Severe chronic pain

Severe chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts for three months or longer and prevents you from performing daily activities without pain or discomfort. Chronic pain can occur sporadically or can remain constant. Either way, if the continued episodes of pain or the continual pain lasts longer than several months, it may be considered chronic.

If you or a loved one is suffering from severe chronic pain, specifically in the neck or back, you understand the physical and mental struggle it can have on a person’s life. Understanding what has caused the severe chronic pain can help you and your physician create a treatment plan to reduce your symptoms and get you back to your active lifestyle.

Classifications of severe chronic pain

Severe chronic pain in the neck or back is often classified as neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain is related to a malfunction or compression of the nervous system, including the brain, the spinal cord and spinal nerve roots. A “pinched” nerve in the spine produces neuropathic pain, which can extend from the spine into the associated extremities.

Nerve compression in the spinal cord can be caused by a number of degenerative spine conditions, such as:

  • Herniated disc or bulging disc
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Bone spurs (osteophytes)
  • Spinal arthritis (osteoarthritis)

These conditions cause certain components of the spine to break down and shift out of the natural alignment of the spine, increasing the risk of nerve compression in the spinal canal. If a nerve root is severely compressed and treatment is not used to reduce the pressure, severe chronic pain can develop.

Treatment for severe chronic pain

Treatment for severe chronic pain is determined by the cause and location of the pain. For example, a herniated disc may respond well to physical therapy, while spinal arthritis may be treated effectively with yoga and stretching.

However, if the severe chronic pain has resulted from more advanced damage in the spine, your physician may recommend spine surgery. At Laser Spine Institute, we offer minimally invasive spine surgery to help treat the most common spine conditions that cause severe chronic pain. Our minimally invasive decompression and stabilization surgeries offer patients a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck or back surgery, so they can receive the treatment they deserve with a lower risk of complication and a shorter recovery time.^ For many patients, a decompression surgery can be used to treat chronic neck or back pain by removing the piece of the damaged spine that is pressing against the nerve root. However, if the damage in your spine is causing instability, you may require a stabilization procedure, which uses an artificial disc and/or bone grafts to support the spine and relieve pressure on the nerve.

To see if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute today and ask for a review of your MRI report or CT scan.