Low Back Pain

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Low back pain is a very common complaint patients have. The good news is that most low back pain goes away on its own even without treatment. However, some back pain does not go away and continues to cause functional limitations for some patients.

The doctor initially may order anti-inflammatory and physical therapy as tolerated to treat your back pain.

If the ache does not go away the physician may order an X-ray or an MRI of the lumbar spine to further investigate the causes of the back pain.

After that, the doctor will put the history, physical exam and radiology reports together  to come up with differential diagnosis which may include, but not limited to, the following causes

  • Muscle spasm
  • Disc issues (Herniation, tear, desiccation, etc…)
  • Facet joint (spinal column joints) arthritis
  • Sacroiliac joint arthritis and
  • Other causes 

The treatment will depend on the cause (or causes) of the pain which will include but not limited to:

  1. Medication management
  2. Decompression table treatment, 
  3. Injections (lumbar epidural steroid injections, Facet joint injection, Sacroiliac joint injection, etc)
  4. Referrals if needed to other specialty physicians, such as surgical referral.

Symptoms That Require Urgent Care

  1. Severe back pain after a fall or injury 
  2. Loss of bowel or bladder control, numbness in the groin area, leg weakness, fever
  3. A history of cancer, unintentional weight loss, long-term steroid use, weak immune system, history of IV drug use.

This article is for informational use only not intended to provide medical advice.

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