The Vault

Common Lumbar Injuries - Spine Center of Texas
lower back pain, spine surgery, back surgery
Understanding Sacroiliac Joint Syndrome
spine, back pain, spinal ligaments
Spinal Ligaments – All you Kneed to Know

The lumbar (low back) region of the spine is an area of the body where people frequently experience injury and pain. According to statistics from the Global Burden of Disease in 2010, low back pain is the greatest cause of disability worldwide. Low back injuries are the second most common reason that individuals seek medical attention.

Lumbar spine problems often produce pain because of the linkage of between these different parts; for example, a herniated disc causes significant discomfort by pressing on a nerve root.

Lumbar injuries can vary in severity based on the cause and location of the damage. Some of the most common lumbar conditions are:

  • A muscle or ligament strain is a soft tissue injury that often happens because of incorrect body mechanics, wear and tear from repetitive movements, or sudden, rapid motions.  Most strains resolve on their own with a few days of rest and activity modification.
  • Herniated discs happen when part of the disc’s tough outer layer tears, allowing the softer core to “bulge” out and push against the nerves. Herniated discs may heal with conservative care including rest, heat and ice treatment, activity modification, and physical therapy.  Some herniated discs require a minimally invasive procedure or traditional surgery.
  • Sacroiliac dysfunction happens because of either too much or too little movement in the sacroiliac joint. Conservative care may relieve the symptoms, but if they last more than a few weeks, an SI joint fusion procedure may be necessary.
  • Spondylolisthesis occurs when one vertebra slides forward on the one underneath it due to joint damage or a vertebral stress fracture. Initial treatment consists of conservative care; if these are ineffective, the problem may require decompression or fusion surgery.
  • Facet Joint Arthritis is an inflammation of the facet joint caused by cartilage wearing away and being replaced by bone. In addition to conservative care, radiofrequency ablation and facet rhizotomy are pain-relieving choices to consider.
  • Lumbar compression fractures can stem from severe trauma, such as falling from a height or as a result of osteoporosis. Initial care of compression fractures focuses on conservative treatment along with bracing and bone density supplementation. Surgical options include Kyphoplasty, vertebroplasty, and spinal fusion.

If you are experiencing mid-back pain that has not improved with nonsurgical care and would like to learn our treatment choices, please call our San Antonio, Seguin or New Braunfels office for an appointment.