What do Doctors do for Back Pain? Pain Management Physician Answers
Are you suffering from chronic back pain? According to studies, lower back pain is one of the major causes of disabilities across the globe and one of the primary reasons for absence from work. In fact, approximately 80% of all Americans say that they’ve experienced back pain at least once.
If you’re suffering from back pain, you shouldn’t rely on pain medication because that will only provide temporary relief and won’t address the root cause of pain. Furthermore, chronic back pain gradually gets worse with time so it’s advisable to seek diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.
Some of the primary symptoms of chronic back pain include muscle aches, shooting pains, pains, weakness and numbness of legs, and pain that originates from the back and extends down the legs. Red flags for chronic back pain included back pain accompanied by fever, bladder problems, and unexplained weight loss. If you experience the aforementioned symptoms — especially the red flags — you must consult a pain management physician immediately.
Chronic back pain can be caused by various reasons, which is why you need to schedule an appointment with a back pain doctor so they can identify the root cause and treat it correctly. In this article, we discuss what do doctors do for back pain and the best chronic back pain treatments.
Diagnosis of Chronic Back Pain
As mentioned previously, chronic back pain can occur for various reasons such as degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, spinal osteoarthritis, and many others. When you first consult the pain management physician, they’ll run a series of tests to diagnose the root cause of your back pain. The diagnosis generally entails three types of tests — physical, screening, and lab tests.
- Physical Examination: The doctor will check your response to various stimuli and your range of motion. The physical examination will help them determine if your back pain is affecting your nerves.
- Screening Tests: These include imaging tests like CT scans, X-rays, Ultrasound, and MRI scans. They allow the doctor to visualize your bones, tendons, ligaments, and nerves, with which they can diagnose the root cause of your chronic back pain.
- Lab Tests: If necessary, the doctor may also take a blood sample to run some tests.
Home Remedies for Chronic Back Pain
All treatments for chronic back pain start with basic home treatments. These remedies won’t treat the root cause of your chronic back pain but they will provide temporary relief and help you regain mobility in your back.
- RICE: This is the most effective way to reduce pain and swelling from an affected region. It stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate — you have to rest the injured or affected region, place ice packs to reduce swelling, wrap an ACE bandage to prevent swelling, and elevate the injured area.
- Physical Therapist Consultation: If you’re suffering from chronic back pain, it’s crucial to consult a physical therapist. This isn’t a treatment in its own right but it works alongside the chronic back pain treatment to help you regain mobility. The physical therapist will recommend exercises to help you move better and minimize the pain.
Chronic Back Pain Treatment
The best interventional pain management doctors will treat chronic back pain using minimally invasive procedures after carefully diagnosing the root cause of pain. The following are some of the best minimally invasive treatments for chronic back pain.
Epidural Steroid Injections
Epidural Steroid Injection (EPI) is a procedure in which the pain doctor injects a low dose sedative and cortisone into the epidural space, which is the fat-filled region between the bone and protective sac of the spinal nerves. This procedure is conducted using an X-Ray device so the doctor can see the needle in the fluоrоѕсоре monitor. It’s generally used to treat chronic back pain caused by inflammation of the spinal nerves, disc herniation, or spinal stenosis. The procedure is minimally invasive and concludes within 30 minutes.
Facet Joint Injections
Facet Joint Injection, also known as a Lumbar Facet Injection, is a procedure in which a local anesthetic is applied around the nerves of the small joints on either side of the vertebra. The number of facet joint injections necessary will depend on the amount of affected small joints. This procedure is also diagnostic because it helps the doctor determine if your chronic back pain is caused by arthritic changes or mechanical lower back pain.
Lumbar Radiofrequency Ablation
Lumbar Radiofrequency Ablation is generally done after using Facet Joint Injections, once the doctor is certain that the root cause of your chronic back pain is osteoarthritis. During the procedure, the pain doctor channels heat energy from a ѕресіаl generator into the affected nerve area endings. As such, this procedure eliminates the nerve endings transmitting pain signals to the brain. It denervates the painful structure to treat chronic back pain. This solution provides long-term relief for at least one year.
Schedule your Pain Management Consultation
Pain Treatment Specialists, affiliated with VIP Medical Group, is one of the best pain management clinics in the country. We have board-certified and highly-experienced interventional pain specialists who diagnose the root cause of your chronic back pain and treat it using the latest minimally invasive procedures. For more information, please schedule your pain management consultation today.