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Spine Services

Back Pain Treatment Options for Acute and Chronic Back Pain

Are you one of the 85 to 90 percent of people in the U.S. experiencing back pain? If so, the team of doctors and specialists for back pain at University Hospitals offer a comprehensive array of treatments and individualized rehabilitation programs to help with your acute or chronic back pain.

Schedule with a Back Pain Specialist

Our back and spine specialists offer innovative, personalized treatment options for both acute and chronic back pain.
Call, 216-286-8888, to schedule.

See an Expert for an Accurate Diagnosis

Whether you experience back pain along your spine or concentrated on your lower back, it can make it difficult for you to perform everyday tasks or limit your ability to work or enjoy life. While some back pain is acute and lasts about six weeks, other cases of back pain are chronic and persist for more than three months.

Regardless of the type of back pain you are living with, it is important to see an expert spine doctor or specialist for back pain for an accurate diagnosis and to help determine an individualized back pain treatment plan.

Mild and Severe Back Pain Causes

Back pain can occur for a variety of reasons including:

  • Arthritis: Arthritis back pain may develop in your lower back and lead to discomfort.
  • Muscle strain: If you engage in repeated heavy lifting or a sudden awkward movement, you may experience back pain due to muscle strain.
  • Herniated discs: Discs are designed to provide a cushion between the bones in your spine. If the soft material inside a disc bulges, ruptures or presses on a nerve, herniated disc back pain may arise.
  • Osteoporosis: A condition in which bones become weak and brittle is known as osteoporosis and can weaken the back and cause pain.
  • Sciatica: Pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve - which extends from the lower back through the hips and down each leg - is known as sciatica.
  • Scoliosis: The sideways curvature of the spine is known as scoliosis and may result in back pain.
  • Spinal stenosis: A condition that causes the spinal canal to narrow. It can put pressure on your spinal cord and nerves and lead to pain and discomfort.

Daily activities such as improper lifting, muscle tension, lifting heavy objects, over-stretching, twisting and standing or driving for long periods of time can also contribute to back pain.

The spine specialists at UH will perform a physical evaluation and talk with you about your medical history and symptoms to determine the causes of your back pain - so we can develop the most effective back pain treatment path.

Conservative Back Pain Treatment Options

Fortunately, the majority of back pain cases are acute and improve with conservative back pain treatments such as rest, anti-inflammatory pain medications, muscle relaxants, steroid injections, and physical therapy.

If your back pain worsens, persists for a few weeks or makes it difficult for you to perform your daily activities, our back pain specialists will evaluate your condition and inform you of your chronic back pain treatment options. Surgery is typically only recommended if your back pain does not respond to conservative treatments or if there are structural problems such as herniated disc or spinal stenosis. If surgery is right for you, minimally invasive procedures are used that involve smaller incisions and allow for faster healing and recovery.

Comprehensive Rehabilitation Programs for Back Pain

University Hospitals offers comprehensive rehabilitation programs to help you manage back pain so you can return to your normal lifestyle more quickly. Our back pain treatment and rehabilitation programs focus on all areas of your health and quality of life. Program components may include:

  • Assistive devices: Canes, walkers and motorized scooters are all examples of assistive devices to make it easier for you to get around with back pain.
  • Exercise programs: Exercise programs are designed to increase muscle strength while improving flexibility, mobility and range of motion.
  • Job counseling: If you work in the healthcare, transportation, construction or any other industry that puts strain on your back, job counseling may be a good option.
  • Nutritional counseling: If a poor diet and unhealthy weight contribute to your back pain, you can benefit from nutritional counseling.
  • Stress management: Since stress can lead to back pain, learning stress management techniques such as meditation and deep breathing may be useful.
  • Quit smoking support: If you are a smoker with back pain, we can provide you with several resources to help you quit smoking. Nicotine restricts blood flow and can contribute to osteoporosis and the deterioration of spinal discs. By quitting smoking, you can improve not only your back health, but all aspects of your overall health.