Spine Conditions

Painful Spine Conditions


Lower back pain is the leading cause for work-related disability and is second to only headaches as the most common neurological pain according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

Your lumbar spine supports your upper body weight, protects your spinal cord, and provides for a wide range of motion. Therefore pain and discomfort in this important part of the body can greatly impact one’s quality of life. Lower back pain can be caused by a variety of problems with any parts of the complex, interconnected network of spinal muscles, nerves, bones, discs or tendons in the lumbar spine. Typical sources of low back pain include:

  • The large nerve roots in the low back that go to the legs may be irritated
  • The smaller spinal nerves that supply the low back may be irritated
  • The large paired lower back muscles may be strained
  • The bones, ligaments or joints may be damaged
  • An intervertebral disc may be degenerating


When to Seek Immediate Treatment for Lower Back Pain

Most cases of low back pain do not require urgent care, but anyone should see a doctor immediately if low back pain is a result of trauma, or if pain is accompanied by any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever and chills
  • Pressure on the spinal causing discomfort or radiating pain.
  • Herniated disc symptoms such as sharp, shooting pain or numbness.
  • Severe back pain that does not improve with rest.
  • Unexplained recent weight loss
  • Significant leg weakness
  • Sudden bowel or bladder incontinence—either difficulty passing urine or having a bowel movement, or loss of control of urination or bowel movement (cauda equina syndrome)
  • Continuous and severe pain in the abdomen (abdominal aortic aneurysm)


Treatment for lower back pain depends upon the patient’s history and the type and severity of pain. The vast majority of lower back pain cases get better within six weeks without surgery—with rest, pain medications, and home treatment methods. Additionally, physical therapy, and lower back pain exercises are almost always part of a treatment plan. If pain worsens or persists for 3 months or more and becomes chronic back pain, more involved diagnostic and surgical procedures may be recommended. Learn about Lumbar Disc Herniation, and Lumbar Spinal Stenosis, common causes of lower back pain.


There is no clear evidence that you can prevent low back pain. But there are some things you can do that may help prevent it. And they can prepare you for faster recovery if you do have low back pain.

  • Exercise to keep your spinal column, back, and abdominal muscles healthy and strong.
  • Back injuries can occur from improper techniques. If some heavy lifting will be unavoidable, learn how to lift objects safely to protect your back.
  • Think about your posture, whether you are sitting or standing, to maintain a healthy spinal column.
  • Try different sleeping positions that protect your back.
  • Wear low-heeled shoes.
  • Stay at a healthy weight to avoid excess strain on your lower back. For more information, see the topic Weight Management.
  • If you smoke, quit. Smoking has been known to reduce blood flow to the spine which can aid in spinal disc degeneration.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Mental health-wise, manage stress. Preventing mental strain can also reduce the risk of back injuries.


Dr. Hamid Mir, M.D.

Dr Hamid Mir is a board certified orthopedic spine surgeon with fellowship training in combined neurosurgery and orthopedic spine surgery. He has offices in OC, Los Angeles & Riverside. Dr Mir specializes in spinal fusion, lumbar surgery and treating trauma as well as other conditions affecting the lumbar, thoracic, and cervical spine including degenerative diseases, stenosis, fracture, infection, adult scoliosis, revision, and complex reconstructions.


You are more than just a patient.

Dr. Hamid Mir is a member of American Board of Orthopedic Surgery with fellowship training in combined neurosurgical and orthopedic spine surgery at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in 2004. As a top rated spine surgeon, he specializes in cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine diseases including degenerative, stenosis, fracture, infection, scoliosis, revision, and complex reconstructions.

Dr. Mir focused his practice on minimally invasive techniques. As Medical Director of DISC Sports & Spine Center, Dr. Mir is at the forefront of the field of minimally invasive spine surgery. The benefits of these techniques include less post-operative pain, quicker recovery reduced blood loss, less soft tissue damage, smaller surgical incisions, less scarring and improved function.

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