Lesser-Known Causes of Back Pain

Lesser-Known Causes of Back Pain

There are many well-known causes of back pain, including arthritis and sciatica, that can make it difficult to function each day. But if your pain isn’t linked to nerve compression or degenerative disease, it’s important that you find out what exactly is wrong.

At The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care, our expert spine surgeon Gbolahan Okubadejo, MD, FAAOS, understands just how complex back pain can be.

Dr. Bo and our staff offer advanced diagnostic testing technologies to identify lesser-known causes of back pain, so you can get the treatment you need without delay.

What may be responsible for your back pain?

The common causes of back pain include sprains, herniated discs, and degenerative disc disease. All these conditions can worsen over time and lead to the loss of your spine’s range of motion and chronic pain.

There are also several other conditions that can contribute to ongoing back pain, including:


Bacterial, viral, and fungal infections can also settle into the structures of your spine, your nerve roots, or your spinal cord. The infections can trigger persistent inflammation and pain in your back that mimics a spine injury.

Some infections can start in other areas of your body and travel into your spine, while others begin in your spine and spread elsewhere.

Spinal tumors

Tumors in your spine can be noncancerous (benign) or malignant (cancerous). Some tumors originate in the spine and grow large enough to press on surrounding nerves.

You can also develop tumors in your spine if cancer spreads from another area of your body.


Fibromyalgia causes widespread pain in your body due to increased sensitivity in the pain receptors of your brain.

You might experience worsening back pain as a side effect of fibromyalgia, as well as sleep disturbances, persistent fatigue, and emotional distress.

Lower extremity imbalance

If the joints of your hips, ankles, or knees are out of balance, it can lead to pain and dysfunction in your back.

An imbalance in your lower extremities can also change how you walk and negatively affect your overall posture.

Psychological influences

Interestingly, if you have existing degenerative back issues, your fear about your condition can actually worsen your pain.

Identifying the cause of your pain

The best way to treat your back pain is to understand what’s causing it. At The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care, we specialize in advanced diagnostic testing to uncover what’s causing your back pain.

Dr. Bo spends time reviewing your medical history and X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, and other imaging test results to determine the root cause of your back pain. You may also need blood work to identify infections in your spine that contribute to pain.

Based on the results of your testing, Dr. Bo customizes a treatment plan to relieve your pain. He also works to improve your spine’s function and enhance your mobility.

Treatment options for back pain

We offer a wide range of services to address the underlying causes of back pain.

If you have an infection, you might need antibiotics to clear it. If your diagnostic imaging tests reveal a tumor, Dr. Bo can perform surgery to remove part or all of the tumor for further testing.

In addition to pain-relieving medications and injection therapies, Dr. Bo can refer you for physical therapy to lower your risk for serious spine complications.

If you’re having trouble dealing with a chronic pain condition like fibromyalgia, we can discuss your options for psychological counseling and other therapies to prevent a worsening of your pain.

Call The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care office near you to schedule a diagnostic evaluation for persistent back pain or book an appointment online today. 

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