The spine is an essential part of the body that supports your body weight and allows you to move. However, due to aging, injuries, and medical conditions, the spine may develop various problems that can cause pain, discomfort, and even disability. Fortunately, there are a variety of spine treatments available today that can address these issues and restore the spine’s function and health.
Here are some of the most common types of spine treatments:
Physical therapy is a non-invasive treatment that involves exercises and stretches to improve the spine’s strength, flexibility, and mobility. Physical therapy can help relieve spine-related pain, improve posture, and prevent future issues from developing.
Medications are often prescribed to manage pain and inflammation in the spine. These include over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, as well as prescription drugs like muscle relaxants. However, long-term use of some of these drugs can have adverse effects, so they should be used with caution and under medical supervision.
Selective Nerve Root Blocks
Nerve root blocks are a minimally invasive technique used to diagnose and treat spine-related pain. By injecting medication into specific nerves, doctors can determine whether the nerves are the source of the pain. When the anesthetic is injected into the nerves, it blocks the pain signals from reaching the brain. As a result, the patient should experience immediate relief from pain. If the patient doesn’t experience relief, it means that the nerves are not the root cause of the pain.
Steroid injections are another minimally invasive technique that involves injecting anti-inflammatory cortisone medication directly into areas of the spine, specifically the epidural space. Corticosteroid injections can provide pain relief for as long as six months and are used in the treatment of herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and arthritis. Cortisone injections can also be delivered to the facet joints and sacroiliac joints, which can become inflamed or irritated due to various conditions, including arthritis, injury, and degeneration.
Radiofrequency ablation is another type of minimally invasive treatment that involves the use of heat to destroy part of the nerves that are sending the pain signals to the brain. This treatment can provide long-lasting pain relief and is often used to treat conditions such as chronic back pain and neck pain. This method can produce results that last up to 12 months or longer.
Surgery is usually considered a last resort when non-surgical treatments have failed to alleviate symptoms. There are many spine surgeries, including spinal fusion, laminectomy, and microdiscectomy, that can be effective in delivering back pain relief.
- Spinal fusion involves joining two or more vertebrae in the spine to reduce motion between them. It is often used to treat spinal fractures, spinal deformities, and spinal instability.
- A laminectomy involves removing part or all of the lamina, which is the bony arch on the back of each vertebra, to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots. This procedure is often used to treat spinal stenosis, herniated discs, and bone spurs.
- Microdiscectomy involves removing part or all of a herniated disc that is pressing on a nerve root and is used to treat conditions such as sciatica, leg pain, and lower back pain.
Surgery is typically the last resort for patients with persistent pain from issues related to the spine. Choose only a highly experienced orthopedic surgeon if you have to get spine surgery.
Board-Certified and Fellowship Trained Spine Surgeon in Rochester Hills, MI
There are many spine treatments available today that can address a wide range of spine problems. Dr. Ahlgren is a board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon with over 25 years of experience treating spine issues like arthritis, degenerative disc disease, a bulging disc and herniated disc, and scoliosis. He offers both non-surgical and surgical approaches and will create a treatment plan that will give you the best possible outcome. Our goal is to ease your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Ahlgren, call our office today at (248) 215-8080, text or call at (248) 840-2053, or use our convenient onlinerequest form.