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Back Pain

Lyon Primary Care

Primary Care Physician located in Midtown, New York, NY

Back pain is one of the most common reasons people in the U.S. visit a doctor. At Lyon Primary Care in Midtown, New York, NY, we understand that along with the pain, back issues can interrupt your daily routine and cause you to miss work or other notable events. Our primary care specialist, Valerie Lyon, M.D., completes thorough back pain exams and then designs personalized treatment plans that can get you back on your feet and moving pain-free again. Call us today for an appointment with Dr. Lyon.

Back Pain Q&A

What causes back pain?

We often find it difficult to identify a specific reason for generalized back pain. Symptoms that come on suddenly or acutely are frequently related to unexpected falls, heavy lifting, or using improper body mechanics when lifting.

When your back pain lasts less than six weeks, we consider it an acute issue. It becomes chronic (long-term) when your back pain lasts for three months or more.

Underlying conditions that cause pain in your back and limit your flexibility include:

  • Muscle and ligament strains and sprains sustained during heavy lifting or awkward twisting motions during a fall are the most common cause of back pain
  • Disk disease causing a ruptured or bulging disk to press on a nerve
  • Arthritis leading to narrowing (stenosis) of the spinal canal
  • Abnormal spinal curvatures caused by conditions such as scoliosis
  • Osteoporosis with compression fractures of the spinal vertebrae  

Your back pain may occur as aching discomfort in your muscles, shooting or stabbing pain, or pain that starts in your back and moves (radiates) down your leg(s). This is called sciatica. 

Is back pain serious?

While the pain and stiffness can be debilitating, most back pain gradually improves over a couple of weeks and is likely due to muscular issues.

Your lower back pain may indicate a more significant issue that needs immediate medical care if:

  • You’re unable to control your bowel or bladder function
  • You develop back pain after a fall or serious blow to your back
  • You experience weakness, numbness, or tingling in one or both legs
  • You have a history of cancer, osteoporosis, or steroid use

Who is at risk for back pain?

While anyone at any age can develop back pain, a few factors that might increase your risk include:

  • Lack of exercise and weak or unused muscles in your back
  • Excess weight that can stress and strain your back
  • Arthritis, cancer, and other diseases that weaken your spine and place extra strain on your back muscles and other supportive structures
  • Lifting with your back rather than your legs

What is the treatment for back pain?

We find that treatment with anti-inflammatory medication, muscle relaxants, and home remedies — such as heat or ice to the affected area — are sufficient for most bouts of back pain. We may also refer you to physical therapy or an orthopedic specialist if your symptoms don’t resolve as expected, but we can almost always solve the problem at our office.

Call our office today to make an appointment.