Oh, how an aching back can impact every element of your life. More than ¾ of Americans experience low back pain at some point in their lives, and roughly half of sufferers have recurring episodes. Some people have chronic low back pain, which can result in a frustrating search for a comfortable position to work, relax or sleep, oftentimes without success. The causes of low back pain are many, but among the most common are those related to the bones of the lower back and the cushioning discs between them. When these are damaged in any way, pain can range from a dull ache that won’t go away to debilitating pain that holds a sufferer in constant agony.
One common cause of low back pain in middle-aged and older people is osteoarthritis, which affects about 27 million Americans. Over time, the cartilage that serves as a shock absorber between the bones of the lower spine can wear away, resulting in a condition known as spondylosis. Pain can be invited by doing anything for too long – whether it’s an activity, standing, sitting or even lying down. Poor posture and improper body mechanics can also place undue stress on the lumbar spine. When the small discs between the spinal bones are worn or damaged to the point where their cushioning gel center is pushed outside the disc, the gel can press against and inflame the nearby nerves. This condition is known as a herniated or slipped disc. Once the cushion between the bones is eroded or damaged, bones in the low back may slip out of alignment, causing a condition known as degenerative spondylolisthesis, which can create mild to serious pain, spasm and/or weakness in the low back and legs.
Serious cases of spondylosis can result in spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spaces in the spine that can press against or pinch the nerves serving the lower back and legs, causing aching, burning, shooting or stabbing pain, numbness, weakness and clumsiness.
“Whatever the cause, low back pain can be a miserable problem that seriously interferes with a person’s quality of life,” says Ocala Neurosurgical Center’s Board Certified neurosurgeon, Dr. Daniel Robertson. “Luckily, we at ONC have a host of nonsurgical methods to diagnose and treat low back pain that really work. These range from medication and physical therapy to epidural injections or nerve root blocks. Once we have determined the cause of low back pain, it’s easier to understand the most effective course of action to arrest pain and help prevent its recurrence.”
What makes the medical team of ONC uniquely qualified to provide effective low back pain relief is our three neurosurgeons’ 7 years of neurosurgical residency training, including 2 1/2 years of specialized focus, full Board Certification, and 68 years of collective experience helping people escape pain and dysfunction and return to more normal, active and satisfying lives.
If you suffer from chronic low back pain, it might be time to reach out to the caring professionals of ONC. We’re here to help.
DANIEL P. ROBERTSON, MD
• In the practice of neurosurgery since 1994. Joined Ocala Neurosurgery Center
• Board Certified in Neurological Surgery by the American Board of
• Bachelor of Engineering Degree from Duke University
• Medical Degree from the University of Tennessee
• Residency in neurosurgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas
• Member, Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society
• Fellow, the American College of Surgeons
• Certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners
• On staff at Munroe Regional Medical Center & Ocala Regional Medical Center
Dr. Robertson is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the Marion County Medical Society.
Dr. Daniel Robertson, his partner neurosurgeons, Dr. Mark Oliver and Dr. Antonio DiSclafani, and their talented support team are dedicated to providing unsurpassed diagnostic and therapeutic care for a range of neurological and spinal disorders. Our foremost mission is to help you return to a life of health, comfort and vitality.