Lower back pain is a common ailment, but for some individuals, it can become a chronic or recurrent issue that disrupts your daily routine. Dr. James Ashford is an interventional pain management specialist and board-certified anesthesiologist who leads the team at Ashford Pain Solutions in Athens, Georgia. Dr. Ashford uses his extensive medical expertise to design customized treatment plans for lower back pain that can relieve your symptoms and address the underlying issue causing your discomfort. Schedule a visit with Dr. Ashford today. Call the clinic or book your appointment online.
Lower Back Pain Q & A
What causes lower back pain?
One of the most common causes of lower back pain is simply overdoing it with routine activities such as yardwork, participating in a neighborhood football game, or carrying groceries in from the car. These activities can stress and strain muscles and ligaments in your lower back, which causes stiffness and pain.
Sometimes, however, lower back pain is the result of changes in your spine that are associated with the aging process. Excess weight, a sedentary lifestyle, and conditions such as a herniated or slipped disc can also cause lower back pain. Key to effectively treating your lower back pain is uncovering the underlying cause of your discomfort.
How does aging affect my spine?
Your lower (lumbar) spine is a complex structure of interconnecting bones, joints, and nerves that are supported by ligaments and muscles. These structures work together to support your upper body weight and give you the ability to bend and twist. As you age, the wear-and-tear experienced by your spine can result in degenerative changes that affect your spine’s health and normal function.
Discs, for instance, which lie between the bony portions (vertebrae) of your spine and act as shock absorbers and cushions, may shrink and harden. This can eventually cause the bones of the tiny facet joints in your spine to rub against one another, resulting in lower back pain and stiffness.
Bony overgrowth (bone spurs) or collapsing discs associated with degenerative changes can also lead to narrowing of the spinal canal. This may compress or pinch nerves branching off the spinal cord, causing them to become irritated, inflamed, and painful. A spinal compression fracture, most often due to osteoporosis associated with aging, can also cause significant lower back pain.
What is the treatment for lower back pain?
Treatment depends on what’s causing your lower back pain. Dr. Ashford may recommend:
- A nerve block to reduce pain caused by a compressed or irritated nerve
- Medication delivered via injection to a joint to reduce inflammation and discomfort
- Stretching and strengthening exercises to improve muscular support of your spine and increase flexibility
- Massage therapy
- Minimally invasive kyphoplasty to treat a compression fracture and relieve pain
Schedule a visit with Dr. Ashford today for relief from your lower back pain. Call the office or use the online tool to book your appointment.