Back and Neck Pain

Back and neck pain and failed back surgery.

Back and neck pain are among the most common and costly ailments in American society. Over 80% of Americans will experience back or neck pain sometime during their lives. And the costs – lost time from work, insurance payments, medical treatment and disability – are over $50 billion annually.

There are many causes of back and neck pain. No matter what the cause is, your back muscles form trigger points (hard, painful knots).

This can cause persistent back pain even after the original cause of the pain has been resolved. In many cases, the pain location may not be the actual trigger point. Frequently, one trigger point will induce pain in several different areas of the body. Trigger points arise from:

  • Low back pain – Low back pain can result from herniated discs, arthritis, spinal stenosis and other causes. Any cause of low back pain can induce trigger point formation in the muscles of the back, which then aggravate and prolong the back pain. Although treating the trigger points does not cure the underlying problem, it can reduce pain and improve mobility. Successful treatment could dramatically reduce or eliminate your pain.
  • Sciatica – Sciatica is pain in the buttock or down the back of the leg caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve. It also has many causes. One cause is pressure on the nerve from nearby muscles that are tight due to trigger points.
  • Failed back surgery – Many people get unsatisfactory or only temporary relief of their back pain from surgery. Muscular trigger points and scar tissue may have developed after the surgery and become a significant source of pain. This is also called postlaminectomy syndrome.
  • Epidural steroid injections– Epidural steroid injections reduce nerve root irritation pain when it originates within the spine. Nerve root irritation may be caused by:
      • Disc prolapse – Bulging spinal discs that may compress nerves and cause pain
      • Foraminal stenosis – Narrowing of nerve exit spaces can develop over time and cause pain
      • Spinal stenosis – Narrowing of the spinal canal, compressing the spinal cord and nerves
      • Spondylolisthesis – Slippage of a spinal vertebra from its normal position

    By injecting steroid drugs at the source of nerve root irritation, we can reduce the degree of nerve inflammation and relieve symptoms such as numbness, tingling and pain.

    Instead of living with your pain, talk to the board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists about the best treatment for your personal needs. We’re committed to helping you overcome pain and regain your function and your life.

    To schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, please call our office at 626.798.8600 or use our online Request an Appointment form. For additional information on any condition, treatment or procedure, please visit our Health Education Library.

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