Back pain can be caused by many reasons, from an injury or bad posture to an underlying health condition. If you suffer with back pain and are finding it interfering with your daily life, it may be time to seek help from a doctor specializing in interventional pain management.
Diagnosing Back Pain
Your doctor will need to identify the cause of your back pain in order to treat your symptoms appropriately. The first step is to do a physical examination, which may involve you performing simple back and leg movements and exercises, so your doctor can assess muscle strength, joint motion, and joint stability. Your doctor may test your reflexes and sensation in your legs. You will also be asked about your symptoms and medical history.
Lab studies may be required to rule out any diseases or conditions that could relate to your back pain. Your doctor may order imaging studies to identify the location and source of your back pain, such as X-rays to see the vertebrae in your spine and to identify problems such as fractures, misalignment, and narrowed discs. Sometimes, a dye is injected into the spinal column to enhance the images in a procedure called a myelogram. A bone scan may be used to identify fractures, tumors, infections, or arthritis. Other imaging tests include computed tomography (CT) scans, a discogram, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, which are used to get a better understanding of your spinal structures. A nerve conduction study may also be carried out to check how well your spinal nerves are working.
Treatment For Back Pain
Treatments vary depending on the cause, duration, and severity of your symptoms and in some cases, a combination of treatments may be necessary. Some symptoms, such as lower back pain may be treatable with a back belt for support, over-the-counter or prescription pain and anti-inflammatory medications, short periods of rest, and physical therapy. Other treatments for back pain can include:
Epidural Steroid Injection – an injection that delivers pain relieving medications directly to or near the source of the pain in the spine.
Therapeutic Nerve Block – an anesthetic injection used to prevent or control pain by numbing specific nerves in the body.
Spinal Manipulation – used to restore balanced movement of the spine and can help to remove pressure on the sciatic nerve. It is often combined with flexibility and strengthening exercises.
Spinal Cord Stimulation – a device that delivers electrical impulses to the spinal cord to mask pain signals before they reach the brain.
Massage Therapy – to increase blood circulation, relax muscles, and release endorphins, the body’s natural pain relievers.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) – a therapeutic device that uses a low level electrical current to stimulate the nerves that help to reduce pain.
Heat and Ice Therapy – can be used alone or alternately in 20-minute intervals to reduce swelling and alleviate pain.
Radio Frequency Ablation – an electrical current (produced by a radio wave) used to heat up a small area of nerve tissue, which reduces pain signals from that area.
Physical therapy can be an effective way to reduce pain, inflammation, and muscle spasms. Your physical therapist can show you exercises to gently stretch and strengthen your back and abdominal muscles, strengthen the body’s core, and improve flexibility.
Non-surgical treatments are designed to relieve back pain and restore function, but they are unable to correct structural deformities or conditions, such as a narrowed spinal canal, a herniated disc, or bone spurs. Surgery may be recommended when non-surgical methods have provided minimal or no improvement to your symptoms.
Back Pain Specialists In Boca Raton, Florida
If you are suffering from back pain, call Kamerlink Pain Institute today. We utilize evidence based medicine to treat acute and chronic pain conditions and are here to help you relieve or manage your pain, so you can get back to your daily activities.
Dr. Jonathan Kamerlink is a board-certified pain management specialist and anesthesiologist who has the knowledge and skill to identify and treat the underlying cause of your pain. To find out more about our services and how we can help you, call us at (561) 404-7667.