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At Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation, lower back pain is a common issue for many of our patients. In our Red Bank office, we are dedicated to treating back pain with variety of different and effective programs of care.

Lower back pain is a topic I often like to discuss because it affects so many of my patients.  I feel that it’s important for my patients to understand why lower back pain occurs. Since it’s such a common condition, I feel everyone should have some basic knowledge about the subject and how it can be treated.

Generally, lower back pain is caused by age, disease, trauma, or a combination of these. For example, an older person who already has a certain degree of lower back pain may be involved in a car accident which leads to greater pain and more complications. Pain is usually centralized and located very low in the back. The severity of the pain is typically worse when sitting and reduced when walking.

The most common lower back pain I see in my office is caused by L5-S1 disc degeneration. Spinal vertebrae are separated from each other by discs that act as cushions. The L5-S1 disc is positioned between the fifth lumbar vertebra and the first sacral vertebra. Because the curve of the spine shifts at this location, significantly more stress is put on this disc than on others in the lower back.

Disc degeneration occurs as a result of trauma or from the normal aging process. Since pressure is naturally placed on this area of the back, traumatic impact can cause the disc to degenerate, resulting in pain and discomfort.  Someone who has been in a car accident and suffered impact to their back has a greater chance of developing L5-S1 disc degeneration.

Back pain sufferers can experience many different types of pain. Pain in the lower back is only part of the problem- patients can also experience unpleasant symptoms in the arms, legs, or neck, depending on which part of the back is affected. Some of these unpleasant symptoms include numbness, tingling, weakness and shooting pains.

Sciatica is a common type of pain caused by disc degeneration. Sciatica affects the sciatic nerve, a large nerve extending from the lower back and down the back of each leg. Shooting pains down the leg, weakness, numbness, and tingling are symptoms of sciatica. For some people, pain from sciatica can be severe and unbearable. For others, the pain might be infrequent and irritating, but has the potential to get worse.

Treating lower back pain is something we specialize in here at Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation. We never give up on our patients; it’s our passion to help find an end to pain without surgery or long-term painkillers. Depending on the injury and type of back pain, we offer a range of treatment strategies:

Physical Therapy focuses on reducing pain, increasing function and flexibility, building strength, and preventing pain in the future. Physical therapy for disc injuries includes the use of spinal decompression traction. Traction alleviates pressure on the nerves that are causing pain.

Chiropractic Carehas two main goals for back pain: to realign the spine to reduce pain and inflammation, and to increase motion in the joints of the spine to regain normal movement and function. Because chiropractic care is involved with the central nervous system, which includes the spine and parts of the body responsible for pain, it is especially appropriate for back pain.

Acupunctureis great for the treatment of back pain because it helps decrease the stimulation of nerve cells that cause pain by releasing serotonin. Serotonin interrupts pain signals before they can reach the brain.  Acupuncture also provokes the release of endorphins in the body, which act as natural painkillers.

Pain Management offers unique methods of pain relief before medications and surgery are necessary. For some patients, their back pain is so severe that it makes physical therapy and other practices impossible. At Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation, we offer a few different methods of pain management. An example of one of these methods is:

–          Epidural Steroid Injections- administered right in our Red Bank office, provide very significant pain relief by reducing the painful inflammation that is irritating or compressing the spinal nerves. A long-lasting steroid is injected in the outermost part of the spinal canal, providing a calming, pain-relieving effect.

In my office, I see many different cases of back pain. It’s one of the most common reasons people seek health care. Millions of working days and countless hours of fun and exercise are lost due to back pain. At Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation, we are ready to treat your back pain once and for all. Stop in our Red Bank office or contact us for more information.