To treat lower back pain (LBP), it is important to know the cause. Adults with lower back pain are encouraged to read on.
Lower Back Pain Common Cause #1: Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic disease characterized by the degeneration of the cartilage that covers bone and allows joints to move smoothly and properly.
Illustration 1- The facet joints
The facet joints of the lumbar spine are responsible for connecting and moving adjacent vertebrae. When the facet joints are affected by osteoarthritis, lower back pain typically presents. Severe osteoarthritis may cause facet joint bone spurs to develop. Bone spurs that pinch the spinal nerve roots that exit the lumbar vertebrae can cause tingling, burning, or numbness in the lower back and/or lower extremities.
Lower Back Pain Common Cause #2: A Herniated Disc
Adjacent lumbar vertebrae are separated by intervertebral discs. The discs are made up of an outer fibrous ring and an inner gel-like nucleus. Each disc has the important job of the evenly distributing the load placed on adjacent vertebrae. When a disc herniates or slips, it may protrude into the spinal canal, compress a spinal nerve root, and cause lower back pain.
Illustration 2- A normal vs. a herniated disc
Lower Back Pain Common Cause #3: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
The spinal canal is a structure that allows the spinal cord to run from the skull to the pelvis. The canal is formed by the perfect alignment of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar vertebrae. When the canal narrows in the lumbar region, a condition known as lumbar spinal stenosis develops. In its initial stages, lumbar spinal stenosis may not be painful. However, advanced lumbar spinal stenosis may cause the spinal canal to narrow to the point where the spinal cord becomes compressed and lower back pain occurs.
Illustration 3- The spinal canal narrows and the spinal cord is compressed
Seeking Treatment for Lower Back Pain
Pain that is caused by osteoarthritis, a herniated disc, or spinal stenosis is treatable. The most effective treatment occurs when the condition is diagnosed in its early stages. For this reason, patients who are experiencing lower back pain that will not go away on its own are advised to make an appointment with an Orthopedic Spine Specialist as soon as possible in our Glen Rock or Maywood, NJ offices
The spine specialists at New Jersey Spinal Medicine and Surgery treat conditions of the cervical and lumbar spine using both non-surgical and surgical modalities. New Jersey Spinal Medicine and Surgery is led by Dr. Dante Implicito and Dr. John Koerner. Both physicians have extensive training and experience in the utilization of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery techniques as well as non-surgical techniques. Our doctors are regarded as New Jersey’s leading experts in Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery.
Once your condition has been evaluated and diagnosed, a treatment plan will be made and you’ll be given all the information you need to make a decision that’s right for you. Remember, the road to recovery starts when you walk through our doors.