Back pain is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide and one of the most common reasons people go to their doctor. Millions of people experience back pain at some point in their lives, making simple, everyday living a challenge.
Back pain can range from a dull and constant ache to a sudden and sharp pain that makes it hard to move. It can start quickly after an accident or injury, or it can be just a slight ache at first and then worsen slowly over time. It can occur in the neck or in the upper or lower back, and it can radiate down the leg (a condition called sciatica). Depending on its underlying cause or condition, back pain can go away by itself with simple home remedies and self-care, or it can require medical attention or even surgery.
Risks and Causes of Back Pain
The back is a complicated structure of bones, joints, muscles, discs, and nerves. When something breaks down or goes wrong with the way these parts fit together and move, pain can occur. It can happen to anyone, but some of the things that can increase the risk for back pain include:
Other causes and conditions that can result in back pain include:
Accidents and injury: A sprain or spinal compression fracture can occur after a serious fall, car accident, or other trauma.
Treatment at Och Spine at NewYork-Presbyterian at the Weill Cornell Medicine Center for Comprehensive Spine Care
The Spine Center on East 59th Street takes a multidisciplinary approach to treating back pain and conditions of the spine. The program is dedicated to identifying, diagnosing and treating the source of pain. This includes a thorough evaluation, selecting the best treatment options, and utilizing the most advanced technology.
The Spine Center brings together a team of experts that offer the very best of non-operative and minimally invasive surgical treatment for patients. Those in need of treatment receive input from a broad team of specialists, including neurologists, physical and occupational therapists, acupuncturists, cognitive therapists, and other pain management experts.
Learn more about how the sources of back pain are diagnosed and treated. Or visit the pages below for more information about specific conditions of the back and spine that can be treated at Weill Cornell Medicine:
Reviewed by: Eric Elowitz, MD
Last reviewed/last updated: September 2020