This article is part of a series written by Dr. Kevin Pauza
Pain is considered chronic pain when it lasts beyond six months. Pain occurring for less than six months is considered acute pain. Six months is the dividing line because 90% of low back pain resolves on its own before six months. The 10% of people who continue suffering beyond six months have chronic low back pain and are unlikely to get better on their own.
Unfortunately, no study shows that it’s permanently corrected with epidurals, physical therapy, chiropractic manipulation, or any other treatment unless the underlying cause is healed. Today, it’s known that annular tears are the underlying cause of most non-traumatic spine problems.
The Anatomy of the Lower Back
It has been said that the lower back’s spine discs and joints, particularly in the lumbar area, is the reason for all low back pain. To better understand chronic low back pain, one must understand the structure of the spine.
There are five vertebrae bodies in the lumbar spine. The vertebrae that make up the lumbar region of the spine are referred to as lumbar levels L1-L5. These vertebrae support the weight of most of your upper body.1 In between these vertebral bodies are spinal discs, which act as shock absorbers to cushion the bones as we move. Bands of tissue, known as ligaments, hold the vertebral bodies in place and tendons attach the muscle to the spinal column.
There are 31 pairs of nerves that are rooted in the spinal cord that help control the body’s movements and communicate with the brain.
Causes of Chronic Low Back Pain
There are a multitude of potential causes of chronic low back pain, which can make it difficult to pinpoint the specific cause. This also makes getting the proper treatment difficult.
While acute low back pain is usually caused by a mechanical issue in your back, meaning that it’s caused by a disruption in the way the components of the back fit together and move1, chronic low back pain’s cause is not as simple as that.
The most common causes of chronic low back pain include:
- Herniated discs
- Annular tears
- Degenerative disc disease
- Facet joint dysfunction. This happens when the two joints behind each disc become arthritic as torn discs collapse.
- Sacroiliac joint dysfunction. This dysfunction happens when the sacroiliac joint becomes painful as a result of becoming inflamed.
- Spinal stenosis
- Autoimmune diseases
However, when the cause of chronic low back pain is difficult to determine, it is usually because it’s caused by leaking, torn spinal discs, also known as annular tears. Unfortunately, most common imaging tests cannot show annular tears, and most common treatments for back pain cannot heal or stop annular tears causing leakage.
Treatment for Chronic Low Back Pain
Diagnosing Chronic Low Back Pain
Diagnosing chronic low back pain can be done by your primary care physician in conjunction with a patient’s medical history, physical exam, and any number of imaging tests. In most cases though, imaging tests aren’t necessary for this kind of diagnosis. If performed, they are usually used to rule out other causes of pain.
Why the Discseel® Procedure is the best treatment
There are dozens of treatments for chronic lower back pain, and as many as several hundred if one explores all the nonmedical options. The following are the most common treatments.
- Heat or cold packs. This treatment only provides temporary relief of muscle spasms.
- Activity, exercise, and physical therapy. This treatment can cause more problems if not performed properly.
- Medication (anti-inflammatory, pain, steroid injections). Medication cannot address the underlying cause of chronic low back pain.
- Spinal manipulation/mobilization. Chiropractic treatment generally only provides temporary relief and, in some cases, causes more damage to the spinal discs.
- Biofeedback therapy. This is another treatment that is only known to provide temporary relief.
- Spinal laminectomy. Spinal laminectomy cannot address the underlying cause of chronic low back pain.
- Discectomy. This treatment is irreversible and can worsen spinal discs.
- Spinal Fusion. This treatment is also irreversible, limits movement, and accelerates the degeneration of adjacent discs.
Some of these treatments are simple and some are complex, but the bottom line is that none show the kind of results that the Discseel® Procedure offers in the treatment of chronic low back pain. The recovery time and the methods used for the Discseel® Procedure create a potent treatment method that gives hope back to patients.
- Low Back Pain Fact Sheet. (n.d.). Retrieved July 08, 2020, from https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Low-Back-Pain-Fact-Sheet
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