Low Back Common Injuries

Low Back Common Injuries

Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative Disc Disease is a condition of the discs between vertebrae with loss of cushioning, fragmentation and herniation related to aging. There may be no symptoms. In some cases, the spine loses flexibility and bone spurs may pinch a nerve root, causing pain or weakness.
Typical mechanical symptoms are soreness over the injured area that can radiate; for instance, pain due to injury of the sacroiliac joints can travel into the buttocks. These injuries heal with time and modifying activity.

Typical discogenic pain is often described as a burning or electric sensation that travels down one leg, sometimes with tingling in the toes (commonly referred to as “sciatica”). The pain can worsen with bending at the waist or raising the legs.

Vertebral body fracture pain is typically an abrupt onset and often mimics that of a herniated disc but typically lacks the neurologic signs. Muscle spasms often accompany this injury.

If the back pain is accompanied by so-called “red flag” symptoms such as fever, night pain, incontinence (the inability to control the bladder or bowels), weight loss and fatigue, numbness in the groin area, or other neurological abnormalities, urgent medical evaluation should be obtained, as a more serious condition may be responsible for the pain.

Treatment includes an accurate diagnosis through exam with possible imaging. This is followed by a period of activity modification, rest, medications, physical therapy, with possible bracing. Dr. Sampson will continue to evaluate and determine when a patient is ready for gradual return to activity. Dr. Sampson also performs x-ray guided spine injections for refractory cases.

Low Back Pain

Low back pain covers multiple conditions and can be caused by a variety of injuries, ranging from strained muscles and ligaments to bony abnormalities. Often involves those who perform repetitive bending motions. Injuries to the lower part of the spine can be acute or chronic. Lower back pain can further be categorized as mechanical, discogenic, due to vertebral body fractures, and spondylolysis (a defect or stress fracture in the pars interarticularis of the vertebral arch).

Typical mechanical symptoms are soreness over the injured area that can radiate; for instance, pain due to injury of the sacroiliac joints can travel into the buttocks. These injuries heal with time and modifying activity.

Typical discogenic pain is often described as a burning or electric sensation that travels down one leg, sometimes with tingling in the toes (commonly referred to as “sciatica”). The pain can worsen with bending at the waist or raising the legs.

Vertebral body fracture pain is typically an abrupt onset and often mimics that of a herniated disc but typically lacks the neurologic signs. Muscle spasms often accompany this injury.

If the back pain is accompanied by so-called “red flag” symptoms such as fever, night pain, incontinence (the inability to control the bladder or bowels), weight loss and fatigue, numbness in the groin area, or other neurological abnormalities, urgent medical evaluation should be obtained, as a more serious condition may be responsible for the pain.

Treatment includes an accurate diagnosis through exam with possible imaging. This is followed by a period of activity modification, rest, medications, physical therapy, with possible bracing. Dr. Sampson will continue to evaluate and determine when a patient is ready for gradual return to activity. Dr. Sampson also performs x-ray guided spine injections for refractory cases.

Radiculopathy

Low back pain covers multiple conditions and can be caused by a variety of injuries, ranging from strained muscles and ligaments to bony abnormalities. Often involves those who perform repetitive bending motions. Injuries to the lower part of the spine can be acute or chronic. Lower back pain can further be categorized as mechanical, discogenic, due to vertebral body fractures, and spondylolysis (a defect or stress fracture in the pars interarticularis of the vertebral arch).

Typical discogenic pain is often described as a burning or electric sensation that travels down one leg, sometimes with tingling in the toes (commonly referred to as “sciatica”). The pain can worsen with bending at the waist or raising the legs.

If the back pain is accompanied by so-called “red flag” symptoms such as fever, night pain, incontinence (the inability to control the bladder or bowels), weight loss and fatigue, numbness in the groin area, or other neurological abnormalities, urgent medical evaluation should be obtained, as a more serious condition may be responsible for the pain.

Treatment includes an accurate diagnosis through exam with possible imaging. This is followed by a period of activity modification, rest, medications, physical therapy, with possible bracing. Dr. Sampson will continue to evaluate and determine when a patient is ready for gradual return to activity. Dr. Sampson also performs x-ray guided spine injections for refractory cases.

Sciatica

Low back pain covers multiple conditions and can be caused by a variety of injuries, ranging from strained muscles and ligaments to bony abnormalities. Often involves those who perform repetitive bending motions. Injuries to the lower part of the spine can be acute or chronic. Lower back pain can further be categorized as mechanical, discogenic, due to vertebral body fractures, and spondylolytic.

Typical discogenic pain is often described as a burning or electric sensation that travels down one leg, sometimes with tingling in the toes (commonly referred to as “sciatica”). The pain can worsen with bending at the waist or raising the legs.

If the back pain is accompanied by so-called “red flag” symptoms such as fever, night pain, incontinence (the inability to control the bladder or bowels), weight loss and fatigue, numbness in the groin area, or other neurological abnormalities, urgent medical evaluation should be obtained, as a more serious condition may be responsible for the pain.

Treatment includes an accurate diagnosis through exam with possible imaging. This is followed by a period of activity modification, rest, medications, physical therapy, with possible bracing. Dr. Sampson will continue to evaluate and determine when a patient is ready for gradual return to activity. Dr. Sampson also performs x-ray guided spine injections for refractory cases.

Spondylosis

Spondylolysis is a stress fracture of a bone or bones within the lower back. It most commonly affects the last/fifth bone on the lower back, and usually only one side. It is a common cause of back pain in athletes who repetitively extend their lower back, such as gymnasts, divers, wrestlers, rowers, and football linemen. It can be from a lack of rest between training sessions, training in the same sport requiring lower back extension year-round, and training with less focus on core (abdominal) strengthening.

Symptoms include lower back pain that is worse with extension-type activities, pain in the center of the back, or pain that may radiate down the leg, especially when symptoms have been present for a long time.

Treatment often includes an accurate diagnosis including imaging. This is followed by a period of activity modification, rest, with possible bracing. Dr. Sampson will continue to evaluate and determine when a patient is ready for physical therapy and a gradual return to activity.

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