Understanding Back Pain

Back Pain

Back Pain is a common complaint, affecting up to 70% of adults in their lifetimes. Regardless of age, it’s significantly more common among adults aged between 35 and 55. Research shows that back pain may be painful and uncomfortable. Back pain can cause a significant physical and emotional drain on an individual and hamper one's quality of life. Symptoms include muscle aches, shooting or stabbing pain in the back, burning pain that radiates down your leg, and limited flexibility or range of motion. Most adults will experience an episode of back pain at some point in their lives. The tendency to develop back pain increases with age, and so, as we live longer, and maintain increasingly sedentary lifestyles, the incidence of back pain in the population grows. It is important that individuals suffering from back pain understand the nature of their symptoms and the treatment options available to them.

Understanding the Symptoms of Back Pain


Common Causes of Back Pain

  1. Strain: The human back comprises a complex structure ligaments, muscles, tendons, bones, and disks. Segments of the spine are also cushioned with cartilage-like pads.  Straining, lifting, and awkward movement of any of these components can lead to muscle spasm, compression, and pain.

  2. Structural problems: The human back's structural components might rapture, bulge, or abnormally curve the spine and its discs. When these structural issues occure, there will be more pressure on nerves resulting in back pain.

  3. Everyday activities or poor posture: An individual’s daily activities lead to poor posture habits being acquired. Poor postures include; bending awkwardly, carelessly pushing, pulling, and lifting things, overly tensing muscles, standing for long periods, sitting in hunched position for a long time as when driving, and bending down for long periods. All of these poor biomechanics can eventually make one strain the back, leading to back pain.

  4. Spasms, Inflammation, and Compression: Spasms are involuntary contractions of muscles and can result from poor posture, overexertion, trauma, and weakness in the core. Inflammation of the muscles and ligaments is the body’s natural swelling response to injury and disease. It can indicate an underlying issue, which ought to be treated, but can also present a problem in itself. Spasms and inflammation can place undue stress on the musculoskeletal and neurological structures of the back, causing pain, or can be painful in their own right. Compression of the spinal discs either mechanically or due to spams and inflammation, can also contribute to back pain.

  5. Arthritis

  6. Osteoporosis

  7. Chronic Illnesses: Diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other chronic illnesses can contribute a “degenerative cascade,” in which there is a negative interplay of the muscle, bone, cardiovascular, nerve, and ligament tissues. Such conditions can increase the risk of back pain and its severity.

  8. Cancer of the spine: If there is a tumor located on the spine, it may press against a nerve, resulting in pain. Any small discomfort the spine nerves get results to back pain due to the interruption of their compatibility. This will include infections of the spine.

  9. Other causes: Sleep disorders, bad mattresses, drug abuse.



 A pain management specialist has a number of diagnostic tools at their disposal:

Lifestyle Changes



Treatment Options

In addition to lifestyle changes, a common first approach is the ordering of a course of physical therapy, which can help to control some symptoms. When lifestyle changes or physical therapy fail to achieve the desired results, a pain management specialist can provide a patient with a number of options suited to their particular medical history and symptoms. The physicians at New York Neurology Associates believe in a holistic and generally conservative approach to treating back pain, combining lifestyle changes with minimally invasive procedures, and minimizing the use of oral medication when other methods are available. The focus is on eliminating pain in a minimally-invasive manner in order to avoid the need for surgery and medications that often cause side effects. Below are some treatments offered at New York Neurology Associates:

Pain Management 

The pain management specialists at New York Neurology Associates use a holistic approach where all potential modalities to alleviate pain are incorporated into a treatment plan throughout a patient's life. Any changes to patients’ symptoms will be addressed on an ongoing basis. Integrating lifestyle changes with a range of treatment options allows the patient to minimize degeneration and lay the ground for improvement.

 If you or a loved one suffers from back pain, call New York Neurology Associates for more information at (646) 679-6609, or schedule a consultation by clicking the link below.



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NY Neurologists

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