Treatments for Back Pain
Treatments for back pain depend on the specific condition causing the pain, such as nerve damage, an injury or an inflammatory condition. At Balcones Pain Consultants, we combine our expert knowledge of back pain with compassionate care to develop an individualized treatment plan to minimize your discomfort.
Treatments for back pain might include more conservative therapies like massage, acupuncture, chiropractic treatments, support braces or physical therapy. Topical or oral medications might also be used to reduce back pain. More aggressive treatment options include superficial muscle injections, steroid injections, nerve blocks, radio frequency thermocoagulation, spinal cord stimulation and surgery.
Simple Techniques for Treating Back Pain
Simple techniques such as cold and heat therapy—applying ice or heating packs to the affected area—can help relieve back pain by reducing stiffness and inflammation. This simple technique is usually effective in treating back pain due to arthritis, muscle strains and more.
NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are also helpful in reducing both pain and inflammation. Physical therapy involving massage, specific exercise programs and other techniques can go a long way in the treatment of back pain.
Core strengthening exercises can be an essential part of long-term recovery plan after a back injury, as building up the core muscles in the back and abdomen can help prevent future injuries and pain from occurring. All of these techniques, especially used in combination, can be helpful in treating back pain due to muscle, tendon or ligament strains or sprains, as well as pain due to arthritis, degenerative disc disease and ankylosing spondylitis.
Acupuncture to Treat Back Pain
Acupuncture is an ancient healing technique of Traditional Chinese Medicine that can be a highly effective treatment for back pain. This noninvasive technique involves stimulating specific points on the body with extremely fine, sterile needles to promote the natural healing process. Acupuncture can be a beneficial component of treatment for back pain linked to arthritis and post-surgery pain.
Medications for the Treatment of Back Pain
Medications other than pain reducers can also help in the treatment of back pain. Muscle relaxants, for example, might be prescribed for back pain due to muscle spasms, while antidepressants can sometimes alleviate back pain related to nerve damage or arthritis.
Back pain due to nerve damage, arthritis or injury can also be treated with radiofrequency thermocoagulation. Also called radiofrequency neurotomy, this is a method of interrupting pain signals by heating a small area of nerve tissue with radiofrequency current.
Injections and Other Methods for Treating Back Pain
Back pain from conditions like chronic lower back pain and sciatica can be treated with epidural steroid injections. This type of intervention is especially effective when used to treat sudden, acute pain episodes, since its effects are likely to be short-term. For this reason, steroid injections are best used in combination with other, longer-term treatments, such as physical therapy.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is another method for treating chronic back pain. This treatment involves using electrical current to block pain signals from reaching the brain. Spinal cord stimulation is one type of electrical nerve stimulation, in which a pulse generator relieves back pain by sending electrical pulses to the spinal cord.
Surgery and Post-Surgical Pain Treatment
Sometimes, surgery is necessary for treating back pain due to herniated discs, bone spurs and other conditions. Many, but not all, back surgery procedures will be successful in reducing pain. Some people experience failed back syndrome after surgery, when surgery intended to correct a painful back condition does not diminish the pain, or results in further chronic pain.
In this case, treatment of the residual pain might involve physical therapy, medications and pain management techniques. Exercises to reduce the formation of scar tissue can be particularly helpful, as they keep the back limber and flexible. This activity, in turn, prevents scar tissue from pressing on nerves in the back and causing further discomfort.
Videos About Potential Back Pain Treatments
- Caudal Steroid Injection
- Costovertebral Block
- Dekompressor Discectomy
- Facet Joint Injections
- Intrathecal Pump Implant
- Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection
- Lumbar Radiofrequency Neurotomy
- Lumbar Sympathetic Block
- Lumbar Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection
- Medial Branch Block
- Prolotherapy Treatment for Low Back Pain
- PRP for Chronic Back Pain
- Sacroiliac Joint Steroid Injection
- Spinal Cord Stimulator Implant
- Spinal Cord Stimulator Implant (Trial Procedure)
- Thoracic Epidural Steroid Injection
- Thoracic Facet Radiofrequency Neurotomy
- Thoracic Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection
- Trigger Point Injections