Neck and lower back pain are the two most common conditions we see in the office. Low back pain is definitely more frequent than neck pain, so we see more lumbar cases than we do neck cases. This is generally just due to the pressure on the lower back. More people have pressure on the lower back than the neck. So it tends to wear out the discs in the lower back.
Different reasons for low back pain can range widely from musculoskeletal problems like degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, bulging discs, spinal stenosis, and then, even away from orthopedic problems, kidney problems, spinal tumors, spinal cysts, things that we don’t necessarily see in the office, which is obviously why it’s important to do a thorough exam, find out exactly why the patient is having low back pain. And if that is related to an orthopedic problem, most likely it’s something that we can treat or triage out to another physician if it’s something more serious.
But the neck pain can be from the same source of issues as the lower back in terms of degenerative disc disease, joint pain, injuries, and then other causes, of course, as well. We generally start out with a very conservative approach with physical therapy, maybe some chiropractic manipulation, and then progress into maybe more advanced techniques such as our DRX 9000 spinal decompression procedure when we see that a patient maybe is not responding as well as we’d like with the more conventional methods.
With the DRX procedure we typically always MRI or CT or use a CT scan in order to determine what the actual cause of the pain is before we consider a patient for that treatment because we do need to know if that treatment will be effective and be appropriate in that situation.