Do you find it tough to lift those bags of groceries out of your car? Does bending over to get the newspaper at the end of your driveway cause you to cringe? You’re not alone.
Back pain is one of the most common reasons people seek medical attention. In fact, nearly 8 out of 10 people experience back pain at some point in their lives. Most episodes improve over time and with simple treatments, there are more serious causes of spinal pain that need the attention of a doctor.
Many lifestyle factors – including obesity, smoking and lack of exercise – impact spinal health and can cause pain. Nonsurgical treatments such as physical therapy, medication, and behavioral changes can help you overcome pain and return to an active life. In some cases, interventional options such as injections or surgery may be needed.
“Those who are experiencing severe back pain caused by a spinal issue may choose to undergo spinal surgery, but that is something that should be a mutual decision between the surgeon and the patient,” explains Maria Guglielmo, MD, chief of neurosurgery at Kent Hospital. “The impact that back pain and disability has on the patient’s life plays a major role in determining whether spinal surgery is the right option.”
Common medical conditions can also affect the spine, including:
- Lumbar strain and muscular pain.
- Intervertebral disc degeneration and disc herniation.
- Facet joint arthritis and spondylosis.
- Structural deformities such as scoliosis, spondylolisthesis, and kyphosis.
- Arthritic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.
- Spinal stenosis causing nerve pain.
- Spinal fractures from trauma or weak bones caused by osteoporosis or tumors.
While some of these conditions might be hard to pronounce, the bottom line is you shouldn’t have to live with constant back pain. To find out what’s causing your spine pain and how to treat it, please visit carenewengland.org/spine or call 401-737-9950.