Low Back Pain

What Causes Lower Back Pain?

While there are a variety of causes for lower back pain, the majority of them result from the natural degeneration of parts of the spine. In some cases, causes are from overuse or acute injury such as lifting, bending or twisting the wrong way.

Lower back pain may be caused by:

  • Sprains and Strains: a tearing or stretching of the ligaments, the tissue which connects the two bones together within the joints. A strain is a stretching or tearing in the muscles or tendons. Tendons are the strands of tissue that connect muscles to the bones.
  • Over-activity: One of the most common causes of lower back pain, over-activity can result in injured or stretched muscles or ligaments. The stiffness and pain caused by over-activity generally resolves itself within a few days
  • Disc Herniation: Also known as slipped disc, disc herniation occurs when the soft-jelly-like center of the spinal disc leaks through a crack in the tough exterior, putting pressure on the spinal nerves. Disc herniation is commonly caused by lifting, bending, twisting or pulling movements.
  • Disc Degeneration: is part of aging and causes the spinal discs to shrink. In some cases, the space between the vertebrae may collapse, resulting in spinal stenosis.
  • Degenerative Spondylolisthesis; is a condition in which the natural aging of the spine makes it difficult for the ligaments and joints to keep the vertebrae in the proper position. As a result, the vertebrae slide forward on top of one another, pressing on the spinal nerves.
  • Spinal Stenosis; is a condition where the space around the spinal cord becomes narrow, putting pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. This occurs when the spinal discs collapse and the spine attempts to stabilize itself by producing bony protrusions known as bone spurs. The growth of these spurs causes the spinal canal to narrow.
  • Scoliosis; is a spinal deformity resulting in a curvature of the spine. The inflammation and stenosis from this condition may cause pain in the lower back and legs.
  • Spinal Fractures: Compression, burst, flexion-distraction, and fracture-dislocation are all examples of spinal fractures that can be stable, unstable, minor, or major.

How Is Lower Back Pain Diagnosed?

In order to properly diagnose the cause of your lower back pain, Dr. Shanti will obtain a detailed history, perform a physical examination, and imaging diagnostic studies maybe obtained which can include x-rays, CT or MRI, Bone density scan, or Electromyography (EMG).  

How is Low Back Pain Treated?

Dr. Shanti will customize a treatment plan for your neck pain based on his expertise opinion and knowledge. He will work with you to alleviate your pain through nonsurgical care and if needed advanced minimally invasive surgery.

What are my nonsurgical treatments options for Low Back Pain?

Dr. Shanti and his outstanding clinical team at Cary Orthopaedic Spine Center are able to provide patients with access to various nonsurgical treatments that can include:

  • Medications
  • Physical Therapy that can include massage therapy, dry needling, and decompression therapy
  • Lumbar Bracing
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) where electrodes are placed on the skin in the painful areas to relieve pain
  • Trigger Point Injections
  • Epidural Steroid or facet injections near the nerve roots or the joints to relieve pain

What are my surgical treatments options for Low Back Pain?

A board certified orthopedic spine surgeon, Dr. Shanti specializes in minimally invasive spine surgeon. A renowned researcher and educator with a strong passion for continuing the advancement of spine surgery, Dr. Shanti has published multiple papers and authored multiple chapters with an emphasis on disk replacement surgery and minimally invasive spine surgery.

Ready for relief from Low Back Pain? Request an appointment with Dr. Shanti at (919) 297-0000 to learn more.