Have you been suffering from back pain? Then you are not alone! Back pain is one of the most common reasons for people to miss work or to seek medical help. Back pain is a major cause of disability worldwide and most people experience back pain at least once in their lifetime.
Symptoms of Back Pain May Include
- Shooting or stabbing pain
- Pain that worsens while lifting, bending, standing or walking
- Pain that radiates down the leg
- Pain that improves with reclining
- Muscle ache
Back pain can result from injury, physical activity or due to some medical condition. It can affect people of any age or gender. As people get older, the chances of developing lower back pain increases due to age-related physical changes.
The back is made up of a complex structure of muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones, nerves, and discs. They work in coordination to support the body and help us to move around. Any kind of problem with any of these components can lead to back pain. Damage to these structures can result from strain, injury, medical conditions, or poor posture. However, in some cases, the exact cause may remain unclear.
What is the treatment for back pain?
Most acute back pain goes away within a few weeks of rest and medications. However, back pain is a complex condition and it can return at any point of life. Many people suffer from chronic back pain.
Depending on the type of back pain, your doctor may recommend:
- Over-the-counter pain medications
- Muscle relaxants
- Topical pain relievers
- Physical therapy
These medications can give you relief from back pain for a short duration. However, if you are suffering from chronic back pain, then you may need something more than just medications and physical therapy.
For Long Term Relief from Chronic Back Pain, Your Doctor May Recommend
Steroids or anesthetic drugs can be directly delivered into joints, ligaments, muscles or around nerves through injections. These injections not only give relief from pain (temporary), but they also help in confirming the source of pain. Epidural injections are given to treat the pain in upper or lower extremities caused due to pinching of nerves in the spine.
Radiofrequency Radioablation (RFA)
This involves heating a part of the pain-transmitting nerve with a radiofrequency needle to create a heat lesion. The resulting lesion or burn prevents the nerve from sending pain signals to the brain. This procedure gives relief from back pain for 3 to 6 months.
Implantable Electrotherapy Stimulators
This treatment utilizes spinal cord stimulators (SCS) and peripheral nerve stimulators. These devices are surgically implanted near the spine and they deliver mild electrical pulses to the nerves which interfere with the pain messages reaching the brain.
Implantable Infusion Pumps
The infusion pump is surgically implanted in the spine to deliver a pain-relieving drug directly to the spinal cord. Sending pain medicine to the pain receptors near the spine interferes with pain signals to the brain, thus relieving the perception of pain.
These treatment strategies can provide long term relief from back pain. If back pain has become your everyday problem and you are looking for an expert to put an end to your agony, then make an appointment with Dr. Sandra Thompson of The Pain Center. She has 28+ years of experience and is an expert in pain management.