Learn About Spondylolisthesis Treatment Options

Spondylolisthesis treatment optionsWhen one of your spine’s bones moves out of place and slides onto the vertebra lying beneath it, spondylolisthesis is the result. This usually occurs in the lower back (lumbar) area and can lead to nerve roots or your spinal cord becoming squeezed, resulting in pain, numbness and/or weakness in your back and legs.

Spondylolisthesis is a word that is sometimes confused with other spine conditions, such as spondylosis, spondylitis, and spondylolysis. Though these conditions are all very different, the one thing they have in common is the derivation of their names; the term spondylos comes from the Greek word for “spine.” The word “spondylolisthesis” is a blend of the word spondylos, meaning spine, with the word listhesis, which means “to slide.”

Symptoms of Spondylolisthesis

You can have spondylolisthesis and not be aware that you do, as this condition has very few, in fact sometimes no, crystal clear symptoms. You may note some pain in your lower back, but this can be misconstrued as a simple muscle strain as the pain increases with your movements. Another symptom some people experience is pain in the buttocks or legs. Pain radiating down the legs causing weakness, tingling, or numbness can occur if the vertebra is sitting on a nerve root. Often those symptoms can extend to your feet, which can lead to difficulty when walking. Rarely, spondylolisthesis can lead to bladder incontinence or loss of bowel control. If these unusual symptoms occur, you should visit a health care professional immediately.

Causes of Spondylolisthesis

The bones of your spine are normally kept in alignment by the small joints that hold your vertebrae together as your spine is still flexible enough to bend and twist. When one of these tiny joints becomes damaged, spondylolisthesis may occur. Some people are born with a congenital case of spondylolisthesis due to an innate, defective joint.

The most common cause of spondylolisthesis, however, is due to spinal wear and tear. When discs become worn out over the years, joints degenerate and vertebrae can slip out of place. Osteoarthritis can cause stress fractures that damage the joints, too, as well as infection. These causes make spondylolisthesis occur more commonly in older people, though this condition is not restricted to those who are advanced in age. Anyone at any age can develop spondylolisthesis due to an acute injury or some type of trauma. Sports injuries and damage from overuse can even cause spondylolisthesis to develop in children and teenagers due to stress fractures.

Treatments for Spondylolisthesis

At the Spine Institute Northwest, we can diagnose this condition using imaging tools, such as an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan. These testing devices can help determine if you have a fracture in a vertebra or whether a bone has slipped out of place. If Dr. Solomon Kamson, MD, PhD, diagnoses spondylolisthesis, his treatment protocols will depend upon what caused the condition and how severe it is.

When the pain you suffer from spondylolisthesis is somewhat minor, Dr. Kamson may recommend managing your condition using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, together with ceasing the activity that may have caused the condition to develop. Although resting may seem like a good idea, it’s very important to keep moving when you have spondylolisthesis. Dr. Sol Kamson recommends core-strengthening programs to develop the stomach and back muscles that help support the spine. It’s critical that you consult a physician and work with a physical therapist if you are diagnosed with spondylolisthesis.

If your pain is very severe, if conservative measures have not worked to relieve pain, if vertebrae continue to slip, or if nerve damage has occurred, then surgery may be indicated. At the Spine Institute Northwest, we perform minimally invasive procedures, such as vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty, to strengthen fractured vertebra. Decompression and laminectomy procedures can also help by removing bone material that is resting on a nerve.

Contact Dr. Kamson at the Spine Institute Northwest in Bothell, WA, today at (208) 496-0630 to arrange a free evaluation of your condition by uploading your imaging results to our office.

Living without Pain at Long Last!

dwayne-burnellChronic back and leg pain can be intolerable, with some patients suffering hopelessly for years. The thought of having invasive spine surgery is scary, and some sufferers, like author and wealth strategist Dwayne Burnell, can seek out treatment for years with little success.

When Dwayne finally consulted with Sol Kamson back in 2003, he was thoroughly impressed with the surgeon’s thorough, thoughtful approach to his issues. Dwayne had explored practically every avenue to find the answer to his painful symptoms, from chiropractors to orthopedic surgeons to pharmaceuticals. The most frustrating part of Dwayne’s journey was receiving conflicting advice from different professionals and no core diagnosis as to the root of his painful symptoms. Finally, Dwayne had found what he’d been seeking: a correct diagnosis for his pain, along with a minimally invasive lumbar fusion procedure to relieve his pain and get to the root of his problem.

A minimally invasive lumbar fusion procedure involves a facet screw system that helps stabilize the spine. With a small incision, Dr. Kamson, MD, uses fluoroscopic guidance to insert a dilator between the muscles to avoid irritating nerves and muscles of the spine. The offending disc or bone material is then removed, and a PEEK spacer cage is filled with bone graft to let the spine fuse. Tiny rods and screws are put in to ensure the fusion site remains solid. This type of lumbar fusion keeps cutting and disruption of back muscles to an absolute minimum.

The advantages of undergoing a minimally invasive lumbar fusion procedure as opposed to traditional open fusion surgeries include a less painful procedure, a higher rate of success, and quicker recovery times.

Patients like Dwayne Burnell, who is an avid outdoorsman, are thrilled that they are still completely free of pain, a full ten years after surgery. Contact Solomon Kamson at Spine Institute Northwest in Bothell, WA, if you are seeking an answer to your issues with spine or leg pain. Minimally invasive procedures can be your ticket to a pain-free life, letting you spend more time doing the things you love once again.

Medical Care Tips You Should Know: Part III

foam-roller-blogDr. Sol Kamson wants you to know how you can be a more informed patient when it comes to back and spine surgery or treatments. This last set of medical care tips that your doctor will not always have the time to convey to you will provide you with insights into getting the relief you deserve from back pain.

Tip #21: Be Frank With Your Doctor

Tell the truth about your medical history, including prior surgeries of all types. If your surgeon is not aware of past procedures, even those of a cosmetic type, he may be facing a challenge for which he is not completely prepared. You and your doctor want the best possible outcome, and being honest is always the best policy.

Tip #22: Ask About Recovery Expectations

Not every spinal surgery has the same recovery period or post-surgical discomfort level. Ask your doctor what to expect after surgery and what kind of care will be needed so you can be more prepared both physically and psychologically.

Tip #23: Find Out About Post-Surgical Care

You will often need post-op appointments for follow-up care. Ask your doctor who will be seeing you at these appointments. Will it be the doctor who completed the surgery or another physician? Ask if a nurse or assistant will do the follow-up care so you will be more informed and not surprised if the doctor isn’t at your appointment.

Tip #24: Find Out About Banking Your Blood

When you are opting for elective surgery, you may have the option to bank your own blood should you need a transfusion. In this way, you will not have to rely on getting blood from an unknown source.

Tip #25: Avoid Unnecessary Procedures

Be sure to ask about and weigh all of your options when it comes to spine surgery. Dr. Kamson will inform you of your options prior to any procedure he recommends and works with you to make the right choice for your needs.

Tip #26: Avoid Scarring with the Right Creams

Ask your physician about which creams you can use to avoid any ugly scar post-surgery.

Tip #27: The Right Choice for Back Pain

It’s a good idea to first consider minimally invasive spine surgery as a first alternative to more invasive procedures when it comes to your back or cervical areas. Healing after undergoing minimally invasive surgery on your spine is always easier than after more traditional surgeries, especially if the end results will be similar.

Tip #28: Do What You’re Told

When given pre-op and post-op instructions, follow directions carefully for the best results. Question anything you don’t fully understand.

Tip #29: Consider Getting Help Afterwards

As with any procedure, you might be sore for a little while afterwards. Have someone help you with housework and other needs so you can concentrate on your recovery.

Tip #30: Work On Preventing Future Back Issues

Your surgeon may ask you to undergo a particular procedure so as to avoid future problems. Ask what will occur if you do not agree to treatment and then weigh your options carefully. Another good question to ask is what the outcome will be if you wait to get this particular surgery.

We hope you found this three-part series of medical care tips from Dr. Sol Kamson very helpful in your quest to find relief from back pain and other spinal issues. Contact us at the Spine Institute Northwest in Bothell, WA, to discover your options for taking back your life.

Medical Care Tips You Should Know: Part II

emergency-roomThis is a second set of eye-opening tips that can help you take control of your own care and steer you in finding the relief you need when it comes to back pain and sciatica. Dr. Sol Kamson has assisted us in putting together these important pieces of advice that doctors know about, but patients often are not aware of when it comes to choosing the right surgeon in your area.

Tip # 11: Take Your Time to Decide About Surgery

There’s usually no reason to rush into making a decision when it comes to back surgery. This is an important health choice, so weigh all of your options before committing to a surgeon or a specific procedure.

Tip #12: Communicate Any Leg Pain Post-Surgery

Although Sol Kamson will inform you about possible post-surgical complications, it’s important to understand that leg pain after surgery can be a signal of a blood clot. Do not hesitate to inform Dr. Kamson or your physician about leg pain after any back surgery.

Tip #13: Your Surgeon Loves to Be Thanked

After you’ve had a successful surgical procedure to relieve back pain, your life will likely improve to a tremendous degree. Surgeons work very hard to better the quality of life for their patients. Convey your gratitude for this life-changing help with a heartfelt ‘thank you’ in words or, better yet, in a handwritten note.

Tip #14: Physicians Are Very Busy People

Though it may sometimes seem as though doctors do not care about their patients because they rush in and out of examining rooms, this could not be further from the truth. Schedules become hectic, with many patients to see, yet you are just as important as anyone else. Keep in mind that your doctor really does care about you, though the rapid pace in the office may not always convey that impression.

Tip #15: Lawsuits Are Real Concerns for Doctors

In this litigious society, physicians do worry about being sued by patients. They sometimes refuse to perform certain procedures or recommend other avenues in order to protect themselves from legal action.

Tip #16: Complete Recovery Means Getting Enough Rest

You may feel much better and more fit after surgery, yet your spine surgeon informs you that you need to rest and recover for a certain period of time. Heed the advice of surgeons like Dr. Kamson and take the time you need to heal by not doing more than you should too soon.

Tip #17: Ask The Right Questions Before Surgery

Prior to saying ‘yes’ to a recommended procedure, be sure to question your doctor as to what is damaged in your body and why you need a certain repair. Perhaps you’ll discover that there are other options and surgery is not the only treatment available.

Tip #18: Being Overweight Can Be Challenging

Your doctor may find it difficult to find veins for IVs in obese patients. If you’re severely overweight, other complications can present themselves, such as slower healing and infections. Speak with Dr. Kamson at the Spine Institute Northwest about the complications that may exist should your weight present a problem.

Tip #19: Nurses Are a Great Resource

Come to your medical appointments with a list of questions, but save the most important ones for the doctor. Ask the nurse about your more minor concerns and let your physician focus on the essential answers you need.

Tip #20: Listen Carefully

Doctors will tell you how to manage your post-surgical care or ways to prepare for a procedure. It’s important to listen carefully and perhaps take notes so that all goes well for you. Dr. Kamson is concerned that patients listen and follow instructions for the best possible outcome before, during, and after spinal procedures or treatments.

These ten additional tips for your medical care should give you an insight into what doctors really want patients to know. Stay tuned for the third in this series of medical secrets from Solomon Kamson MD, PhD and the Spine Institute Northwest in Bothell, WA.

Medical Care Tips You Should Know: Part I

man-stretch-back-office

If you suffer from any type of back or neck pain, it’s important that you choose a physician you know you can trust to help you get the best care you available. Often, however, orthopedic surgeons may not be free to discuss every single aspect of what a patient should do to ensure they find the best doctor for their needs. In other instances, time constraints may be tight and your surgeon will not have the extra minutes it takes to keep you as informed as possible about your options and things you can do proactively to be sure you’re making the best decisions possible.

Here are some important tips that Dr. Sol Kamson at the Spine Institute Northwest has decided to share with you, so you will be assured that your spine surgeon and the medical care you receive have been completely vetted and cleared by the most important person who needs this knowledge: you, the patient.

Tip #1: Consult With a Second Physician

When seeking out relief from back pain or sciatica, Dr. Sol Kamson understands that there are always multiple options to explore. He will never be annoyed or concerned if you decide to seek out a second opinion.  Perhaps Dr. Kamson will even be the second opinion you reach out to. What’s important is that you find the right treatment plan for you, with a doctor you can trust to manage or eliminate your pain.

Tip #2: Don’t Simply Rely upon Your Primary Care Physician’s Referral

Your PCP may have a professional relationship with a spine surgeon, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that this specialist is the ideal doctor for your needs. Perform you own additional research and seek out a doctor who specializes in spinal pain relief. Dr. Kamson is an interventional pain management and minimally invasive spine surgeon who has helps scores of patients return to living a normal life once again.

Tip#3: Contact Former Patients

Don’t simply rely upon what you read on-line. It’s a good idea to speak with patients who have used the surgeon you are considering. Dr. Kamson has videotaped patient testimonials on his web site that you can listen to, for example. Call the Spine Institute Northwest offices if you’d like information about contacting a patient directly.

Tip #4: Bring Someone to Your Appointments

When you go to your appointment with a spinal surgeon, it’s a great idea to always bring a family member along. In this way, your doctor will view you as a real person. Not only will the surgeon meet your loved one(s), but your companion will be able to recall and understand everything that’s being said in the event that you become nervous or forget to ask questions.

Tip #5: Ask Who Will Be in the O.R.

Dr. Solomon Kamson performs minimally invasive and other surgical procedures. But as an informed patient, it’s important to always ask a doctor who will actually be in the operating room during the procedure. Ask to meet them beforehand.

Tip #6: Ask About the Risks Involved

Though someone like Dr. Kamson will always inform you of any risks involved with your surgery, it’s good to ask what, specifically, are his concerns for you as an individual.

Tip #7: Mistakes Can Happen

Surgical errors can and do occur from time to time. Ensure that you choose a spine surgeon who specializes in this field.

Tip #8: Don’t Expect Miracles

Some spine issues can’t be completely fixed, even with surgery. Ask Dr. Kamson about his expectations for your recovery.

Tip #9: Non-Surgical Options

Ask if surgery is the only option, as other initial treatments may be fine for your particular condition.

Tip #10: There Are No Cookie-Cutter Doctors

Each spine surgeon is different. The ideal surgeon in this field is one like Solomon Kamson MD, who is constantly educating himself on the latest techniques and options for spine and sciatica relief.

For more information, please contact the Spine Institute Northwest in Bothell, WA, directly at 888-530-4621.

Spine Doctor and Police Officer Treated at Spine Institute Northwest

Spine Expert Treated by Dr. Kamson at Spine Institute NW

Dr. Steven Levine, who has his own practice in Indiana, recently visited Spine Institute Northwest (SINW) in Washington to undergo minimally invasive surgery under the care of Dr. Solomon Kamson.

Dr. Levine, is no stranger to back pain and the complications that may arise from leaving it untreated or worse, treating it the wrong way.  Dr. Kamson performed a decompression on Dr. Levine’s spine which was less invasive and less risky than a spinal fusion. While Dr. Levine respects the work that traditional neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons do, he knew from experience that minimally invasive was the way to go.

“Dr. Kamson is one of the few physicians I know in the United States that can do what needs to be done less invasively, cares about his patients, and has taken the time to travel around the world to educate himself.”

Asked why he opted for treatment at SINW from Dr. Kamson, Dr. Levine says that to find the level of care he needed would mean going overseas in countries such as China, Germany, England, or France. Dr. Levine recognizes the fact that Dr. Kamson is one of the select physicians in the United States that does the minimally invasive procedure he was looking for.

Surgery Saved My Job Says Police Officer

Washington police officer Garrett Baxter had been suffering through back pain while performing his job as a deputy sheriff. Officer Baxter had been trying to deal with the pain through more traditional methods such as physical therapy, upon the recommendation of other physicians, to no avail. His back pain would subside only to return again.  His condition was at its worst on February of 2016, when he could not walk at all no matter what he did.

“I would have lost my job if I didn’t have this surgery,” Garrett says.

Deciding that he needed to look for an alternative treatment for his back, he found Spine Institute Northwest and consulted with Dr. Solomon Kamson, who specializes in minimally invasive surgery.

Officer Baxter felt immediate relief after his procedure, a lumbar decompression. He credits the surgery with “saving his job” and calls his experience at Spine Institute NW as “one of the best experiences of his life.”

 

Patient Reviews for Doctor Kamson

Minimally Invasive Surgery Patients of Dr. Solomon Kamson

“I was out and about in like a month,” Jaselyn says, and back to work not long afterward. Today, “I can pick up my students, I can go and do sports that I haven’t been able to do. Even just walks with my dogs.”

-Jaselyn Lee, on being able to do normal activities after being treated by Dr. Solomon Kamson at SINW

“I received the same thorough diagnosis, the same leading edge knowledge, and the same thoughtful concern and the same successful outcome.”

-Author and Spine Institute Northwest patient Dwayne Burnell, on Dr. Solomon Kamson’s analytical and logical approach to treating back pain

“Dr. Kamson got right on top of it…you come in [to Spine Institute NW] and you know that they want to help you, and they make you feel glad that you came. And you just have a sense of peace of knowing that you’re going to get help that you need.”

-Margo Witters, on her very positive experience at Spine Institute Northwest and meeting Dr. Solomon Kamson

“I would just say get it taken care of so you can get back to normal living again.”

-Stephanie Proulx, advising people on having their back pain looked at after her own successful treatment at SINW

“As soon as I saw Dr. Kamson I really liked him, right off the bat. I could tell he was a man of integrity. I felt really at ease and comfortable.”

-Jim Perri, on his impression of Dr. Solomon Kamson after meeting with him

“I got to know Dr. Kamson. I knew he was going to do the right thing for me. He wanted to fix my problem.”

-Dave Patten, on his impressions of Dr.Solomon Kamson after doing some research and after meeting him in person at Spine Institute Northwest

“Don’t guess at a diagnosis, get it checked out if you’re feeling pain!”

-Mary Halabi, on her advice to patients second-guessing their pains

“I felt very comfortable with what he had to say…I just kind of felt like this was the place I needed to go.”

-Tim Watts, on the confidence he felt about entrusting his care to Dr. Solomon Kamson after meeting him and commiting to minimally invasive surgery

“I was skeptical but once I talked to Dr. Kamson and he explained what was gonna take place, I had no second thoughts about it. I was ready to go that day.”

-Daniel Schmalzried on how he felt after meeting with Dr. Solomon Kamson and listening to the explanation of how his medical procedure would help his back pain

“Even last night, four or five hours after surgery, I did not have leg or ankle pain.”

-John Wieler, on the day and night difference on how his leg felt atfer Dr. Solomon Kamson operated on his back

“The staff were just phenomenal, and actually took time to, to visit with me, to care, to explain everything”

-Sissy Falcon Johnson, remembering her exprience with the staff at Spine Institute Northwest and Dr. Solomon Kamson

“I came in on a Wednesday night, I had the surgery on Friday.”

-David Hurlbut, on the quick turnaround time for his surgery at Spine Institute Northwest

“I now have no pain in my legs at all. It is a world of difference there.”

-Glenn Steig, on the difference before and after his procedure performed by Dr. Kamson at SINW

“I was just astonished to come in for the surgery and to leave that night.”

-Lori Kuzior, Dr. Kamson’s spine sugery patient, on her surprise at being able to move right after having her procedure

“Definitely get hold of Dr. Kamson.”

-Michael Reitz, Spine Institute NW patient, on his advice to other people contemplating minimally invasive surgery for back pain

“As the weeks progressed, the pain just worked its way completely out of my body. It is pretty incredible.”

-Darrel Lewis, on the gradual lifting of his back pain as he recovered from his surgery at SINW

“I can guarantee that it is worth it, no matter what your situation is.”

-Neck Surgery patient Jesus Omar Belloso Soza, on having his back pain looked at and treated by Dr. Solomon Kamson at SINW

“My pain is literally 100% gone.” 

-Eric Minier, on his pain level after Doctor Kamson performed a microdiscectomy on his L4 vertebrae

“I just want the least invasive, the quickest way to heal, the best way to heal.”

Michael Shaffer, on his decision to go with Dr. Kamson to treat his slipped disc

Restoring the ‘Quality of Life’ for Our Veterans

What kind of a life do our Veterans lead once they’ve come home? Unfortunately, life isn’t easy for our troops. After they are forced to tolerate long-term pain on the battle field, they experience complications and physical discomfort, which can diminish their quality of life once they have come home. Surprisingly, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, as many as half of all returning veterans experience chronic pain lasting as long as six months.

Civilians have a lot of control when it comes to managing back pain. They can change the way they sit, change their posture — but back pain for the Veteran is a different story. Though there are certainly troops who have desk jobs, those whose assignments involve carrying lots of equipment or wearing heavy protective gear for long periods of time are prone to wear-and-tear injuries. Veterans may also experience back pain as a result of injury, which can complicate the treatment process.

Life is difficult enough for members of the military because they are more likely to experience chronic back pain due to battle. For anyone experiencing chronic pain, there is the risk of developing feelings of frustration, despair, and depression. This risk can be even greater for veterans, even those returning from non-combat missions. Back pain and back injuries can limit your ability to work. For those who have made serving their country their career, back pain can seriously inhibit successfully performing their duties.

Obtaining immediate medical attention for our troops who suffer chronic back pain doesn’t come easy. Beginning in 1998, the Veterans’ Administration has used a protocol for handling veterans’ pain issues known as the National Pain Management Strategy. However, the lengthy wait times and inefficiencies of the VA system have been well documented. Returning troops are faced with bureaucratic hurdles and frustrating lags, especially for seeing specialists. Though efforts are being made to overhaul the VA, chronic pain can make each day feel like an eternity.

If you would like to restore your quality of life by eliminating chronic back pain, don’t wait for a referral from the VA. Solomon Kamson, MD at the Spine Institute Northwest offers a comprehensive array of treatment options, and we make every effort to make sure you don’t need to wait to come see us.

Are Steroid Injections Helpful for Back Pain?

The use of steroid injections to treat back pain is a popular option for treating back pain for many patients. It’s minimally invasive and relatively inexpensive, and for many people these injections can provide effective management of a chronic pain issue. However, as reported in the Washington Post, some doctors are unsure about the long-term efficacy of using injections to treat pain. But steroid injections continue to be widely used, and many patients report feeling some degree of relief as a result of spinal steroid injection. What accounts for this discrepancy?

First of all, it’s important to understand how spinal injections are meant to work. Steroid injections are most frequently used to treat sciatica and leg pain that results from sciatic nerve pain, and they tend to be most effective when used to treat pain resulting from herniated discs. The steroid injection is delivered directly into the epidural space of the spine. The injected fluids may include cortisone, an anesthetic, and/or saline. The particular combination of injected solutions depends on the nature the problem.

It is generally well understood that pain relief that results from spinal injection therapies is temporary. There are, however, rare cases where these injections do provide enough relief to allow a patient to forego any further pain management therapies—and these exceptions to the rule can be blow out of proportion to their actual occurrence. This means that patients who may have exaggerated beliefs about the level of relief that steroid injections can provide are more likely to report a low level of efficacy.

Spinal injections are most often used to help a patient manage pain before moving on to the option of surgery. Even minimally invasive spine surgery, which has a smaller incision and faster recovery period, is still only used after other options for treating pain have been exhausted. In a situation where it looks like a person is likely to need a surgical procedure, a doctor may choose spinal injection therapy as a method to help the patient deal with the pain while they are waiting for surgery. In some cases, this therapy will provide enough relief that the patient won’t end up needing surgery, but in most cases it works as more of a placeholder. Rather than dealing with the actual cause of the pain — whether it’s sciatica or an injured disc — spinal injections only help patients manage the pain itself.

In the article in the Washington Post, doctors noted that even with different methods of injection and different combinations of solutions did necessarily produce differing results in patients. However, their study did show that spinal injection therapies tend to be most effective when used to treat pain that results from a herniated disc. One reason for this could be because especially in someone who is relatively young, a herniated disc may heal on its own.

Though studies like those reported by the Washington Post may give some readers concern about the efficacy of spinal injection, it’s important to understand how these may (or may not) fit into your individual treatment plan and to know what kind of results you can expect. If you are curious about these injections, or if you are looking for a second opinion, it’s a good idea to consult a physician who specializes in back health like Dr. Solomon Kamson.

Too Young for Back Pain?

If you’re one of the growing number of people who’s under 50 and experiencing back pain, you may feel like you’re limited in what you can find about the unique issues you may face. Chronic back pain is associated with aging, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t happen to younger people. If you’re experiencing something as real and debilitating as chronic back pain and all you can find is information about pain treatment in older populations, it can really feel isolating or even embarrassing. It also may not be helpful to get treatment advice that is more appropriate for someone who is much older.

Though many attribute rising rates of back pain complaints to the aging of the baby boomer generation, there are other reasons why back problems could be more common that have nothing to do with age. Increased rates of childhood obesity, lack of exercise, and a more sedentary lifestyle are all potential factors that could lead to developing back problems at a younger age. While doctors like Solomon Kamson MD, PhD of the Spine Institute Northwest are likely to mainly see older patients, the number of younger people reporting back pain is on the rise.

Back pain can’t be said to really be a positive development, but there are advantages that younger sufferers have. Making the effort to change your lifestyle, with more exercise and a nutritious diet, can not only help relieve your pain now but will also benefit your overall health as you age. Younger bodies also tend to heal more quickly than older people, although advances in back pain treatments — like minimally invasive spine surgery and regenerative medicine — mean that older back pain sufferers also have a better chance at a relatively speedy recover.

Back pain can be result from the wear-and-tear of behaviors like sitting for long hours at a desk or carrying a heavy backpack, making it hardly out of the realm of possibility for a young person. That said, you should be careful to make sure you aren’t ignoring signs of potentially more serious medical problems that can affect the back. Part of the reason that back health information tends to be targeted at older people is that older people are more likely to develop more serious issues like vertebral compression fractures or degenerative disc problems. But just because these things don’t apply to you, it doesn’t mean you should ignore signs of a more serious health problem! If you feel you are only finding information targeted at older people, make sure you are finding ways to read between the lines to get all the info that could still be relevant for you.