching, you get over the lower back pain and back into your routine. But if you experience lower back pain that persists for more than 2 - 3 weeks, or worsens to become severe pain, it could be a sign of something more serious than a strain or sprain.

How do I know if my lower back pain is something more serious?

When your lower back pain is more than just a strain or a sore back, there are few warning signs that indicate it may be something more serious. These signs include:

  • Severe back pain that doesn’t improve with rest
  • Pain, tingling, or numbness that spreads into the legs
  • Weakness in the legs
  • Difficulty passing urine or stool
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fever
  • The pain follows a fall, impact to your spine, or other serious injury

If you have any of these symptoms alongside severe back pain, you should consult your physician for an examination right away.

What else can cause lower back pain?

At Ospina Medical in New York City, Dr. Kohler and Dr. Maniam provide full testing and diagnosis to determine if your lower back pain is being caused by a sprain or strain, or a more serious condition. If you have severe or chronic lower back pain, some of the causes could include:

  • Degenerative disc disease – The spinal discs which act as shock absorbers between the vertebrae can experience deterioration from injury or wear prematurely, causing the spinal discs to slip or rupture.
  • Lumbar radiculopathy (sciatica) - A pinched nerve refers to compression of a nerve anywhere along its course outside the spinal cord. Typically, patients describe a “pinched” nerve when it is being compressed by a herniated disc as the nerve exits the neuroforamen of the spine. This is also called sciatica. It can cause shooting, tingling pains to go down into the buttocks and legs.
  • Osteoarthritis/spondylosis - Lumbar facet arthritis or lumbar spondylosis refers to degenerative conditions that affect the small facet joints of our lumbar spine. The facet joints are the joint structures that connect the vertebrae to one another.

There are many other back and spinal issues that can cause lower back pain; that’s why it’s always recommended that you see a doctor for any lower back pain that is chronic or persists for longer than a month.

In some cases, lower back pain can be caused by serious medical conditions, including kidney disease, cancer, and others.

How can I get relief for my lower back pain in New York City?

At Ospina Medical, Dr.Matthew Kohler and Dr. Rajivan Maniam provide relief for lower back pain, whether it is due to a minor sprain or a more serious medical condition. Your treatment is custom-tailored to your specific needs to restore function with minimally invasive techniques and treatments employing the latest, cutting-edge technologies. If you’re in the New York City area, contact Ospina Medical today to learn more and schedule a consultation. Let us help you achieve the virtually pain-free life you deserve.

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