Symptoms and Treatment
According to statistics compiled by the federal government, about four of every five Americans will seek medical treatment for back pain at some point in their life. In many instances, the pain is the result of a traumatic accident or repetitive stress or motion. There is, however, a congenital condition known as Bertolotti’s Syndrome, which may be the root of the pain.
First diagnosed by Dr. Mario Bertolotti in 1917, Bertolotti’s Syndrome can affect up to one of every 10 Americans. Most individuals are born with five lumbar vertebrae, located at the base of the spinal cord. These vertebrae are mobile—unattached to the sacrum. But in persons with Bertolotti’s Syndrome, the L5 lumbar vertebra—the one closest to the sacrum—actually fuses with the sacrum, putting more stress on the other lumbar vertebrae and causing pain.
Symptoms of Bertolotti’s Syndrome
Symptoms include lower back pain radiating from your sides, near your waistline. Unfortunately, many people assume they have sacroiliac or a lumbar-disc injury. Many individuals who suffer from Bertolotti’s start experiencing discomfort as early as their late teens and early 20s.
Treatment of Bertolotti’s Syndrome
The good news—Bertolotti’s Syndrome is treatable. Your medical caregiver likely will conduct a thorough exam and try to determine what types of movement cause the pain. You’ll also typically have an X-ray taken.
Initial non-invasive treatment plans include the use of over-the-counter anti-inflammatory products, such as ibuprofen. Your doctor also may recommend corticosteroid medications, typically injected. You also can receive injections that block the pain, such as medial branch blocks or sacroiliac joint injections, or neurotomy, a procedure that uses heat to deaden nerve endings. In rare cases, the abnormality can be corrected with surgery.
Schedule Your First Appointment
We can help you determine whether you have the physical and functional capacity to do your job. Contact us by phone at 1-877-487-8289 or complete the form provided below to arrange a visit. We offer a number of convenient locations throughout Texas, including Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.