Options for chronic back pain treatment

At some point in life, most people experience some sort of back pain, but it usually goes away in a short period of time with minimal treatment. However, approximately 8 percent of all American adults reported experiencing chronic back pain — which is pain that lasts longer than three months. Back pain is one of the leading causes of missed work and one of the health issues on which Americans spend the most money. In many cases, it is difficult to determine the precise cause of back pain, which is one of the factors that can make chronic back pain treatment a long process.

Chronic back pain causes and diagnosis

Back pain itself might differ in intensity and form from one person to another — it could be a sharp, stabbing pain or a dull ache. It might only be experienced in the lower back or it could be a general all-over pain. It could be persistent or it may only appear in response to certain movements. The cause of the pain could be the result of a muscle strain sustained playing sports or doing housework, or by internal age-related conditions such as degenerative disc disease or spinal arthritis.

The treatment of chronic back pain may require some trial and error due to the wide possibility of causes. It is generally considered a good idea to explore conservative treatments before seriously considering surgery as a treatment option. Additionally, since the spine is such a complex structure, it can often be challenging to diagnose specific structural defects, sometimes eventually requiring imaging methods such as a CT scan, MRI or X-ray to discover the specific spinal condition that is the cause of symptoms.

Treatment options for chronic back pain

Upon diagnosing the underlying condition causing your pain, your physician typically will start you out on a nonsurgical conservative treatment program, including:

  • Resting until exercise is possible
  • Physical therapy
  • Spinal injections
  • Anti-inflammatory medication and pain medication
  • Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, improving posture and eating better

Surgery can become an option if weeks or months of conservative treatment do not bring the relief required to comfortably engage in the activities of everyday life.

At Laser Spine Institute, we specialize in treating degenerative spine conditions with minimally invasive spine surgery performed by our team of board-certified surgeons.+ Our outpatient procedures involve a less than 1-inch incision and other muscle-sparing techniques, leading to a reduced risk of complication when compared to traditional open spine surgery. Since 2005, we’ve been able to help more than 75,000 patients find relief from neck and back pain.

If your doctor has recommended spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute for more information. We are happy to offer a no-cost review of your MRI report or CT scan* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.