Back pain continues to be the most widespread cause of musculoskeletal disability and discomfort, but there are solutions. If your back pain is severe or persistent, board-certified orthopaedic surgeon Adam Bright, MD, of Schofield, Hand and Bright Orthopaedics in Sarasota, Florida, can help. Dr. Bright uses minimally invasive techniques like epidural steroid injections, spinal cord stimulator implantation, and radiofrequency ablation to treat stubborn back pain that won't respond to more conservative therapies. For ways to tackling your back pain, call the office or book an appointment online today.
Most back pain is due to damage of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, discs, or vertebrae in your back.
The damage that causes back pain may occur suddenly following a fall, auto accident, sports injury, or other trauma. Another common reason for developing acute lower back pain is overstretching the muscles and tissues by lifting heavy weights, especially if you use poor techniques.
There are also degenerative conditions that come on slowly over months and years and are the most likely causes of chronic back pain.
It's common for swollen, misaligned, or protruding tissues and bone to irritate or pinch the nerves exiting your spinal cord, which is known as radiculopathy. Sciatica (lumbar radiculopathy) is a common cause of low back and leg pain.
In some patients, a condition like scoliosis – an abnormal spinal curvature – is responsible for their back pain.
In many instances, physical therapy combined with activity modification is one of the best first-line treatments for back pain. Some rest might be necessary, but complete immobility is rarely advisable.
If there’s severe soft tissue damage, cortisone shots or bracing could help by minimizing your pain.
Other injectable treatments include epidural steroid injections and facet joint injections, which contain a mixture of anti-inflammatory steroid medication and local anesthetic.
Three of the advanced treatments for persistent back pain include:
Radiofrequency ablation, also called neurotomy, uses heat to destroy the nerves responsible for communicating pain signals to your brain. The nerves do eventually grow back, but radiofrequency ablation can offer many months of pain relief.
A spinal cord stimulator is a device that uses electrical impulses to disrupt the signals your spinal nerves are sending out. These devices are implantable following a trial period using an external stimulator.
Vertebral compression fractures – mainly due to osteoporosis – cause a painful collapse of the front of your vertebrae.
If there's no effective alternative, Dr. Bright may need to refer you for spine surgery.
Find relief from your back pain by calling Schofield, Hand and Bright Orthopaedics or booking an appointment online.