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Back Pain

Treating Back Pain

Back pain is a common condition that affects over 75% of all people at some point. It’s the leading cause of disability globally. While you may experience back pain on any part of your back, it’s most commonly felt in the lumbar region, i.e., the lower back.

Depending on the type and location of your back pain, you may experience a wide range of symptoms, including aching pain, shooting pain, burning sensations, or stabbing pain, often radiating down the leg.

There are two types of back pain — acute pain and chronic pain. Acute back pain refers to severe and sudden back pain, usually fading away in a few weeks. Chronic back pain starts mildly but gradually worsens until you’re suffering from severe pain, usually lasting over 3 months.

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Potential Causes

  • Muscle strains
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Herniated disc
  • Scoliosis
  • Kyphosis
  • Flat Back
  • Spondylosis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Vertebral compression fracture


Back pain can occur because of several underlying diseases and conditions. As such, diagnosing the root cause of back pain is the first step in the correct direction. Dr. McHugh patiently discusses your back pain symptoms, runs a wide range of back examinations, and performs advanced tests to identify the root cause of back pain. Your back pain examination may include the following diagnostic tests.

  • Imaging Tests: Dr. McHugh administers X-rays, MRI scans, and CT scans to gather visual evidence of herniated discs, broken bones, signs of arthritis, or other problems related to the bones, ligaments, tendons, or blood vessels.
  • Blood Tests: Dr. McHugh recommends blood tests if he suspects an infection may be the root cause of your back pain.
  • Bone Scan: Dr. McHugh recommends a bone scan if he suspects your back pain may be caused by a bone lesion or a compression fracture.
  • Nerve Studies: Dr. McHugh recommends nerve studies if he suspects your back pain may be caused by nerve compression or spinal stenosis. Nerve studies measure the electrical impulses in your nerves to determine if your muscles respond correctly to the stimulation.

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After diagnosing the root cause of your back pain, Dr. McHugh will curate the ideal set of treatment plans for optimal back pain relief and long-term recovery. His treatment plans account for your lifestyle, the severity of your back pain symptoms, and the underlying root cause of back pain. Dr. McHugh aims to provide long-term back pain relief through minimally invasive treatment options, only resorting to surgery when absolutely necessary.

  • Medications: Dr. McHugh recommends medications suited to address the underlying cause of back pain. He may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers, muscle relaxants, topical pain relievers, or narcotics for immediate relief. He may administer corticosteroids to treat inflammations. Or he may recommend antidepressants for certain forms of chronic back pain.
  • Physical Therapy: Physical therapy is one of the foundational pillars of long-term back pain therapy. During physical therapy, back pain experts often use ultrasound, heat treatments, and electrical stimulation to provide pain relief. You’re also instructed on specific exercises that help you gradually strengthen your muscles, regain mobility, and correct your posture.
  • Surgery: Dr. McHugh aims to treat back pain without surgical intervention unless absolutely necessary. He specializes in the latest minimally invasive surgical techniques to help you achieve long-term back pain relief without complications.

Risk Factors

  • Being over 30 or 40
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Excess body weight
  • Underlying diseases like arthritis and cancer
  • Lifting heavy objects using the back
  • Smoking
  • Depression or anxiety
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Consult Dr. Brian McHugh

Dr. Brian McHugh uses cutting-edge diagnostic technologies to identify and treat the root cause of back pain. He provides a wide range of nonsurgical and minimally invasive surgical treatments, curating a treatment plan that addresses your unique concerns and problems.

You should consult Dr. McHugh in the following situations:

  • Back pain caused by injuries or trauma.
  • Sudden, severe, or persistent back pain.
  • Back pain radiating down your legs or arms.
  • Back pain accompanied by general leg weakness or numbness.
  • Back pain accompanied by a fever.
  • Back pain accompanied by numbing or tingling sensations in the buttocks or genitals.
  • Back pain accompanied by bowel dysfunctions.

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