Menu Patient Education Materials Conditions Common Back Injuries Neck and Upper Back Middle Back Lower Back Symptoms Back Pain Numbness Leg Pain FAQs Treatments & Technology Back Exercises Back Pain: Caregiver Information Mazor X Physical Therapy Spine Surgery Recovery Understanding Your Back Pain Your back carries you throughout the day. When it’s working correctly, you rarely think about the work your back is doing. However, when something’s wrong, and you experience pain anywhere along your spine, it can be all you think about. How the Spine Works Your spine is more complex than you may realize. It consists of 33 individual vertebrae and is divided into four regions: Cervical: The neck region, which protects the brain stem and spinal cord, supports the skull and enables a wide-range of head movement Thoracic: The middle-back region helps stabilize and support your entire back and core muscles. It also offers protection to many of your vital organs Lumbar: The lumbar region is the lower back. Sacral: This region of the spine sits below your lower back. It intersects with the hipbones to form your pelvis. These bones are very strong and support your entire back. Facet joints help connect vertebra together to form the spine. Ligaments are strong fibrous bands in your back also play an important role in stabilizing your vertebra and protecting the discs in your spine. Your spine also has discs between each vertebra, which work as a cushion and shock absorber to help you move throughout the day. The inside of each disc has a gel-filled center, called a nucleus. Sometimes, the nucleus can leak out through a gap or a crack in the disc, causing a herniated disc. Muscles help your body and back twist, bend and move. There are two main groups of muscles in the back: Extensor muscles, attached to the back of the spine, help us stand and lift objects Flexor muscles, which include the abdominal muscles, help us bend forward There are also 31 pairs of spinal nerves that run off your spinal cord. These nerves send signals throughout your body, helping to control your movements, command your internal organs, feel pain and register temperature. Common Causes of Back Pain There are many different back injuries and conditions that can cause back pain and impact any one part, or multiple parts, of your spine. A few of the most common include: Degenerative disc disease Spondylolisthesis Fractured vertebra Sprains or strains Herniated or bulging discs Pinched nerves Spinal stenosis If you have experienced back or neck pain for more than two weeks, or your pain is interfering with your daily activities, you should schedule an appointment to see a doctor who specializes in back pain. Treating Back Pain Today, there are many effective treatment options for back pain. At St. Elizabeth, we take a comprehensive approach to diagnosing and treating your back pain. The Spine Center at St. Elizabeth Florence offers complete diagnostic, imaging and treatment for many causes of back and neck pain. Once you have received a comprehensive evaluation, your doctor will work closely with you to develop a treatment plan. Depending on the source of back pain and your medical history, treatment options may include conservative approaches such as physical therapy, epidural steroid injections, radiofrequency steroid ablations or minimally invasive procedures such as vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty. Generally, most back pain is effectively managed with a conservative treatment approach . However, if you do require surgery, your doctor will discuss your options with you. Those options may include: Disc replacement surgery Mazor X Spinal fusion Lumbar back surgery Contact Us If you are concerned about your back or neck pain, contact the Spine Center at St. Elizabeth to schedule a consultation today. Our team offers a comprehensive approach to treatment, providing you with convenient access to the care and treatment you need to help address your back pain. Call us today at (859) 212-7000.