Advancements in modern medicine have been incredible for pain management and the ability to provide effective treatment that can get someone back to work, avoid surgery and enjoy life to its fullest. Overall though, modern medicine has not advanced as much with regards to diagnosing the source of an individuals back pain. Allow me to explain.
When an individual is evaluated by the pain doctor or an orthopedic doctor for his or her back pain, studies have shown that over half of the time a specific source as the pain generator cannot be found. Additionally, even when a doctor feels like he or she has found the source of back pain, significant amount of the time that pain generator is incorrect. He may say it’s the disc, when it’s really the facet joints. Or that it’s the facet joints when in actuallity it’s the sacroiliac joint.
Therefore, it appears that modern medicine is falling short on the back pain diagnosis side of things. The imaging modalities available to help with back pain diagnosis include plain x-rays, CAT scans, MRIs, bone scans and Pet scans. There are additional diagnostic modalities that have been invented, but none have really been shown in randomize, prospective clinical trials to be of substantial statistical benefit right now.
Therefore, the problem remains. If only half of individuals can receive some sort of a diagnosis for why their back hurts, how are Los Angeles pain doctors supposed to be able to treat those individuals effectively?
Interestingly, pain doctors who have comprehensive treatment options available do a very good job on the treatments, even when the diagnosis is uncertain. One of the best methods that pain doctors in Santa Monica & LA utilize to diagnose back pain is with injections that can relieve pain and also give vital information at the same time.
One of these is known as medial branch blocks. These injections place numbing medicine around arthritic facet joints that are thought to be a pain generators, and if the pain relief is significant, then it also serves a diagnostic purpose while potentially providing months of pain relief as well.
So the bottom line is that on the diagnostic side of things modern medicine has not advanced nearly as much as they have the treatment side of the equation.
So it is good to see that even when an individual is not able to receive an exact diagnostic reason where back pain is coming from, treatments available for back pain can still provide relief. This may include spinal decompression therapy, acupuncture, facet injections, radiofrequency ablation, epidural injections, physical therapy, or behavioral therapy as well.
If you or a loved one is suffering from back pain the greater Los Angeles area, let the California Pain Network help you. The Network connects those in pain with pain management Los Angeles trusts. This includes doctors who provide safe and effective medication management along with interventional pain management treatments.
Call (310) 626-1526 today!