How common is back pain?
Back pain is exceedingly common affecting 8 or 10 people throughout their lifetime. It has been estimated that 65 million Americans report a recent episode of back pain.
Most back pain results from injury to the muscles, ligaments, joints, or discs in the spine (see Figure 1). The body reacts to injury by initiating an inflammatory response that can cause severe pain.
Back pain can range from very mild to debilitating depending on the cause or severity of the injury.
Figure 1. Illustration of Spine Anatomy. Vertebrae are divided into three sections: Cervical (C1-C7) neck, Thoracic (T1-T12) back, and Lumbar (L1-L5) lower back. The Sacrum and Coccyx compose the end of the spine commonly referred to as the tail bone. Back pain can occur anywhere along the spine.
Causes, Signs And Symptoms
Most often pain is the result of lifting something improperly, or that is too heavy. Abrupt or awkward movements can also lead to an acute injury. Poor posture, standing or sitting for too long, or even sleeping on a mattress with little support can result in back pain.There are many structural problems that can cause back pain as well:
- Herniated disc
- Degenerative disc disease
- Facet Joint Syndrome
- Sacroiliac joint inflammation
- Spinal stenosis
Most structural problems involve the facet joints that allow the spine to bend and twist, discs that cushion the vertebrae, nerves that leave the spine and innervate the limbs and other organs, and the spinal cord (see Figure 2).
Figure 2. Illustration of vertebral column. Fibrous discs separate vertebra in the spine absorbing impacts of movement. Damaged discs place pressure on nerves innervating limbs or the spinal cord causing significant pain. Regenerative Medicine treatments can ease the inflammation and damage to these structures without the side effects of steroids.
Symptoms of back pain range depending on the location of the injury. The cause of lower back pain may be different than the cause of upper back pain.
- Pain ranging from a dull ache to stabbing or shooting sensation
- Loss of mobility (e.g., inability to stand up straight or bend over)
- Crepitus (e.g., back popping and cracking, getting stuck)
- Bowel/bladder control problems
- Pain or tightness in back that may radiate to the legs (i.e., radicular pain)
- Pain when coughing or urinating
Figure 3. Depiction of Spinal Stenosis. Stenosis is a narrowing of one or more of the bony openings within the spine that reduces space for the nerves causing a variety of painful symptoms. Spinal stenosis is often caused by osteoarthritis of the facet joints, bone spurs, or by herniated discs.
- Age. Those older than 50 years old and athletes are most at risk for arthritic back pain, but anyone can experience LBP at any age due to acute injury and other factors
- Female gender. Evidence suggests that the drop in women's estrogen levels during menopause may have a negative effect3
- Previous injury to the spine, Spinal Stenosis, Fibromyalgia, Ankylosing Spondylitis, and Osteoarthritis (back arthritis)
- High job demands
- Low physical capacity
- Poor computer workstation design
- Poor posture/poor sleep posture
- Emotional demands/stress
Our team of regenerative medicine specialist diagnose Back Pain Disease by using a multipronged approach:
- Medical History: Our doctors will ask you about the nature of your back pain (e.g., when and under what conditions you experience back pain). They will ask about prior surgeries, accidents, and trauma to the neck or back.
- Physical Exam: The doctor will examining the range of motion of the neck/back, look for swelling, listen for any cracking or popping noises (crepitus), and test for muscle weakness.
- Imaging with X-Rays or MRI: X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs) are both used to determine if there is damage to discs in the spine and surrounding tissues.
The StemX clinic offers a range of Regenerative Medicine advanced therapies for back pain.
The StemX Approach
StemX is California's leading provider of holistic and regenerative medicine services. Our experts don't just offer popular treatments, but customized medical solutions based on individual needs.
Located in Solana Beach, California, the StemX clinic is composed of a team of expert doctors with years of experience administering regenerative medicine treatments for joint disease. Our team has:
How To Get Started
While each treatment may be customized, you can expect your experience to be similar to the following:
All procedures are conducted in our Solana Beach, California clinic. 124 Lomas Santa Fe Dr #206, Solana Beach, CA 92075.
Frequently Asked Questions
If your back pain lasts more than a few weeks or is accompanied by sharp pain, numbness, or other unusual symptoms, you should seek medical treatment.
Some lower back pain and upper back pain only require rest, stretching or physical therapy. Other injuries are good candidates for Regenerative Medicine treatments.
Historically, steroid injections, anti-inflammatories, and muscle relaxers have been used. Newer Regenerative Medicine treatments are now being used with fewer side effects and excellent efficacy.
Lower left back pain, middle back pain, upper left back pain, and upper right back pain are most cited by patients.
Yes, Regenerative Medicine treatments can provide back pain relief and help patients avoid surgery. However, some traumatic injuries may require surgery to repair.
Patients with severe lower back pain can turn to Regenerative Medicine treatments, physical therapy, or speak to their physicians about other options.
Regenerative Medicine treatments provides natural methods to stimulate the body's own healing mechanisms. They do not cause side effects associated with steroid injections and other drugs.
Pain can range from dull and achy to severe and occur when one bends, lifts, or twists. Activity may lessen the pain. Some pain and radiate to the extremities or buttocks.
Regenerative medicine treatments may help slow or prevent damage to intervertebral discs without having to resort to steroid injections, ablations, or surgery. Damaged cartilage is difficult to cure.
Damage to the intervertebral discs in the spine can cause osteoarthritis of the facet joints in the vertebra, inflammation, and pressure on the nerves causing pain.
Pulled or strained muscles in the back are very painful and can be worsened by continual muscle spasms.
Minor back pain can heal in a few weeks. For chronic injuries, Regenerative Medicine treatments can take several weeks to provide maximal benefits.
Back pain can be serious if it is a symptom of a more serious injury. Some injuries can become debilitation or even lead to paralysis.
Regenerative Medicine treatments are long lasting, but issues like degenerative disc disease is progressive, therefore new joints may become diseased, or wear and tear can re-damage treated joints.
Regenerative Medicine injections cause minimal discomfort. The injection site may be sore for several days during which time strenuous activity is discouraged