Posts Tagged ‘spine’

Mid Back Pain

December 3, 2008

Mid back pain is defined as pain in the thoracic spine.  The causes of mid back pain are very similar to the causes of low back pain.  As a result, many of the treatment options are similar.  These include epidural steroid injections, facet injections, trigger point injections, prolotherapy, and physical therapy.  Mid back pain is different in that surgical options become much more dangerous, as the lungs are in the way and commonly have to be deflated.  In addition, mid back pain can also involve pain coming from the ribs and the joints that attach the ribs to the spine.  Upper extremity numbness due to changes in the shape of the ribs can also accompany mid back pain.  Scoliosis or an abnormal curvature of the spine can also cause mid back pain.  Like the low back, some of the causes of mid back pain can be treated with injections of stem cells.

What Causes Back Pain?

December 3, 2008

As a physician who has seen thousands of patients with back pain, there are many causes.  These include disc problems where the disc is painful or can be damaged causing a bulge or herniation.  Back pain can also be caused by a disc placing pressure on a nerve.  If this is the case, newer stem cell procedures can repair the disc bulge.  Back pain can also be caused by irritated or damaged facet joints.  Yet another cause of back pain is the SI or sacroliliac joint.  Muscles and ligaments being overloaded or injured can also lead to significant back pain.  Back pain can also be due to occult problems like vertebral compression fractures, cancer, a balooning out of the aorta, etc…  

The most important part of a back pain work-up is identifying a specific strutcure that is causing the pain.  Just throwing narcotics or other medications at the problem is extremely counter-productive.  Too often back surgery is the conclusion when the cause of back pain goes undiagnosed.  This can cause significant complications.