A Combination of Nonsurgical Approaches Often Cures Back Pain
- Department of:
- Adena Regional Medical Center
Call the Adena Spine Center today at 740-779-7100 or request an appointment online.
About 90 percent of patients who are treated at The Adena Spine Center are successful in becoming pain-free and functional without back surgery. These outcomes are commonly the result of using several therapies over six weeks to six months.
There are numerous non-surgical treatments offered at the center that are highly effective in resolving back pain:
At Adena, all patients have customized physical therapy programs designed to meet their precise needs. Two people may have the same diagnoses, but their circumstances and level of wellness are likely to be different.
There are two main parts to physical therapy: passive and active treatments. Passive treatments are done to reduce pain and swelling (inflammation). They include:
- Heat and ice
- Sound waves to help muscles relax deeply (ultrasound)
- Steroids rubbed onto the skin and using an electrical current to help the steroids move from the skin to the muscle (iontophoresis)
- Very light electrical current that disrupts the pain signals sent to the brain (TENS unit)
Active treatments are done under the supervision and support of the physical therapist. These treatments strengthen and stabilize the part of the back that has become weak and painful:
- Strengthening exercises
- Aerobic conditioning
Rehabilitation goes beyond physical therapy to restore athletic performance through a more extensive conditioning and education program.
An injection puts the medication (corticosteroid) directly into the area that is the source of the pain. The medication is a powerful anti-inflammatory that can provide long-term or temporary relief from pain, depending on the problem. The medicine reduces swelling in the area, eliminating friction among nerves, muscles and other tissues causing the pain.
The doctor uses X-ray guidance (fluoroscopy) to determine where to inject the medication. Fluoroscopy is unique because it shows a continuous 3-dimensional video of the spine, allowing precise needle placement.
If you’ve ever had Novocain for a dental procedure, you’ve probably had a temporary nerve block. Spinal nerve blocks are used to treat chronic back or neck pain caused by a pinched or damaged nerve.
Temporary nerve blocks are used to treat significant nerve-related pain. These blocks are similar to spinal injections, using guided X-ray (fluoroscopy), although the nerve block numbs the nerve using an anesthetic.
Permanent nerve blocks are an option for chronic nerve-related pain. The procedure is similar to the temporary nerve block, but a chemical is used to freeze a portion of the nerve, damaging it permanently. This prevents all signals from passing through the nerve to the brain. This type of block is used for severe, chronic nerve pain.
- NSAIDs / Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medications -- are a type of pain reliever and used to treat inflammation. NSAIDs work by blocking the production of certain chemicals in the body that cause inflammation.
- Steroids- very powerful anti-inflammatory that are used short term in the spine due to potential side effects.
- Neuroleptics are often prescribed to help patients with nerve type pain for patients who have neuropathy and fibromyalgia.
- Analgesics are used to help control pain.
- Muscle Relaxants are used to alleviate symptoms such as pain associated with muscle spasms.
If you suspect you have a spinal condition, get an evaluation at the spine center by calling 740-779-7100 or request an appointment online.
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