Back Pain FAQ

By Matt Paulus, MS, ATC, Site Coordinator

Back Pain Frequently Asked Questions

What are Causes of Low Back Pain?

There are many conditions that can cause back pain. Some of these conditions are congenital, such as scoliosis or spinal bifida. However, most cases of back pain arise from an injury or trauma; this can either be acute or chronic in nature. These injuries or traumas result in common diagnosis such as muscle strains, bulging or herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, sciatica or pinched nerves, or sacroiliac joint inflammation.

JOI can help answer your back pain frequently asked questions.

Image of Low Back Pain.

Can Obesity Cause Back Pain?

Yes, obesity can be a contributing factor to back pain. The spine is designed to evenly distribute the body’s weight. Being overweight can put increased stress on the spine or discs in the back. Over time, this can result in damage such as disc herniation, spinal stenosis, or degenerative disc disease which leads to back pain.

What is a Herniated Disc?

A disc herniation occurs when a portion of the intervertebral disc material bulges and “sticks out” into the neural canal. This can produce pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots and cause pain, numbness, or tingling into the arm or leg. Usually a herniated disc responds well to conservative non-surgical treatment. If not addressed, herniated discs can worsen leading to the requirement of surgical intervention.  Some people refer to this condition as a pinched nerve.

Disc Protrusion and Herniation

Disc Herniation

I Feel Very Tight In My Back Muscles All The Time. Can This Lead to Back Pain?

Yes, musculature restriction can lead to back pain. The spine is designed to have movement. For instance the lumbar spine (the lower back) is intended to have the ability to rotate, side bend, flex, and extend. When musculature is tight it prevents these motions from occurring which can result in stress to the other musculature or structures in the spine and can result in back pain.

My Back Bothers Me When I Put Clothes in the Laundry or Brush My Teeth. Are There Ways to Help Reduce The Intensity or Frequency of These Occurrences?

The most common cause for back pain with these activities is excessive forward bending of the lumbar spine which increases pressure on the structures of the low back. During these activities the forward bending should not occur in the lumbar spine. Instead one should “hinge” in their hip taking stress off the structures of the low back resulting in decreased frequency and intensity of back pain.

My Back Hurts. Should I Use Heat or Ice?

Heat should not be used in the acute stage immediately after the initial injury. Instead, ice should be used to aid in decreasing inflammation and swelling. Heat should be used to improve soft tissue mobility and decrease pain. After the acute stage a general rule of thumb is to use heat pre-activity to promote mobility and use ice post-activity to decrease inflammation or negative symptoms.  To read more from JOI Rehab about this subject, please read should I use heat or ice. 

I Do Not Want To Have Back Surgery. What Are My Options?

JOI Rehab has two Spine Centers located at our San Marco and South offices. We offer physical therapy and other services focused on conservative treatment of spinal conditions. Our experienced spine therapists work directly with your physician to address your spinal condition specifically in order to decrease stress to the spine with daily activities and hopefully avoid surgical intervention.

laser therapy

Laser Therapy

What is Laser Therapy and How Can it Help my Back?

Our specially-trained clinicians offer state-of-the-art deep-penetrating laser therapy. The laser therapy treatment is typically given in a series, as it creates a change at the cellular level as damaged cells absorb the light’s energy. These cellular changes in mitochondrial activity and cell permeability can result in quicker healing times and decreased pain. These safe and quick treatments are effective for a wide array of orthopaedic conditions. This includes arthritis, degenerative disc disease, muscle strains, muscle spasm, sciatic pain, tendonitis and other overuse injuries.

What Should I Do If I Have Back Pain in Jacksonville?

If you find yourself having back pain that just won’t go away, the Physicians and Therapists at JOI can help get rid of that nagging pain. With cutting edge technology and a patient-centered atmosphere, we will do our best to help you with whatever medical issues you may be facing.

JOI Rehab Conservative Treatments The Back 

A very common area for pain is the lower back region. Just like there are many reasons for pain there are also many ways to treat it in Physical Therapy. Joint mobilization, which is a hands-on technique to improve mobility of the joint. This technique can treat low back pain. Medical massages are becoming more common of a way to treat pain in the lower back as well.

Ergonomic education is very important in treating low back pain, as the source of most of the pain comes from how people sit and/or stand for long periods of time. Lastly and perhaps most importantly is keeping up with your health. Weight loss and living a healthy lifestyle are always a recommendation in the treatment the back.

The JOI Spine Team includes of JOI Board Certified Spine Orthopaedic Surgeons, Physiatrists, Physical Therapists and Medical Massage Therapists. JOI Rehab also has a Fast Track Program for Spine Patients.

Related Article: Lower back muscle anatomy and low back pain and Low Back Pain. 

  • To schedule an appointment for physical therapy at one of the 12 JOI Rehab Centers, please call 904-858-7045.

Finally, to make an appointment by calling (904) JOI-2000. This is a new option for patients who would like to avoid the emergency room if they have suffered a fracture or soft tissue injury.

By: Matt Paulus, MS, ATC, Site Coordinator

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