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Back Pain Specialist

Spine, Sport & Physical Medicine Center

Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine located in Sarasota, FL

If you’re experiencing back pain, you’re not alone. Research shows that most of your fellow Americans will have the same complaint at some point in their lives. Dr. Carlos Diaz is a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist who supervises the healthcare team at Spine, Sport & Physical Medicine Center in Sarasota, Florida. He specializes in back pain, can uncover the reason for your symptoms, and then create a treatment plan that works. Call today for an appointment with Dr. Diaz or book your visit online.

Back Pain Q & A

What causes back pain?

Back pain is one of the most common reasons people give for seeing their doctor. It most often occurs in the lower back region and may be caused by:

  • Muscle or ligament strain due to repeated heavy lifting or a sudden twist or awkward movement
  • Poor physical conditioning that stresses your back muscles and may lead to painful muscle spasms
  • Herniated or bulging discs in your spine
  • Arthritis, typically osteoarthritis, which is linked to the natural aging process
  • Less commonly, spinal stenosis or narrowing of the spinal canal
  • Skeletal irregularities such as scoliosis, which causes your spine to curve to the side
  • Osteoporosis that affects your bone density and can result in compression fractures in your spine

When should I worry about back pain?

Most back pain resolves within a few weeks, and while uncomfortable, its cause is not typically something that you need to worry about. At the same time, back pain is not something you have to live with either. Dr. Diaz can identify what’s causing your symptoms and create a treatment strategy that helps speed your recovery and prevent future back pain from disrupting your life.

Symptoms that do indicate the need for medical attention include:

  • Back pain that lasts for more than two weeks, doesn’t improve with rest, or abruptly worsens after you were feeling better
  • Symptoms of numbness, tingling, or pain that spreads down one or both legs
  • Weakness in your extremities
  • Sudden loss of bowel or bladder control, which may indicate cauda equina syndrome, a rare disorder caused by spinal nerve root compression that often requires urgent surgical treatment
  • Severe, sudden pain that makes it difficult to move

You should also seek medical care if you develop back pain for the first time after age 50 or have a history of cancer or osteoporosis.

What is the treatment for back pain?

Depending on the cause and severity of your back pain, Dr. Diaz may recommend:

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Topical pain relievers such as creams, salves, or ointments
  • Cortisone injection
  • A physical therapy program that includes stretching and strengthening exercises as well as therapeutic massage and other therapies to relieve your pain and relax your muscles