Back Pain Treatment in Kirkland, WA
Just about every person has suffered from low back pain at one time or another. In fact, it’s estimated that 80% of adults in the United States at some point in time experience lower back pain. In some situations, a bit of rest and relaxation is all that is needed to recover. However, there are several more concerning conditions that could lead to chronic low back pain, which requires professional treatment from Dr. Jung to relieve. If your pain is chronic, fellowship-trained spine specialist Edward Jung, MD, FACS in Kirkland, Washington, can evaluate your back and provide a treatment plan that helps you get relief.
If you are continually afflicted with pain in your low back, please contact Dr. Jung to schedule a personalized consultation. New patients may set up an appointment by calling our office in Kirkland at (425) 823-4000, or by simply submitting a request online today. Due to Dr. Jung’s experience, he has patients that drive from all over surrounding areas including Bellevue, Seattle, and Redmond.
What is Lower Back Pain?
Lower back pain is pain that affects the lumbar area of your back, sitting just below your rib cage and just above your buttocks. Symptoms of lower back pain can vary in both intensity and type, ranging from just a dull ache to sharp shooting pain. In many cases, pain may be acute and resolve on its own with rest and over-the-counter pain medication. However, in others, it can linger and turn into a chronic pain condition.
Lower back pain is a common problem for men and women throughout the Kirkland, Bellevue and Seattle area, and is a leading cause of job-related disability as well as a major contributor to missed days of work.
What are Common Causes of Back Pain?
The possibilities are endless when it comes to all of the things that can lead to discomfort in the lower region of the back. However, Dr. Jung most frequently treat the following sources of low back pain.
Strains and Sprains
Muscles, tendons, and ligaments located throughout the entire body are susceptible to over stretching and small tears. If a muscle or tendon in the back is affected by this type of injury, it is known as a strain, whereas if a ligament is impacted, it is known as a sprain.
While strains and sprains are more likely to affect the upper back, they can certainly occur in lower areas as well. This is most often caused by some sort of abrupt movement of these various tissues, which may result from lifting excessively heavy objects. Even small amounts of force can lead to a sprain or strain within the low back if the tissues have become too weak to handle much movement.
As we age, it is the body’s natural process to begin experiencing some gradual wear and tear. Frequently used joints are typically among the first areas affected by this wear and tear, which is known as osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis can also affect the spine, leading to significant discomfort. More specifically, the cartilage that exists between the vertebrae of the spine begins to wear down, resulting in direct contact between the vertebrae themselves. Not surprisingly, this harsh movement tends to cause a substantial amount of pain that may stem from one or several particular arthritic vertebrae along the spine.
In some cases, low back pain may have nothing to do with a problem of the back at all. If an individual’s pain is actually caused by an underlying medical condition such as kidney disease, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, etc. then it is known as referred pain. In order to effectively treat this symptomatic discomfort in the low back, the underlying condition must be properly addressed.
Over time it is possible for the spine to become misaligned. Issues with alignment can put considerable pressure on nearby muscles or nerves, causing mild to severe pain in the low back.
It is also quite possible for a skeletal deformities to gradually develop during the person’s lifetime. Conditions such as scoliosis and degenerative spondylolisthesis fall into this category, many of which require on-going medical treatment to maintain.
Osteoporosis is a common cause of small fractures within the spine’s vertebrae. These tiny breaks occur when the bone has become porous and thin, making it very weak and prone to injury.
While low bone mass from osteoporosis is especially common in older adults, a fracture may also stem from a traumatic injury to the spine. This type of stress fracture is referred to as spondylolysis.
Problems with Spinal Discs
Spinal discs help to support the vertebrae by acting as a natural shock-absorber for the entire back. Unfortunately, these discs can be heavily impacted by continued stress and pressure that is put on the spine during everyday activities, and especially during a traumatic incident to the spine. As a result, the following conditions may arise:
- Herniated, torn, or ruptured disc
- Bulging disc
- Disc degeneration
If the discs of the spine have been compromised in some way, it is likely that spinal stenosis will develop soon afterward. This condition involves the formation of bone spurs to help replace the support that the spinal discs are no longer able to provide. This natural defense mechanism will allow the spine to remain structurally intact, though over time it can lead to narrowing of the spinal canal and severe pain that radiates from the low back through the legs.
How is Back Pain Treated?
Dr. Jung takes a personalized approach to the treatment of your lower back pain based on the underlying cause of your discomfort. While Dr. Jung is a surgeon, he commonly recommends conservative treatments for lower back conditions.
Your treatment plan may include:
- Pain medication
- Steroid injections
- Physical therapy
- Nerve blocks
If you fail to get relief from your back pain with conservative treatments, Dr. Jung may suggest surgery. While the procedure he performs depends on the root cause of your back pain Dr. Jung is a skilled surgeon with fellowship training in back surgery and is an expert in minimally invasive procedures, which reduces your risk and recovery time.
If necessary, he can perform XLIF® lateral lumbar interbody fusion, a minimally invasive procedure that removes discs, or other procedures, to target the basivertebral nerve to relieve low back pain.
Schedule Your Back Pain an Appointment with Dr. Jung
If you have attempted to relieve your low back pain by resting the area, using over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, or applying ice and/or heat regularly without much success, it may be time to consider more effective treatment options. The first step should always be to uncover the root of your pain, whether it be any of the common conditions already discussed, or perhaps something more unique.
Dr. Edward Jung possesses extensive experience in diagnosing and treating conditions of the low back. We strive to provide actionable insights about a patient’s condition and to guide them through the entire treatment process from start to finish.
If you’re tired of dealing with lower back pain, schedule a consultation with Dr. Edward Jung in Kirkland, WA today, just a short drive from Redmond, Bellevue, and Seattle. Call our office at (425) 823-4000 or request an appointment through our secure online form.