Back Pain from a Pinched Nerve
For patients experiencing back pain caused by a pinched nerve in the spinal column, a number of treatment options may offer relief. The secret to decompressing a pinched nerve is to first identify the source of the compression. A number of anatomical influences can lead to back pain from a pinched nerve, ranging from tissue inflammation from a nagging sports-related injury to degenerative disc disease or osteoarthritis from regular wear and tear. Similarly, treatment options vary from non-invasive techniques to open spine surgery, although the vast majority of back pains will respond to a steady course of conservative treatment.
Determining the treatment plan that is right for your back pain typically requires a visit to the physician. In most cases, the physician will review your medical history, complete an examination and often recommend medical imagery to identify the source of the compression. With this information, the physician will recommend treatments to the patient, taking into account the severity, location and cause of the symptoms. Some examples of treatments include:
- Medication – either prescription or over-the-counter pain medication, anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants may be recommended.
- Cutaneous therapy – the application of heat improves circulation and accelerates healing; cold therapy reduces swelling.
- Chiropractics – some patients find relief from a chiropractor who physically adjusts spinal alignment.
- Pain management techniques – corticosteroid injections, ultrasounds, TENS treatment and pain patches may all be used to treat pain.
- Physical therapy – low impact exercises may be recommended to strengthen the muscles in the back to support the spine and alleviate pressure on the pinched nerve.
- Surgery – usually reserved for patients who have exhausted all other treatment options; some patients elect to undergo a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure as an alternative to open spine surgery.
If you are living with back pain because of a pinched nerve in your spine, visit your physician to determine the cause of your symptoms and begin treatment. If, after several weeks, conservative treatments haven’t provided you with the pain relief you require, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about our minimally invasive procedures.