Ninety percent of Americans will experience back pain at some point in life. For an unfortunate few, the pain will become chronic and bothersome on a daily basis. If you are one of those experiencing chronic back pain, how should it be handled?
The first question that needs to be answer is what does the pain feel like? Is it a sharp pain that comes and goes, does it go down your legs, does it wake you up at night, are there any other additional symptoms such as fevers or night sweats?
A Los Angeles pain management doctor will ask you all these questions. If in fact you are having night sweats, fevers and the back pain is constant and also waking you up at night, then that is very concerning. Your pain management doctor in Los Angeles will order an MRI and probably some blood work to rule out infection or tumor.
Most of the time however, those with chronic back pain have periods where it is really bad and others where it is not so terrible. Usually it gets worse with certain activities and positions and better when an individual is at rest.
With chronic back pain due to either a degenerative disc problem or spinal arthritis, first-line treatment typically consists of over-the-counter medications. These are typically anti-inflammatories and Tylenol, which should always be taken according to the manufacturer’s recommended dosing. For when the pain is severe, short-term narcotics can be used as well.
Physical therapy and Los Angeles chiropractor treatment may benefit an individual tremendously. These can help strengthen up the muscles around the spine, which can then take pressure off of the painful areas. Modalities such as electrical stimulation, ultrasound, heat and ice may also provide symptomatic relief as well as massage and acupuncture. All of those treatments are very low risk and may be excellent pain relievers.
Most back pain comes from problems that do not necessarily require surgery. Therefore, further nonoperative pain management should be undertaken. This may include interventional pain procedures such as epidural injections, facet injections, medial branch blocks and possibly a radiofrequency ablation.
It’s not necessary to be intricately familiar with these various procedures, just know that depending on your situation they may provide weeks to months of pain relief. In the case of radiofrequency ablation, you may receive 12 to 18 months of pain relief and then the procedure can be repeated when the effects wear off.
Studies have shown that over 95% of individuals suffering from chronic back pain are able to avoid back surgery. Unless there is an absolute need for the procedure, spinal fusion or other surgery is considered elective.
Pain management clinics in Los Angeles offer comprehensive treatments that are individualized for patients including medication management, interventional procedures and some offer chiropractic treatments.
The California Pain Network connects those in pain with pain management Los Angeles and surrounding areas trust. Simply complete the form on the page or call (310) 626-1526 for more information and scheduling today!