Chronic Back Pain

Dallas Spine Care

Robert J. Henderson, MD, FACS, FACSS

Spine Surgeon located in Dallas, TX

Acute back pain turns into a chronic and debilitating condition for about 10% of all patients. When you need help with chronic back pain, you can depend on the expertise of Robert J. Henderson, MD, at Dallas Spine Care. Dr. Henderson develops a customized treatment that targets the cause of your pain and produces effective results, even if prior medical care didn’t deliver adequate pain relief or other doctors won’t treat your chronic back pain. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Dallas or use the online booking feature.

Chronic Back Pain Q & A

What causes chronic back pain?

Chronic back pain is defined as pain that lasts longer than 12 weeks. In some cases, the pain from an acute injury persists and turns into a chronic problem. 

However, chronic back pain is frequently caused by age-related degeneration that occurs over years of repetitive movements and bearing your body’s weight. 

In many cases, the degenerative changes compress spinal nerves, leading to your chronic pain. The most common causes of chronic back pain include:

Herniated disc

Disc herniation occurs when the gel-like center of a disc bulges out through a weakened or damaged area in its outer cover. As the disc presses against nerves, you have ongoing pain.

Facet joint osteoarthritis

The facet joints in your spine, which connect vertebrae and allow movement, are susceptible to cartilage deterioration, osteoarthritis, and the development of bone spurs that can pinch the nerves.

Degenerative disc disease

Over the years, vertebral discs dehydrate, weaken, and collapse, which restricts spinal movement and compresses nerves.

Spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis refers to narrowing of the spinal canal, a problem that may be caused by thickened ligaments and all other degenerative conditions.

What symptoms develop in addition to pain?

Chronic back pain can range from an occasional ache to constant debilitating pain. Since the spinal nerves are often compressed, you may also develop symptoms such as tingling, numbness, and radiating pain that you feel along the length of the affected nerve. 

One of the most well-known examples of nerve pain is sciatica, which occurs when a compressed sciatic nerve in your lower back sends shooting pain down your leg.

How is chronic back pain treated?

In his years of experience, Dr. Henderson has found that the most common reason for unresolved back pain is not accurately identifying the true cause of the pain. 

He devotes extra time to examining your back, performing diagnostic tests, and determining the underlying problem.

Treatment begins with conservative options, such as the short-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications and muscle relaxers to reduce pain caused by spasms. 

Physical therapy helps many patients take the first steps to reestablishing an exercise regimen that strengthens their back and relieves pain.

When conservative treatments don’t help or your pain is severe, Dr. Henderson may recommend a nerve block or surgery. He specializes in many surgical techniques and carefully chooses the type that’s most appropriate for your back pain. 

A few examples include a discectomy to treat a herniated disc or decompression procedures such as a laminectomy or foraminotomy.

Don’t continue to suffer from chronic back pain. Call Dallas Spine Care or schedule an appointment online.