Aarti A Singla, MD, MBA
Spine and Pain Management Specialist located in the Greater Cincinnati Area, West Chester and Anderson, OH
Back Pain Q & A
What might be causing my back pain?
Back pain develops for many reasons, from trauma and overuse to disease and the consequences of aging. If your back pain started suddenly, you might realize you hurt your back by moving awkwardly or lifting something too heavy. Sprains, strains, and whiplash from sports injuries and auto accidents are also common causes of back pain.
Back pain that develops slowly is likely to be due to a degenerative condition such as:
- Disc herniation
- Vertebral compression fractures
- Spondylosis (popping and crunching in the spine)
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spinal stenosis
These conditions might affect the cervical spine (neck) or lumbar spine (lower back) but are less common in the upper back (thoracic spine).
In many cases, the pain these conditions cause is due to radiculopathy – compression or damage to the spinal nerves. Sciatica, for instance, is lumbar radiculopathy, which is most often due to a herniated disc pressing on the sciatic nerve.
What treatments might ease my back pain?
Dr. Singla's personalized approach to your treatment for back pain could include several therapies, which are likely to be conservative to begin with.
Physical therapy is often a key component of back pain treatment, so Dr. Singla works closely with physical therapists, tailoring your rehabilitation to your specific needs. One of the approaches they use is impairment-based classification, which involves designing treatments based on your diagnosis in combination with the symptoms you're experiencing. Various physical therapy techniques can help with back pain, such as stretching and strengthening, core exercises, and neuromuscular reeducation and stabilization, which activates the deep muscles in your lower back.
Medication may be necessary to ease severe back pain and enable you to take part in your physical therapy program. You might also find ice and heat helpful.
What options are there if my back pain doesn't improve?
If conservative approaches aren't relieving your back pain, Dr. Singla offers a comprehensive selection of non-surgical treatments that could make a difference. These include:
- Epidural steroid injections
- Facet joint injections
- Medial branch blocks Facet joint blocks
- Radiofrequency ablation
- Spinal cord stimulation
For specific problems like vertebral compression fractures, Dr. Singla may recommend vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty to stabilize your spine. She works closely with orthopaedic specialists to restore function and improve back and neck pain.
If back pain is disrupting your life, schedule a consultation with Dr. Singla by calling today or book an appointment online.