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Top 5 Non-Disc Causes of Low Back Pain and Sciatica
Episode 1418th May 2020 • Back Talk Doc • Sanjiv Lakhia - Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates
00:00:00 00:31:12

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If you are experiencing lower back pain or sciatica, it’s important to determine its cause for proper treatment and better pain management. However, there are some cases where patients, who reported to have issues in this region, find out through medical diagnosis that the cause is not rooted in bulging or degenerative lumbar discs.

In this episode of Back Talk Doc, Dr. Sanjiv Lakhia dives deep into the top 5 reasons behind your lower back pain. These are the piriformis syndrome, sacroiliitis, lumbar and gluteal trigger point syndrome, hamstring strains and lumbar facet referral pain patterns. Most of these are related to certain muscle groups in the lower region of the body and spinal joints. He discusses the causes behind each condition, common symptoms, ways to diagnose these and treatment options.

He also points out to thoracic myelopathy, a serious upper back condition that not only causes lumbar pain, but dysfunction of the spinal cord as well.

For Dr. Lakhia, it’s important that you always refer to a specialist or skilled practitioner to properly diagnose your pain. They are able to give you the best treatment and pain management options, which normally include physical therapy and medication.

Key Moments in the Episode

  • The importance of personal experience 01:02
  • Piriformis syndrome 02:56
  • Causes of piriformis syndrome 04:01
  • Treatment options for piriformis syndrome 05:35
  • Sacroiliitis 08:14
  • Factors that aggravate the sacroiliac joint 09:07
  • Diagnosing sacroiliitis 10:08
  • Lumbar and gluteal trigger point syndrome 11:36
  • Common trigger points that cause back pain 12:57
  • Treatment options for lumbar and gluteal point syndrome 14:14
  • Hamstring strains 23:48
  • Lumbar facet referral pain patterns 25:51
  • Treatment options for lumbar facet referral pain 27:51
  • Thoracic myelopathy 28:52

Every episode of Back Talk Doc includes a Health Matters segment intended to provide actionable health information you can immediately put into practice in your life. This week, Dr. Lakhia talks about active rest techniques and how you can incorporate these in your daily lifestyle. He refers to strategies outlined in the book The Power of Rest by sleep expert Dr. Matthew Edlund.

It’s essential that you engage in activities that rejuvenate your mind and that provide you with mental rest, social rest, spiritual rest and physical rest. He also encourages taking a nap about 3 hours before your normal bedtime for improved productivity during the day. Making social connections, deep breath work and mediation are other techniques you can incorporate to optimize your health through rest.

Links Mentioned in the Episode

Back Talk Booklet by Dr. Sanjiv Lakhia

Travell & Simons' Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual

The Power of Rest by Dr. Matthew Edlund

The Rest Doctor

Back Talk Doc is brought to you by Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, with offices in North and South Carolina. To learn more about Dr. Lakhia and treatment options for back and spine issues, go to To schedule an appointment with Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, you can call us at 1-800-344-6716 or visit our website at