What are the pain management options for failed back surgery syndrome?

If you have failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS), you’re likely looking for ways to manage your pain. Of course, it’s entirely understandable that you want fast relief. But, it’s important to take a step back and find out exactly what’s going on before you start any type of treatment. Here’s why:

FBSS can have a number of causes, such as incomplete spinal nerve decompression and the formation of scar tissue. The condition can also produce a variety of symptoms, including localized and radiating pain, weakness, numbness, tingling, muscle spasms and sleep disturbances. In order to determine the most appropriate way to address your discomfort, it is essential to work with a physician who can pinpoint its underlying cause, provide a comprehensive diagnosis and recommend a potentially effective treatment plan.

Possible pain management options

After identifying the specific cause of your failed back surgery syndrome, your physician can recommend appropriate treatments, such as:

  • Physical therapy. A targeted workout program can be designed to stretch and strengthen your core and abdominal muscles, which provide essential support to your spine. As the flexibility and strength of these muscles increase, painful pressure may shift away from your spinal column.
  • Hot/cold therapy. You can apply an ice pack or heating pad to a painful area as needed for temporary but near-immediate relief.
  • Medications. Over-the-counter pain relievers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can reduce spinal pain and inflammation, which may help you feel comfortable enough to increase your activity level.
  • Counseling. A pain management specialist can help you explore new ways to think about and deal with chronic discomfort.

Additional surgery

Prior to advising you to consider another surgical procedure, your physician will likely encourage you to try one or more nonsurgical treatments, and also to allow those treatments some time to work (generally, this can take a few weeks or months). However, if conservative FBSS treatment ultimately proves to be insufficient and you decide to move forward with surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute. Our skilled surgeons perform minimally invasive outpatient procedures that are safer and effective alternatives to open spine surgery.^ Why not find out if you’re a candidate? We are happy to provide you with a no-cost MRI review.*