You get out of bed each morning and wait to see just how much your lower back pain will affect your day — some days are worse than others. Even if you’re having a relatively good back day, you’re tired of living in a world that’s governed by your back.
And this world is a large one. Globally, lower back is the leading cause of disability, affecting nearly 620 million people. And this number is expected to jump to 843 million by 2050 thanks to an aging population.
If you’re looking for answers that don’t come at the edge of a knife, we have them. Here at Spine & Orthopedic Center, Dr. Rajiv Sood and our team have considerable experience helping our patients to overcome debilitating back pain.
We understand that surgery isn’t always the best path forward, especially considering that up to 40% of people who undergo back surgery have failed back surgery syndrome.
So, here we present three nonsurgical solutions that can help you find relief from chronic low back pain.
One of the best ways to manage your lower back pain is through interventional injections, such as:
Each of these injections contains a local anesthetic and a corticosteroid — the anesthetic delivers near-immediate pain relief, while the corticosteroid works to combat inflammation. We deliver these interventional injections straight to the overactive nerve groups responsible for lower back pain.
In most cases, patients experience relief within a few days, lasting for several weeks, several months, and even a year or more. Putting a number on relief is difficult as each patient responds differently. Whenever the pain does return, you can return for another injection.
Another way in which we can approach lower back pain without resorting to surgery is through radiofrequency ablation (RFA). This technique sends a quick electrical current into the nerve fibers that are signaling the pain to disrupt the messaging. The RF energy essentially burns (or ablates) the end of the nerve(s).
To deliver the energy to the correct nerves, we use fluoroscopy, or live X-ray, to guide a needle into the area where the target nerve endings are located. Once in position, we send the RF energy through the needle, which takes only seconds.
After your RFA procedure, you should achieve pain relief within a week or two, and this relief can last six months to a year, or more, depending upon how quickly your nerve regrows. As with interventional injections, you can undergo another quick-and-easy RFA procedure when the pain returns.
Whether alone or as part of an overall treatment plan alongside the above interventional procedures, physical therapy (PT) can play an invaluable role in alleviating lower back pain.
You can strengthen the core muscles that support your back through targeted exercises to take the pressure off your lumbar spine. Through PT, you can also preserve mobility and range of motion by stretching key connective tissues to keep them healthy.
If you’d like to determine which approach is best for your lower back pain, we invite you to contact our Jonesboro, Georgia, office to schedule a consultation.