Back pain is a very common complaint in the United States. Most people will suffer from back pain at some point, and many will visit the doctor or miss a day of work due to their pain.
Most back pain is preventable with proper lifting techniques. Some back pain requires treatment. Rarely, back pain requires surgery. There are three different types of back pain; acute, which lasts a few days or weeks, and chronic, which lasts for 3 months or more.
Back pain can include muscle aches, stabbing or shooting pain, pain radiating down the leg, limited flexibility and/or limited range of motion in the back, and an inability to stand straight.
Back pain often comes on without a specific reason or cause. Common conditions that are associated with back pain include:
- Muscle or ligament strain- This can be caused by repeated heavy lifting, improper lifting techniques, or being in poor physical condition.
- Bulging or ruptured discs- Discs act like cushion between the vertebrae in the spine. Sometimes, the soft material inside the disc may “slip” or bulge out and press on a nerve causing pain.
- Arthritis- Osteoarthritis can cause pain in the lower back. Sometimes, arthritis in the spine can cause narrowing in the space around the spinal cord- which is a condition called spinal stenosis
- Skeletal Irregularities- Back pain can occur if your spine curves abnormally. Scoliosis is a condition in which your spine curves to the side. This condition can cause back pain, but usually only if the curvature is severe.
- Osteoporosis- Compression fractures of your spine’s vertebrae can occur if your bones become porous and brittle.
When to See the Doctor
- If your back pain has lasted for more than a few days without improvement, call your doctor.
- If your back pain causes weakness, numbness, or tingling in one or both legs
- If accompanied by unexplained weight loss
- If it occurs with a fall or other injury
Urgent Care When You Need It:
- Walk-in friendly
- Open 7-days a week 8am-8pm
- In-network for most Arizona insurers
- Open extended hours
- Has X-Ray and Lab onsite
- Staffed by Doctors, Physician Assistants, and Nurse Practitioners.