Many people think that back pain is just something that everyone has to live with at some point in their lives. Indeed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that as many as 25% of American adults experience low back pain. Pain is considered chronic once it has lasted for more than three months.
The good news is that you don’t have to endure chronic spinal pain. Let’s talk about some of the most popular treatment options for chronic back pain, and where you can go here in Southeast Michigan for treatment that works to quell your pain.
Nonsurgical Treatments for Chronic Spinal Pain
There are many non-surgical medical options for treating your spinal pain, including the following:
Injections have gained in popularity over the past number of years as a chronic spinal pain treatment, largely because the pain relief usually lasts for several months at a time. During this treatment, your doctor will usually inject a corticosteroid into the fat-filled (epidural) area of your spine. The injection will reduce swelling and relieve pressure from the affected nerves, thus reducing or eliminating back pain.
The medication your doctor will prescribe will depend on your lifestyle, risk factors, and the precise cause of your back pain. Your pain may warrant one or more of the following types of medications:
- Muscle relaxants
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Topical pain relievers
Your doctor may prescribe physical therapy to complement other treatments. This chronic spinal pain treatment helps by strengthening the back muscles to improve support for the spine, thereby reducing back pain.
Physical therapy can also help to improve posture through retraining. Stretching exercises also enhance flexibility and thus improve your range of motion.
Surgical Treatments for Chronic Back Pain
If non-surgical procedures prove ineffective, you may need surgery in order to enjoy lasting relief. Some of the most frequently performed types of back surgery for chronic spinal pain include the following:
A spinal foraminotomy is performed to enlarge one or more narrowed spaces in the vertebrae that allow nerves to pass through. A foraminotomy works by relieving pressure on the nerve, and this pressure relief then reduces pain.
If you have disc degeneration, you may need a microdiscectomy. In this minimally invasive procedure, your spine surgeon will remove the problematic part of your affected disc while leaving the rest of the disc intact.
In a disc replacement, your spine surgeon will completely remove your worn-out disc and replace it with an artificial (prosthetic) disc. This treatment thus preserves the height, flexibility, and functionality of the spine.
In spinal fusion surgery, your spine surgeon will remove a diseased or damaged disc and insert fastening components to the two adjacent vertebrae, which will allow these vertebrae to naturally “weld” together. This procedure stabilizes your spine and relieves back pain.
Chronic Spinal Pain Treatment in Rochester Hills, MI
If you have chronic back pain, Dr. Bradley Ahlgren is here for you. He is a board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon who will perform an assessment of your spine and then explain your various treatment options for your chronic spinal pain.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ahlgren, contact our friendly staff today by calling (248) 215-8080 or by filling out our online request form. We look forward to serving you!