Back pain in the most common reason that adults will seek medical care. The causes of back pain are many and may include herniated discs, patterns of instability such as spondylolisthesis — where one vertebrae slips forward on another, degeneration of the facet joints, enlargement of these joints producing pressure on the nerve roots that exit the spinal column, or stenosis of the spinal canal. Preoperative studies including electrodiagnostic studies, EMGs, x-rays, CT scans, and MRI’s are commonly used to determine which of these factors are contributing to the symptoms. Although most back pain can be managed with non-surgical therapy and exercises, if a clear causative factor can be found, and if it matches the symptoms you’re having, then the you may benefit from surgical treatment of the spinal problem.