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Are you experiencing back pain?

Benoy Benny, M.D. and Vincent Wang, M.D.

Benoy Benny, M.D. and Vincent Wang, M.D.

Unfortunately, bone and joint disorders and deformities are often the underlying cause of serious back pain and can most definitely hurt you. The good news? There are treatments that can help alleviate chronic back pain, including therapies, medication and minimally invasive surgery.

“Low back pain is among the most common medical ailments,” says Benoy Benny, M.D., physical medicine rehabilitation/pain management specialist with Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s Spine Center. “And there can be many causes behind acute and chronic back pain, including strenuous physical activity, injuries and age. But some back pain is directly related to bone and joint disorders and deformities.”

According to Vincent Wang, M.D., neurosurgeon with Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s Spine Center, some of the more common conditions include:

• Arthritis – This joint condition is caused by the breakdown of cartilage, often resulting in painful joint movement. Osteoarthritis of the spine is commonly found in the lower back and neck and involves degenerative cartilage – where the cartilage that cushions bones wears down. If the cartilage wears down enough, the everyday pressure on the joints can start to press on the nerves, creating pain and possible weakness in the arms and legs.

• Scoliosis – Scoliosis is when the spine develops an irregular curvature. Often diagnosed during growth spurts prior to puberty, the condition is usually mild and may be remedied with the use of a back brace. If left undiagnosed, the spine may begin to twist – cramping the space in the chest and abdominal cavity. Difficulty with breathing and the risk of internal injuries may result.

• Spondylolisthesis – This spinal condition stems off of another spinal injury known as spondylolysis. Both are common in athletes who participate in weightlifting, gymnastics or football when extensive stress is put on the spine and lower back. If enough slippage occurs, the bones may press on the nerves, creating the risk of severe injury.

“Rest, ice, heat and/or anti-inflammatory medications often bring relief to people suffering from back pain,” says Benny. “When these steps aren’t enough, it’s important to get a thorough medical evaluation.” X-rays may be taken to view the position of the vertebra and aid in diagnosis of a bone or joint disorder. “In some cases, surgery may be required to improve or correct the condition,” says Wang.

To schedule a spinal consultation at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s Spine Center, call 281-313-BACK (2225) or email spinecenter@houstonmethodist.org.


Join us on Thursday, May 1, for a free back and neck pain seminar presented by Benoy Benny, M.D., Physiatrist and Vincent Wang, M.D., Neurosurgeon. The presentation starts at 6 p.m. and will be held at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s Conference Center. Call 281-274-7500 or register online at houstonmethodist.org/events to reserve a seat.

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