Recurrent Back Pain

What is recurrent back pain?

Back pain is the discomfort experienced by patients in any of the regions of the back (lower, middle, upper) which may be acute or chronic. Depending on the cause, the pain may also affect the limbs, and may manifest additional symptoms such as paresthesia, and weakness in the extremities.  Recurrent back pain is that discomfort in the back which manifests in cycles, typically characterized by pain episodes manifesting every after a few months of pain-free intervals.

What causes recurrent back pain?

There are many structures in the back – the vertebral column and its supporting structures, the spinal cord and the surrounding nerves, the visceral organs of the endocrine and digestive systems, the muscles and ligaments of the back, which support the torso, enable humans to stand upright, and carry out essential functions. All of these structures are susceptible to infection, irritation, as well as normal wearing out due to constant use. Consequently, conditions affecting any of all these structures may activate pain sensors responsible for manifesting recurrent back pain symptoms. These conditions vary in severity, from simple positional matters to more severe spinal cord irritation and cancer. Some of the common causes of recurrent back pain include:

  • physical strain (e.g. sitting or lifting positions)
  • disc degeneration
  • spinal fracture
  • alignment problems (e.g. scoliosis)
  • malignant growth
  • spinal arthritis
  • referred pain from visceral organ disorders

How can recurrent back pain be treated?

A wide variety of treatment modalities are available to patients with recurrent back pain. Depending on the primary cause, you may be put on a treatment plan that includes physical therapy, lifestyle changes, medications, interventional treatments, or surgery, as necessary. If you experience recurrent back pain, it is advisable to talk to your doctor about it, so a complete evaluation may be done and an appropriate treatment plan given as applicable. So how do we go about treating back pain? Some of the options include:

  • physical therapy – physical manipulations including massage and stretches that aim to help ease muscle and alignment strain
  • chiropractic care – physical manipulations focused on improving spinal alignment and on strengthening structures of the back
  • anti-inflammatory drugs – oral medication that deals with pain-causing irritation in either the joints, nerves, or the internal organs proximate to the back
  • pain relief medication – oral medication that interrupts normal pain signaling so as to minimize recurrent back pain
  • thermal therapy – the use of hot or cold compress to ease strain and relax the structures in the back
  • nerve stimulations – electrical manipulations that disrupt the normal signaling in the nerves of the back so as to prevent them from communicating too much pain
  • spinal injections – nerve blocks and epidural injections aimed to also minimize pain by interrupting the nerves through direct delivery of anesthetic and steroidal agents
  • spinal surgery – corrective invasive procedures that improve support in the back, as in replacing support structures for worn out tissue in spinal discs

Where can I find a doctor for recurrent back pain?

Whatever the cause is, recurrent back pain can keep you from your daily functions. Do you need a doctor who knows how to treat back pain really well? Dr. Kevin Li, MD, a pain management specialist practicing in Los Angeles, may just be the doctor you need. Dr. Li’s unparalleled experience in treating patients with recurrent back pain over the last decade, as well as his double-board certification and training guarantees you only the best care for your back. Call his L.A. clinic at (626) 538 – 8950 today for your appointment, so you can get back to being pain-free!

How to Treat Lower Back Pain

Are you feeling feeble fighting your low back pain?

Maybe looks unbelievable, but statistics suggests that nearly 632 million people suffer from lower back pain at any given point in time. Figures also show that 80% of the U.S. citizens have experienced this physical disorder during their lifetime. Among the various types of back pains, lower back pain has the leading role in weighing down working adults. Reportedly, nothing other than this problem has caused more physical disabilities throughout the world. Nevertheless, there are definite methods of pain management to treat your lower back pain forever.


What is lower back pain?

Lower back pain is the most common disorder of your back. It may involve muscles and/or bones in the lumbar region and is divided into three categories: acute, sub-chronic and chronic, according to the duration of the problem. In acute cases, you may have muscle stiffness and spasms along with episodic pains at your lower back. Moreover, you may feel pain after some body movements like bending. In chronic cases, you may suffer from sleep problems and psychological complications. Another group of this disorder is nerve-root pressure due to tumors, deformity of the spine and degenerative changes of joints. In sciatica, the pain radiates down your legs because of the pressure exerted on sciatica nerve.


Causes of lower back pain

The leading causes (around 90%) are skeletal strains or sprains which result in short term pain. Some of these causes are the lack of movement for a long time, lifting heavy loads, accidents, bending and twisting. Fatness, smoking, stress and poor body position may also intensify the problem. Flawed spinal discs, osteoarthritis, squashed back nerves, fractured vertebrae, infection and tumor of the spine could be other causes of lower back pain. Problems of the female reproductive systems and pregnancy could contribute to lower back pain. If the pain persists or other physical disorders (e.g. weight loss, fever) appear, then more investigation is needed to find the main problem.


Treatment of lower back pain

Treatment of lower back pain depends on the origin of the problem.

  • Heat therapy: Dilation of blood vessels lead to oxygenation and detoxification of the location and relief of the pain
  • Cold compression therapy: Helpful in inflammatory cases
  • Physical management: Supervised exercises
  • Medication: In acute pain cases, simple medication (e.g. acetaminophen; sometimes muscle relaxants) along with calculated body movements and reassurance will suffice. In  more severe pain cases, using opioids is the option but should be taken cautiously. Antidepressants are used in pains associated with symptoms of depression.
  • Psychological support: Counseling
  • Massage therapy: For chronic cases
  • Cortisone shots
  • Epidural steroid injection
  • Nerve blocks
  • Alternative medicine
  • Electrotherapy: Stimulation of spinal Peripheral nerve, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
  • Neuroreflexotherapy: in chronic non-specific low back pain
  • Surgery: Indicated rarely (under 10%) in disc related problems, spinal stenosis, abnormal curvature of the spine   and compression fracture.


Stop wondering about how to treat back pain!

Nowadays, you can enjoy the benefit of receiving expert help from professionally trained medical staff in pain care clinics, in order to leave your back pain behind. Dr. Kevin Li, MD, is a specialist in interventional pain management in Los Angeles. With the cutting-edge interventional therapies presented in his pain clinic in Los Angeles, he is confident of developing a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your lower back pain. So you don’t need to worry about how to treat back pain. Just contact his pain management center in Los Angeles today at (626) 538-8950 to make an appointment. And remember, nothing could deprive you of a pain-free active lifestyle!