Chronic Back Pain
Help for Chronic Back Pain
Millions of Americans suffer from severe chronic back pain, which has many causes. Four out of five Americans will experience back pain sometime in their lives. Low back pain is the leading cause of disability in the United States. It’s the most common reason why people miss work and the reason most often cited when people ask for a doctor’s appointment. Your back is a complex system of bones, ligaments and muscles, and it supports your entire body.
There are many simple ways to reduce your risk of developing chronic back pain. Maintaining a healthy weight and staying active throughout your life significantly reduces your risk of developing many ailments, and chronic back pain is no exception. Avoid long periods of inactivity, like spending days bedridden, if you can. Stretching is crucial to maintaining a healthy back, especially before you engage in physical activities such as sports, cleaning, gardening or even taking walks. Quit smoking. Smoking will reduce your blood flow and deprive your back of the oxygen and nutrients necessary to sustain your muscles and bones.
Causes Of Back Pain
Chronic back pain can be caused by injuries, acquired conditions and diseases, infections and tumors, mechanical problems or from the way you move or position your spine that is uncomfortable. Spinal injuries, from sprains and pulled ligaments to fractures, can all cause short-term and long-term spinal issues. Osteoporosis can weaken bones and make them susceptible to painful fractures.
Genetic conditions and diseases such as scoliosis and arthritis can also cause severe chronic back pain. For many of these diseases and conditions, treatment is the only way to effectively manage pain. Movement-based or mechanical problems result from wear and tear. Intervertebral disc degeneration occurs when the spongy discs between vertebrae break down due to age or injury.
Chronic back pain can also be caused by tumors and infections. A small percentage of chronic back pain patients have cancerous tumors or unchecked infections that develop elsewhere in the body and spread to the spine where they cause you serious pain.
Diagnosing & Treating Your Back Pain
We employ a variety of diagnostic tests to pinpoint your pain and tailor your treatment:
- Lumbar Radiofrequency Neurotomy and Spinal Cord Stimulator: Minimally invasive procedures that can help effectively manage your chronic back pain. Both affect the pain signals that travel from your spine to your brain. Lumbar radiofrequency neurotomy disrupts the signals via electrodes, while spinal cord stimulator implants use mild electrical impulses.
- Medial Branch Block: Similarly interrupts pain signals from an affected area to the brain, but instead uses a numbing anesthetic. Medial branch blocks can treat just about any back pain. They also treat headaches, shoulder, buttock and hip pain, and upper, middle or lower chronic back pain. This is also a neck pain treatment for neck pain relief.
- Vertebroplasty: Can be especially helpful to patients who have endured cancer; a minimally invasive treatment in which we inject bone cement into the spine to stabilize areas weakened by osteoporosis.
Lower Back Pain Relief Procedures
- Caudal Epidural Injections and Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections: Options for patients who have herniated discs, radiculopathy or spinal stenosis. Caudal epidural Injections alleviate lower back pain, spine pain and lower back-related leg pain via a steroid injected into the lumbar region to treat spinal nerve pain caused by inflammation or swelling. Lumbar epidural steroid injections use an anti-inflammatory medication for lower back pain relief and leg pain.
- Facet Joint Injections: These are both diagnostic tests and treatments that relieve lower back and spinal pain. Does your pain come from the facet joints in your back? If so, we administer a numbing anesthetic and anti-inflammatory steroid to relieve pain and inflammation caused by facet syndrome or spinal arthritis.
- Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections and Sacroiliac Joint Steroid Injections: Other options that can relieve the pain and inflammation of sciatica. Lumbar epidural steroid injections use anti-inflammatory medication on the outer membrane of the lumbar region to provide sciatic nerve pain relief. Sacroiliac joint steroid injections use a local anesthetic and a corticosteroid on the sacroiliac joints (they connect the spine to the hip bones) or the surrounding ligaments. Sacroiliac joint steroid injections are also used to treat injuries or disease in the sacroiliac joint.
Upper Chronic Back Pain & Neck Pain Relief Procedures
- Thoracic Epidural Steroid Injections and Thoracic Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injections: These help combat pain in the upper back. Thoracic epidural steroid injections are outpatient procedures, a quick, easy method of dealing with pain in the upper back. Thoracic transforaminal epidural steroid injections treat pain caused by pinched nerves in the thoracic spine while relieving rib and abdominal pain.
Chronic back pain doesn’t have to be a life sentence. Any of the above procedures could start you on your way to a pain-free life. They can provide long-term lower back pain relief and neck pain relief from neck pain treatment and a better life experience that doesn’t put you at risk for dependence on drugs.
Discover specialized care for cancer pain. Call 626-345-9735 or use our convenient Request an Appointment form. We are accepting new patients, have minimal wait-times and are eager to help you overcome pain. Patients come to us from Altadena, Glendale, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Rosemead and neighboring areas.