Lower Back Pain: Understanding Your Treatment Options

As many as 80% of people experience low back at some point, losing time at work and reducing their ability to do the activities they love. At the practice of Louis J Raso, MD in Jupiter, Florida, we understand how debilitating and frustrating low back pain can be and offer many treatment options to help you find relief.

Your low back is a complex structure of vertebrae, ligaments, nerves, and muscles that work in synergy to provide movement, support, strength, and stability. But, because it has so many working parts, the lumbar area is quite vulnerable to injury, degeneration, and pain.

Your treatment options depend on the cause of your pain, severity, and overall health. Dr. Raso does a comprehensive health review and physical exam to help inform treatment. He’ll also order any necessary screening tests, such as X-rays, ultrasounds, and even MRIs. He’ll offer the least-invasive treatments possible to help you find relief. Read on to learn some of the potential options.

Conservative treatment options

If your back pain is temporary, caused by a muscle strain or other minor injury, Dr. Raso may recommend self-care that includes:

You may benefit from mild stretches and exercise to work out tight muscles and loosen up connective tissue. These temporary cases of low back pain usually resolve within a few weeks.

Medical interventions

When at-home interventions fail to resolve your back pain, Dr. Raso may intervene with more intensive therapies. You could be eligible for muscle relaxants, which help relieve tense muscles and relieve pain from tightness or spasms. These aren’t a chronic pain management tool, but a temporary fix for a strained low back.

Prescription painkillers may be useful in cases of intense, short-term pain, but aren’t a long-term solution if you have chronic back pain. Dr. Raso may also offer you a back brace that can reduce pain, especially when coupled with a physical therapy program.

Intensive therapies

Epidural steroid injections are a way to temporarily reduce inflammation around an irritated nerve root that’s causing your lumbar spine pain. Often, the pain radiates down into your buttocks and legs, causing dysfunction and severe pain and numbness.

Dr. Raso uses ultrasound technology to guide the epidural injection so he places the steroid in just the right location to relieve your pain. These injections are a temporary solution for low-back pain but can be quite effective.

Often these injections are placed into the facet joints. The facet joints are small joints in the spine that provide mobility and flexibility. If injections are inadequate or too short term, Dr. Raso may recommend facet rhizotomy, a procedure that shuts off the pain signals that joints send to your brain.

Facet rhizotomy is performed using local anesthetic and X-ray guidance. Dr. Raso uses a needle to place an electrode that delivers radiofrequency energy to essentially deaden the nerves carrying pain signals to the brain.

Advanced treatments

For people with pain that’s intense form a herniated disc or spinal stenosis, narrowing of the spinal canal, a spinal stimulator can help. Dr. Raso implants this small device under your skin; it sends electric impulses to numb pain on demand.

In cases of fracture or severe degeneration or herniation, you may need surgery or a procedure known as kyphoplasty, which stabilizes the broken vertebrae.

Whatever the reason for your low back pain, there’s a solution for you to find some or complete relief. We want to help you restore your quality of life. Call our office today or book a consultation online to get started today.

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