About Back Pain

What Are The Different Types of Back Pain?

Back pain can be divided into two types: Central (axial) pain and Peripheral (radicular/radiating) extremity pain. Many patients have both types.

What Causes Back Pain?

Back pain can have several causes. However the most common cause of back pain is age. Other lifestyle choices can also result in back pain: poor posture, ill-advised or awkward lifting, being overweight, or an accident.

How Can I Prevent Back Pain? 

To prevent back pain maintain good posture, exercise to keep your core flexible and strong, follow a healthy diet, and pay attention to your weight.

What Causes Acute Painful Vertebral Compression?

The most common reason for vertebral compression fractures is the presence of osteoporosis; other less common causes are trauma and cancer.

What Causes Facet Joints Issues?

The facet joints in our back and neck have cartilage that allows our back/neck to bend, twist, and flex. As we age, these joints can become degenerative or arthritic – the cartilage loses fluid and height, which can lead to a bone-on-bone condition often resulting in bone spur formation and chronic neck or lower back pain. Facet joint arthritis is one of the most common causes of chronic neck or lower back pain.

What Causes SI Joint Issues?

Degenerative arthritis/inflammation of the SI joints is a common cause of chronic low back/buttock pain. Patients often complain of chronic low back pain, groin pain, and sitting intolerance without associated leg pain.

Menopause and Fibroids: Should I Wait to Treat My Fibroids?

Many women who suffer from uterine fibroids—noncancerous tumors that grow in or on the muscle walls of the uterus—put off treatment because they are approaching menopause. While fibroids have been shown to shrink after “The Change,” this is not always the case.

Fibroids grow in part due to the amount of estrogen in a woman’s body. So, the changes in hormones that come with menopause can cause them to stop growing and even shrink. Every woman’s body is different, though, and fibroids can continue to grow. Some doctors believe there is an unknown substance secreted by fat cells that mimics the effect of estrogen on fibroids and makes them grow. Hormone replacement therapy during menopause can also cause fibroids growth.

And even if fibroids do shrink, this may not mean that the problems and symptoms associated with them will disappear completely. Some women continue to experience painful symptoms—including pelvic pressure, urinary urgency, and abdominal bloating—even after menopause.

Putting off treatment is not always in a woman’s best interest. Besides not knowing whether the fibroids will actually shrink after menopause, fibroids may actually grow in the years leading up to menopause due to increased estrogen production.

Right before menopause, when estrogen is removed from the body as the ovaries stop functioning, women will experience several months to years of estrogen-dominated menstrual cycles. Since fibroids are known to be estrogen-sensitive, this period in a woman’s life, which is essentially an “estrogen bath,” can be a time of fibroid growth.

“Waiting it out” until menopause for fibroids to shrink may result in years of growth and worsening symptoms of pain and bleeding. If you’re suffering from fibroids and approaching menopause, the best time to treat your fibroids may be now.

There is a minimally invasive, 90% effective option: Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). This minimally invasive procedure shrinks the fibroids to provide relief and is 90 percent effective in reducing symptoms caused by fibroids. The interventional radiologists at Indiana Fibroid Center are dedicated to helping you find relief from your fibroid pain.

Can Bicycling Help Ease Lower Back Pain?

Lower back pain is one of the most common pains experienced universally and can be caused by a variety of things, including injury, improper posture, arthritis, and obesity. However, many have been able to find relief from chronic back pain through exercise. For those looking for a form of physical activity that’s low impact and easy on the joints, cycling may be an excellent option to consider. In this blog, we’ll discuss how, if done properly, bicycling can help ease lower back pain and how to remain mindful of injury when cycling.

Benefits of Bicycling for Low Back Pain

Bicycling is the perfect activity to not only get you outside but also keep your body active. It comes with the added benefit of being low-impact, especially when compared to traditional exercises such as running or weightlifting. Seeing as bicycling puts less overall stress on your body, it can be especially helpful in reducing lower back pain. Bicycling is a form of exercise that doesn’t require much gear and can be done almost anywhere. Additionally, it’s a great option for reducing lower back pain, as it uses a healthy range of motion while providing the core strengthening benefits of an aerobic workout. Bicyclists often say they feel “loose” after a ride. When done correctly, bicycling helps to reduce lumbar muscle tension and improve flexibility—all important contributors to preventing or relieving lower back pain.

Woman exercising at home on cycling machine.

How to Avoid Further Injury When Bicycling

Cycling exercise is a great way to strengthen the lower back when done right. The primary goal should be to maintain good form throughout the ride to ensure proper technique and avoid further injury. To get started, make sure you have an outdoor or exercise bike that fits your body comfortably – handlebars at elbow level, seat position that allows for full leg extension, and back support. Be sure to listen your body. Avoid compromising your posture by vigorously pumping the pedals; instead, look for a steady and smooth rhythm. Keep your spine in a straight line from neck to pelvis, so your lumbar region remains supported while cycling. It’s also important to bring down the intensity – don’t pedal too hard or fast, as this can put strain on your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and discs in the lower back area, which can result in overuse injuries. Physical therapy from cycling can only be beneficial if done properly. With regular practice over time, you can prevent injury when cycling and relieve lower back pain.

Exercise can do wonders when it comes to combating lower back pain relief. Whether decreasing chronic pain, improving flexibility, strengthening muscles around the spine, or reducing stress – the benefits are plenty. By engaging in activities like cycling, you can improve not only your overall physical health but also your mental well-being. Be sure to consult a doctor prior to starting any exercise plan. They will be able to best evaluate how cycling can fit into your individual rehabilitation journey.

Don't let back pain derail you.

There’s nothing to gain from chronic low back pain. Prioritize yourself in 2023 and please visit our website https://www.radiologyofindiana.com/services/back-pain-treatment-choose-your-location/ to find a location to schedule a consultation with one of our Interventional Radiologists.




What Causes Varicose Veins During Pregnancy?

So…you’re expecting a little bundle of joy! Congratulations! But, what you might not have expected were little bundles of veins—varicose veins—popping up all over your legs. Along with pregnancy, unfortunately, comes an increased risk of varicosities. Read on to learn more about how expecting a baby and this unsightly, and sometimes painful, side effect often go hand-in-hand.

What Causes Varicose Veins During Pregnancy?

Unfortunately, pregnancy itself is one of the major risk factors for varicose veins. Varicose veins develop when the valves that bring blood back to the heart from the legs become damaged. Blood pools in the veins, causing bulging, swelling, and discomfort. There are several causes of varicose veins during pregnancy:

  • Heredity. One of the biggest contributing factors of varicose veins is one you have no control over: heredity. If other women in your family have experienced varicose veins, the chances are greater that you will, too. Knowing your family’s history of varicose veins can help you know whether you are at a higher risk of getting them.
  • Increased blood volume. During pregnancy, a woman’s blood volume doubles to supply blood to both her and her baby. This increased volume puts extra pressure on the blood vessels, especially those in the legs, which have to work against gravity to push the extra blood back up to the heart. The speed at which a pregnant woman’s blood returns from her legs, in turn, decreases due to the heavy volume. These factors together increase the chances of blood pooling in the legs and ankles.
  • Hormones. Hormone levels rise during pregnancy, causing the vein walls to become more dilated and relaxed, resulting in an increased risk of varicosities.
  • Increased pressure from the uterus. As the uterus grows, it puts pressure on a large vein on the right side of the body, which increases pressure in the leg veins.
  • Additional factors. Being overweight, carrying multiples, and standing for long periods of time also increase a pregnant woman’s chances of developing varicose veins. Varicose veins also tend to get worse with age and with each subsequent pregnancy.

What Can I Do to Prevent Varicose Veins During Pregnancy?

While you can’t prevent all risk factors, especially a family history of varicose veins and hormonal changes, you can still take steps to help prevent or lessen the effects of varicose veins during pregnancy.

  • Watch your weight. Keep your weight within the recommended range for your stage of pregnancy. Extra weight only increases the demands on your already overworked circulatory system.
  • Get moving. Exercise is key in preventing varicose veins, so take a walk or participate in some other form of low-intensity exercise daily.

If you’re having pain, even if it’s just a dull ache, or are just generally worried about your varicose veins, don’t hesitate to get help.