Back Pain and Treatment:
Back pain is one of the most common reasons for physician visits and can be an enormous obstacle to overcome. The lumbar spine is made like other spinal regions, with a disc in the front and two joints in the back, which make the shape of an equilateral triangle if viewed from above. This construct is what allows the back to move. The joints are aligned in a fashion that allows mostly forward and backward motion however. Muscles are on all sides to move the bones the way we may want.
Back pain may result from muscle strain after overuse, and this tends to resolve quickly. The most common places to have pain in the back are the discs and facet joints. If the nerve is involved there generally is pain that radiates into the thigh and leg. The disc itself may also produce pain. All of these pain locations can be identified by asking a few questions and performing a physical examination. Imaging can help confirm a diagnosis, but never is the diagnosis made from the MRI or other tests.
Provided treatments for the most common pain generators include flexibility exercises, mechanical traction, interventional techniques, or a combination that can produce the desired results. Epidural injections can often be quite helpful in helping nerve pain referring to the lower limb. Facet joint injections provide long-term relief of back pain as long as the overall mechanics are addressed as well. If the arthritis is severe, radio-frequency ablation of the back joints is an excellent method to obtain prolonged benefit.