Neck pain

Who is affected by low back pain and neck pain?

Short answer? Most people. Chances are, many of your friends and family already suffer from chronic neck or back pain, or will at some point in their lifetime.

Specifically, neck pain affects 45% of U.S. workers. Not only that, but health experts warn that our growing addiction to staring at tiny screens all day is causing extra strain on our spines, leading to chronic neck pain. And sadly, experts say that people affected by lower back pain will include up to 80% of U.S. residents.

How can low back pain affect me?

Many young Americans assume that the only people affected by lower back pain are older Americans. That simply isn’t true; back pain is also the leading cause of disability among Americans under the age of 45.

And besides causing pain that affects your quality of life, people affected by lower back pain often experience symptoms of depression, too.

What causes low back pain?

There’s no single cause of lower back pain and neck pain. In some cases, facet joints in your spine become inflamed, causing severe pain that requires medical treatment. In other cases, neck and back pain is caused by unhealthy lifestyles, improper exercise or weightlifting technique, or just the effects of aging.

What can I do to prevent low back pain?

As with many disorders, doctors will recommend a course of exercise and healthy diet before attempting more aggressive treatments. Sometimes the best cure is simply more healthy living. Doctors often recommend an exercise regimen of strengthening exercises and light aerobics. For some patients, exercise and over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen are sufficient.

What are my treatment options? What can people affected by lower back pain do to recover their quality of life?

In severe cases of chronic pain, neck pain doctors will usually recommend two treatments: minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) or prescription medications. Common medications include muscle relaxants, painkillers, and oral steroids.

And despite a rather intimidating name, MISS is a simple procedure involving micro-incisions. Patients usually are in and out in the same day and recover in their own homes in a matter of days. Best of all, MISS can provide relief for months afterwards.