The term “chronic back pain” is generally used to describe any type of back pain that persists for 12 weeks or longer, even after the initial underlying cause of acute back pain has been treated. Approximately 20 percent of people affected by acute back pain end up developing chronic back pain with persistent symptoms after a year. Certain structural spine conditions, including spinal stenosis and degenerative disk disease, can cause chronic pain until they are successfully treated. Other common causes include a herniated or bulging disc and compression fractures.
Sometimes, depending on the cause of your pain, your doctor may recommend surgery in order to treat your chronic pain; however, surgery is not always necessary or effective. Below, we explore three different methods of treatment for chronic back pain provided by Neil Patel, M.D. — a pain management doctor in Orlando. If you believe you could benefit from any of these treatments for your pain, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (407) 478-007 or fill out our contact form.
Facet Joint Injection
The vertebral bones, separated by discs on the front of the spine, connect on either side to form facet joints that help stabilize the spine during movement. Just as with any other type of joints in your body, these facet joints can become inflamed with overuse. During a facet joint injection, a pain management physician will first inject a local anesthetic to numb your skin before guiding a needle into your facet joint via fluoroscopic (live X-ray) guidance. Once the needle has reached the facet joint, an anti-inflammatory medication like cortisone will then be deposited. Immediately after the procedure, you may receive immediate pain relief from the injection, depending on whether or not the joints targeted are the main source of your pain.
Spinal Cord Stimulation
Another type of treatment that proves particularly beneficial for conditions that are resistant to medications and other minimally-invasive, injection-based treatments is spinal cord stimulation. This treatment requires two procedures to test and implant the spinal cord stimulator: the trial and the implantation. A spinal cord stimulator is a small device that consists of thin wires (electrodes) and a pacemaker-like battery pack (generator) that sends electrical impulses to the spinal cord. During this procedure, a physician that specializes in pain management near me carefully inserts the electrodes, evaluates how well the device reduces your pain, and then permanently implants the generator, replacing the trial electrodes with sterile electrodes. Generally, spinal cord stimulators gradually allow patients to perform much more activities than they could prior to the procedure.
Kyphoplasty is another surgical procedure designed to restore the loss of vertebral body height caused by a compression fracture, stabilize the spine, and reduce pain caused by certain conditions, such as trauma, multiple myeloma, or a metastatic tumor. This procedure, like other treatment methods listed thus far, is to be performed under fluoroscopic guidance to ensure the safety and accuracy of the surgical procedure. Once you have been given a local or general anesthetic, a pain management doctor in Orlando will guide a needle into your spine bone through the skin, place a balloon tamp into the fractured vertebra, and inflate it to restore the height of the vertebra. Once the balloon has been removed, the doctor will then use specifically designed instruments to fill this cavity with a cement-like material that helps to stabilize the bone. Eliminate or reduction of back pain can be immediate or within the next 2-3 days. For more information regarding any of these procedures or how you can get to the root of your chronic back pain, get in touch with Dr. Patel — a physician that specializes in pain management near me.