Back Pain

Back Pain

What is it?

Back pain is sharp or aching pain usually in the back usually resulting from arthritis or injury. Back pain may be a short-term or chronic condition. 

Causes, Symptoms and Risk Factors

Back pain can be caused by many factors, such as injury or disease. Some of these causes include:

  • Scoliosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Arthritis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Disc rupture
  • Muscle spasms or tenseness
  • Injury, such as sprains and fractures
  • Pregnancy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Tumors

Symptoms of back pain include:

  • Pain that can range from shooting pain to a constant ache
  • Limited flexibility and motion

Those at particular risk of suffering from back pain are:

  • Between 30 and 40 years old.
  • An athlete
  • Not physically fit
  • A smoker
  • Overweight
  • Have a family history of back pain
  • Do work or other physical activities that put strain on the spine


A doctor will diagnose back pain by performing a physical examination, reviewing symptoms and medical history, and conducting blood and imaging tests, such as X-rays, an MRI or CT scans.


Treatments for back pain include:

  • Resting
  • Icing or applying heat
  • Undergoing physical therapy
  • Modifying lifestyle or physical activities
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medication
  • Exercising
The doctor may recommend surgery if non-surgical treatments do not improve the symptoms of back pain. This is particularly true if the patient has an existing condition—such as a herniated disc, spinal stenosis or a tumor that causes chronic back pain.

Have Questions?

Call St. Luke's
Orthopaedic Specialists

Wind Gap:

East Stroudsburg:





Watch the following
Talk With Your Doctor
television programs:

Current Concepts in Hip Surgery 
(Drs. De Long, Gibson)

Sports Medicine 
(Dr. Carolan, John Graham)

Knee Injuries
(Drs. Avallone, Carolan, Gibson)

Care of the Elite Athlete
(Dr. Heckman & The Parkettes)

Shoulder & Elbow Problems
(Drs. Carolan, Gibson, Heckman)