Back Pain Causes and Symptoms

The causes of back ache are varied. Some may result of bone and joint disorders such as arthritis, spondylolisthesis or scoliosis. In other cases, physical activity and lifestyle habits can trigger an episode of back pain. An inflamed or herniated intervertebral disc can put pressure on the spinal cord or the spinal nerves which causes back discomfort. Age is another factor contributing to chronic back pain.

Back pain symptoms vary as much as the causes do. Spine pain can radiate into the neck, head, arms, chest, buttocks and legs. Some spine conditions may not have any pain symptoms at all.  Proper diagnosis of your pain is essential, so that you can receive the correct treatment.

Your primary care physician is typically the first stop in your search for a diagnosis.  He or she may refer you to an interventional pain management specialist, or prescribe an MRI or CT scan for additional information.  North American Spine provides a free review of your MRI or CT scan, so that you can receive personalized information about your pain.  In addition, our wide range of procedures includes Pain Mapping – a procedure to pinpoint exactly where spine pain is originating – to help patients identify and treat the cause of their pain more effectively.

Episodes of pain are divided into two categories: acute pain and chronic pain.

  • Acute pain lasts 4 to 6 weeks and is often the result of a specific event, such as lifting something incorrectly or being in a minor car accident. Acute back pain can also occur without a specific event, since everyday activities cause gradual breakdown of the spine.
  • Chronic back pain lingers for several months or longer and often will not resolve without proper treatment, such as physical therapy, an injection, or a surgical procedure.

North American Spine believes that patients want, and should have, access to relevant, actionable back pain information and appropriate, evidence-based recommendations.  The links on this page are intended to address the specific causes and treatments of back pain.  Please contact us for a review of your specific case.

Back Pain Conditions

Back Pain Treatment

In most cases, back pain will resolve in a short period of time. However, some people may be troubled with periodic episodes of chronic back pain throughout their lives. Since there are so many causes, proper treatments are varied.

If you have recurring issues with pain in your lower back, you may wish to begin a case review through North American Spine.  Call 877-474-BACK (877-474-2225) to discuss what treatment may be best for you.

Review North American Spine’s Treatment Options