Around 80 percent of Americans experience low back pain at some point during their lives, with many suffering from such severe pain it prevents them from going to work or other social activities. At Peak Gastroenterology Associates in Colorado Springs, Castle Rock, Fort Collins, and Denver, Colorado, Stephen M. Ford, M.D., a pain management expert with over 25 years of experience, diagnoses the cause of low back pain. He provides personalized treatment plans to relieve your pain, restore your overall health and get you back to your regular activities. Call Peak Gastroenterology Associates or schedule a consultation online today for low back pain relief.
Low Back Pain Q&A
WHAT CAUSES LOW BACK PAIN?
Many factors contribute to low back pain. Dr. Ford at Peak Gastroenterology Associates finds that many of his patients suffer from muscular pain due to trigger points, strains and general core weakness. Other common causes of low back pain include:
- Herniated discs
- Spinal stenosis
- Degenerative disc disease
- Compression fractures
- Radiculopathy (nerve compression)
- Traumatic injuries
Your risk of low back pain increases if you’re overweight, lead a sedentary lifestyle or have a career that puts a lot of physical stress on your lower back.
WHEN SHOULD I TALK TO A DOCTOR ABOUT LOW BACK PAIN?
When you have low back pain, your body is telling you that something is wrong. Mild injuries usually start to subside after a few days of rest. However, if your pain persists or gets worse, you should make an appointment to talk to Dr. Ford at Peak Gastroenterology Associates.
Additionally, if your low back pain is due to an injury from an automobile or sports accident, getting treatment as quickly as possible can reduce your overall pain and shorten your recovery time.
HOW IS LOW BACK PAIN TREATED?
At Peak Gastroenterology Associates, Dr. Ford provides comprehensive exams to identify the cause of your low back pain and creates customized treatment plans to alleviate your pain and restore your quality of life. He also uses the patient health questionnaire (PHQ) 9 to assess your mental health for signs of depression and anxiety, which often co-occur with chronic pain. Dr. Ford takes a biopsychosocial approach to pain management, so your treatment plan includes a variety of therapies to address not only your pain but other factors that affect your overall wellness.
For example, Dr. Ford offers interventional pain management therapies such as lumbar radiofrequency ablation and rhizotomy to reduce neurological pain stemming from your lower back. Radiofrequency ablation uses heat to create a lesion on a malfunctioning nerve to stop pain signals from traveling to your brain. Rhizotomy severs the dysfunctional nerve to prevent irregular pain signals. He also offers epidural steroid injections to reduce inflammation in your lumbar spine.
Dr. Ford often combines these treatments with physical therapy, including exercises to improve your core strength, and dietary changes to reduce inflammation and help you lose excess weight that could contribute to your pain. Dr. Ford might also recommend cognitive behavioral therapy to help you develop coping mechanisms for the mental and emotional side effects of living with chronic low back pain.
If you’re living with low back pain, call Peak Gastroenterology Associates or make an appointment online today to meet with Dr. Ford for customized pain management services.