If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from chronic back pain, you know how disruptive it can be. Many times the hardest part is finding out what’s wrong in order to get proper treatment.
When it comes to back pain, the list of usual suspects is long.
“It’s an incredibly broad catchall but essentially we break them down into tumors and trauma and infection and different categories of diseases. One of those categories of disease is arthritis and degenerative conditions,” says Dr. Jeffrey Henn, a neurosurgeon on the medical staff of Lee Memorial Health System.
Degenerative conditions are most common.
“Just the act of living and using our bodies and working, we put a lot of stress on our spine,” says Dr. Henn.
And it takes a toll. The worn out spine can develop herniated discs.
“If as a result of the wearing out, that causes disc herniations where nerves are getting pinched, then that can cause severe leg pain,” says Dr. Henn.
Many times you’ll see someone using a grocery cart as a walker. They may not realize it, but their inability to walk without pain is a classic symptom of a degenerative condition evolving into spinal stenosis.
If the degeneration results in what’s called stenosis, where the spinal canal is narrowing, that can make it extremely difficult for people to walk. People always say ‘I can sit all day long and the problem is if I try to walk even 20 or 30 yards I just can’t do it,’” says Dr. Henn.
Most spine issues have remedies. A doctor can pinpoint your trouble spot.
“That’s something that we look at as a fixable problem,” says Dr. Henn.
From therapy to decompression to minimally invasive surgeries, all helping you beat back pain.