Low Back Pain Specialists

Low Back Pain Arlington, Va

Low back pain is so common that just about everyone will experience it at some point in their lifetime. This type of pain isn’t reserved for car accident victims, athletes, or the older population. Just about anyone can suffer some form of pain in their lower back. It can be incredibly challenging to live your daily life and perform regular activities when dealing with back pain, which can range from mild to severe and be brief or chronic.

At OrthoBethesda in Arlington, Dr O’Brien and Dr Feuchtbaum are nationally recognized for their surgical experience, research, compassion and understanding.


Breakdown of Back Anatomy

Understanding the anatomy of your back can make it easier to understand your injuries, the treatment options available, and why you might be suffering from back pain. If you have tried to find relief for back pain and have not seen results, it might be time to see a doctor who understands.


Vertebrae are bones present in the spinal column. They join together to form the canal that offers protection to the spinal cord. There are three curves in the back of everyone: cervical (neck), thoracic (chest), and lumbar (lower back). Vertebrae fused together to make up the lowest section of the spine, known as the coccyx and sacrum. The upper portion of the spine is connected to the pelvis via five lumbar vertebrae.

Nerves and the Spinal Cord

The nerves are considered electrical cables that travel throughout the canal. The nerves carry messages to and from the brain and the muscles. The nerves leave the spinal cord using openings found in the vertebrae.

Ligaments and Muscles

The upper body and the spine are supported by ligaments and muscles. The spine column is held in position by ligaments.

Facet Joints

The spine is able to move because of the facet joints found between the vertebrae.

Intervertebral Discs

These discs are found between the vertebrae in the spine. These discs absorb the shock of walking and running so that the vertebrae do not bang together. They work in conjunction with the facet joints to ensure your spine can bend, move, and twist correctly.

Intervertebral discs are about half an inch thick and are round and flat. They are made of two different items: Nucleus pulposus and annulus fibrosus.

Explaining Back Pain

Back pain differs from one patient to the next. No two individuals will experience the same type of back pain in their lives. This type of pain can arrive quickly or over a long period. It can be constant or intermittent. For the most part, back pain will heal itself within a couple of weeks.

The Causes of Back Pain

There are plenty of back pain causes. Often, it simply happens after lifting an object, landing wrong when walking, or after bending over. Age also plays a role in the pain you suffer in your back, which is why you should never rule out surgery.

Aging leads to degeneration of the spine. Surprisingly for some, the degeneration can begin when some are in their 30’s and even younger. The changes in your back don’t always lead to immobility. Many people are able to live pain-free lives well into their 70s and beyond.

Too Much Activity

Believe it or not, too much activity can cause back pain. Pain relief is important when you’ve suffered an injury, which is why you should speak with our medical team immediately. Too much activity includes shoveling a lot of snow in a blizzard, playing in a softball or baseball game, or simply overstretching your muscles. This pain often presents as stiffness, which dissipates in a couple of days.

Injuries to Your Discs

If your back pain does not dissipate in a couple of days it may mean that you have suffered an injury to one or more of the discs in your back. Discs can tear or become herniated. Either way, the pain will last a long time if you do not seek treatment from the doctors at OrthoBethesda.

Degeneration of Discs

It is common for discs to suffer degeneration with age. The discs begin to wear away and shrink in size. If the discs collapse completely it allows for the facet joints of the vertebrae to rub together, causing chronic pain.

Degenerative Spondylolisthesis

This is a medical condition that causes the vertebrae to slip. If the vertebrae slip too much they could pile on top of each other, leading the bones to press on the nerves of the spine.

Stenosis of the Spine

When pressure is put on the cord and nerves of the spine because of a narrowing of the cord, stenosis occurs.


Scoliosis is when the spine curves abnormally. This back issue develops most often in children, usually when they become teenagers. Scoliosis is not out of the question when older people suffer from arthritis.

Other Causes

Other reasons you could be suffering from back pain include the following:

  • Cancer
  • Arterial disease
  • Vascular disease
  • Chronic pain

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is in your best interest to seek treatment from an experienced provider at OrthoBethesda in Arlington Va. Your wellbeing depends on it.

Symptoms of Back Pain

The pain in a patient’s back will vary. It can be sharp, dull, achy, stabbing, or even feel like you are experiencing a cramp. Many people lay down to relieve the pain in their back. Some symptoms of back pain in Arlington Va include the following:

  • Sitting makes pain worse
  • Bending and lifting worsens the pain
  • You have sciatica because of arthritis
  • Pains worsen when walking
  • The pains radiate from the back to the buttocks to the legs
  • The pains come and go, often providing you with good and bad days

It doesn’t matter how old you are, if you do not experience relief within a few days to a week, you should consult specialists in Arlington Va during an appointment or via phone.

How To Diagnose Back Pain

If you have been suffering back pain, it’s time to visit the orthopedic doctor for treatment and care. A doctor will examine your entire medical history and may request records from your other doctors. They will take a physical exam in an effort to determine where the pain is located and what may be damaged. They will also assess nerves in your legs and feet.

Diagnostic testing is also many times a necessity. These tests include the following:

  • MRI
  • X-rays
  • CAT scans
  • Bone density test
  • Bone scans

Pain relief is not that far away in Arlington Va. A provider from OrthoBethesda can answer all of your questions and find the right treatments for your Low Back pain.

How to Prevent Back Pain

You can do your best to avoid nonsurgical and surgical treatments by working to prevent back pain from developing. Since the cause of these pains often involve lifting or bending in some way or another, be sure to do the following, according to the orthopedic care professionals from our office:

  • Exercise regularly but within reason
  • Try to maintain a healthy weight
  • Always lift objects properly
  • Do not smoke
  • Practice good posture

Treatment Options For Low Back Pain

Selecting a doctor who will do a full evaluation and not jump to the conclusion that surgery is necessary without exploring other options is paramount. At OrthoBethesda in Arlington, VA, we can find the right method for you based on your exam and current health.

Nonsurgical Treatment For Back Pain

One option to solve these issues is nonsurgical treatment at our center with our trusted team. Treatments not involving surgery include the following for your health:

  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Pain medication
  • Steroids
  • Physical therapy
  • Braces
  • Exercise-based programs

Surgical Options For Low Back Pain

You can help relieve the painful problems in your body by electing to undergo surgery with one of our specialists. Surgical options include the following to help your care for your health:

  • Spinal fusion
  • Disc replacement

Call OrthoBethesda In Arlington Virginia Today

There’s no reason you should live with pain in your back, neck, hips, or other areas. The team at OrthoBethesda offers convenient hours to schedule appointments with the staff. Reach us by phone today to schedule a consultation so you can get on the path to relief.