Lumbar or Low Back Pain
If you have ever experienced debilitating pain in your back or spine, you are not alone. Between 80% and 90% of the general population will experience at least one episode of debilitating back pain at some point in their life. For a number of people, symptoms may subside with conservative treatment measures such as exercise, mild forms of pain medication and ice. For other individuals, additional specialized treatment may be necessary to alleviate back or spine pain.
Back pain is different from one person to the next. The pain can have a slow onset or come on suddenly. The pain may be intermittent or constant. There are many causes of low back pain. It sometimes occurs after a specific movement such as lifting or bending. Just getting older also plays a role in many back conditions.
We understand how back pain can affect your quality of life, and our goal is to help you become pain free so that you can get back to work or your favorite activities as soon as possible. With on-site X-ray and MRI, Dr. Li will diagnose your condition and start treatment so you can feel better. Treatment initially consists of Physical Therapy, medication, and activity modification and is usually successful in relieving your pain. Our experienced therapists will customize a treatment plan for you and utilize our state of the art equipment to make you better.
Below are some common terms to describe conditions of the lumbar spine.
Spondylosis is used to describe osteoarthritis of the spine, but it is also commonly used to describe any type of spinal degeneration. The causes of spondylosis include osteoarthritis of the spine, spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease.
Degenerative Disc Disease
As we age, our spines age with us. Aging causes degenerative changes in the spine. With age, intervertebral disks begin to wear away and shrink. In some cases, they may collapse completely and cause the facet joints in the vertebrae to rub against one another. Pain and stiffness result.
Spinal stenosis occurs when the space around the spinal cord narrows and puts pressure on the cord and spinal nerves. When intervertebral discs collapse and osteoarthritis develops, your body may respond by growing new bone in your facet joints to help support the vertebrae. Over time, this bone overgrowth (called spurs) can lead to a narrowing of the spinal canal.
Herniated disc occurs when the disc bulges out of its normal casing and into the spinal column. This can cause back pain due to the compression of spinal nerves and/or spinal cord. Most individuals have back pain and some can experience numbness or tingling radiating down the legs due to a compression of a spinal nerve. This is also called sciatic pain.
Sciatica or Lumbar Radiculopathy
Sciatica is pain that radiates from your lower back into your leg when a nerve becomes compressed, inflamed or irritated. This nerve exits the spinal cord at the end of the lumbar spine. Common causes of sciatica include spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, spondylosis, and herniated disc.