You have tried “everything” to help your back pain – now what?
If you have lower back pain, you are not alone. About 80 percent of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes. It is the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work days and, maybe even more importantly, missed vacations or family get togethers. I myself have suffered from low back pain several years ago and I remember how it wiped me out. I would get home from work and need to lie down; my energy was gone and I’m sure it was not only affecting me but those around me too. Yes, it was affecting my mood too. It was also affecting my physical fitness because I was too fatigued and it was too painful to work out. I began to notice that my body grew slowly weaker over time and I began gaining weight which wasn’t helping the situation either. I finally noticed, like many people have at some point in their life, that I was in a downward spiral, I had allowed it to get out of control and it was time to get my life back!
Question: Medications, Chiropractic, Physical Therapy and Exercise are good starting points but what do you do if you have already pursued these therapeutic treatments and the pain persists?
Answer: It may be time to consider seeing a Pain Management physician for a consultation and treatment recommendations. After a thorough consultation and examination you may be deemed a candidate for a number of different treatments that may be effective at eliminating your pain.
Question: What types of procedures are offered?
Answer: Your doctor will determine the cause of your pain and then select the appropriate injection therapy to eliminate your pain. There are many different types of injection procedures that could help. For example, epidural injections are utilized for radiating pain (“radicular pain”) usually caused by disc pressure on a nerve root. The medicine utilized is a strong anti-inflammatory that stops the inflammation and irritation to the nerve root. Facet injections/Medial Branch Blocks are utilized for centralized back pain (“axial pain”). There are many types of injections that can be used depending on the source of your pain. For long standing/chronic pain Radiofrequency Ablation might be recommended.
Depending on the source of pain, the duration of pain, and the intensity of pain, there is most likely an effective treatment to help!
Question: Injections? Sounds painful!
Answer: Your doctor will numb the area prior to the injection thereby minimizing any pain of the injection procedure itself. Once the area is numb, generally the procedure is over in just a few minutes with only minimal discomfort.
I myself underwent injection therapy. Once my pain was under control I was able to return to my life! I came home from work more relaxed and happier. I had more energy and thus was able to return to my exercises. My back rehabilitated. I lost the weight. My life was restored!
Things to keep in mind: Many people suffer much longer than they should as there are many types of therapies that should be considered. A good rule of thumb is, if the pain is either severe OR has continued for a week or more you should consider seeing your physician.
For more information please schedule a consultation with one of our board certified physicians. Call Valley Pain Centers 602-795-0207.