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Back Pain

Most people experience one or another form of back pain at some point in their lives. There can be many causes, including accidents, strains and sports injuries.

To understand back pain, it’s important to know that the spine, or backbone, is made up of a column of 33 bones and tissue extending from the skull to the pelvis. These bones, or vertebrae, enclose and protect a cylinder of nerve tissues known as the spinal cord. Between each one of the vertebra is an intervertebral disk, or band of cartilage serving as a shock absorber between the vertebrae.

The types of vertebrae are:

What Causes Back Pain?

Overuse is a very common source of back pain and stiffness. However this usually goes away after a few days. Others causes of chronic pain include:

 

How Do  We Diagnose Back Pain?

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In addition to performing a complete history and physical exam for your back pain, the pain management specialists at Tri-State Pain Institute may suggest one of the following diagnostic studies:

X-rays, which can be used to provide detail of the bone structures in the spine and to check for instability (such as spondylolisthesis, see below), tumors, and fractures.

CT scans, which can identify specific conditions, such as a herniated disc or spinal stenosis.

MRI scans, which can provide details about the backs’ discs and nerve roots. MRI scans are most commonly used for pre-surgical planning.

A number of other imaging and electrical studies may also be used to identify back problems, and some injections are used for diagnostic purposes as well as for pain relief.

 

How Do We Treat Back Pain?

At Tri-State Pain Institute, our goal is to use a comprehensive, conservative plan to treat your acute or chronic pain but without developing long-term reliance and dependence. We also provide minimally invasive X-ray guided procedures such as epidurals, radio frequency ablations and spinal cord stimulators to improve function and relieve pain.

Our pain medicine specialists will work with you to develop a treatment plan that best addresses your specific condition and lifestyle. Your treatment for neck and shoulder pain may include several non-invasive and surgical options, including: