Pain Management, Spine Surgery

April 6, 2016

Which Pain Management Procedure Could Help Relieve Your Chronic Back Pain?

Male Patient Visiting Doctor's Office With Back Ache

Learn different ways you can safely and effectively treat your chronic back pain and enhance your mental and physical health.

It is estimated that 80 percent of people will experience some form of back pain during their lives, and chronic back pain can become a serious issue for many patients. Chronic back pain is sometimes the result of an injury, but it can also occur without any external stimulus at all.

After dealing with the effects of chronic back pain long-term, patients often see a decline in their ability to enjoy their everyday activities. If chronic back pain is affecting the quality of your life, undergoing a pain management procedure may help relieve your pain and help you regain your mobility and independence.

Foraminal Epidural Injections
Foraminal epidural injections (also called transforaminal injections) are doses of long-acting steroids that are administered in an opening on your spine known as the foramen. Because the foramen is home to nerve roots, the steroid serves to reduce swelling of these nerve roots and lessen the pain caused by inflammation. These injections may be given as an alternative to surgical treatment. However, they are also often administered following back surgery to give you time to heal.

Facet Injection
If the source of your chronic back pain is the facet joints that lie at each segment of your spine, a facet injection may bring temporary pain relief. These facets can break down and cause pain due to arthritis, injury, or wear and tear on the joints. The injection usually consists of either an anesthetic which numbs the area, or a steroid. Many times, physicians will rely on a facet injection as a type of diagnostic test, since successful pain relief following an injection is an indication that the facet joints are the source of your pain.

Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection
Physicians have been relying on lumbar epidural steroid injections (LESI) as a common pain management procedure for decades. Many times, an LESI is given to provide relief from acute episodes of the leg or lower back pain caused by sciatica. However, the procedure can also sometimes be an effective form of pain relief for up to a year for chronic sufferers. This treatment has also proved effective in conjunction with long-term rehabilitation efforts, providing patients with enough temporary relief to complete their prescribed physical rehab regimens.

Radiofrequency Rhizotomy
Radiofrequency rhizotomy is another non-surgical option for patients whose back pain lies in the facet joints of the spine. During this procedure, rather than inject medication into the joint, which temporarily relieves pain, your nerve endings themselves are targeted by a probe placed in your joint. The probe cauterizes the nerve endings, which shuts off their ability to transmit pain.

When radiofrequency rhizotomy works correctly, the probe causes the nerve endings to recess over a period of approximately two to four weeks, which provides a longer-term reduction in pain than a corresponding steroid injection.

Talk to a pain management specialist about how to properly treat your chronic back pain.

If you suffer from chronic back pain, contact Arkansas Surgical Hospital at (877)-918-7020 to schedule an appointment with our interventional pain management physicians. We’re dedicated to helping reduce or eliminate your pain so that you can get back to your life.

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