Non-Surgical Treatments for Back Pain

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If you’re experiencing chronic back pain, you have one goal and that’s to eliminate the pain so you can get back to normal life. Thankfully, there are many remedies for back pain that don’t involve surgery. By the end of this article, you should be able to choose from one of the following back pain treatments

Epidural Steroid Injections 

This non-surgical back pain relief treatment involves an injection of an anti-inflammatory medicine ino the area between the bone and protective sac of the spinal nerve. Pain relief is generally felt after two or three days but can take up to a week in some cases. This is a popular treatment because the pain relief lasts weeks to years depending on a variety of factors. 

Electromyogram 

An EMG measures the amount of electrical activity in the muscles. It will help identify the health of your muscles, motor neurons, and the cells that control them. By doing this we can diagnose a vast array of neurological disorders that could be leading to back pain. A nerve or muscle disorder is often accompanied by numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in your muscles. To conduct the non-surgical treatment, we insert a needle electrode into the muscles and attach it to the machine that will record the results. 

Major Joint Injections 

A non-surgical spine specialist will inject a local anesthetic into the affected joint to identify the problem area. Once the painful joint is located a corticosteroid injection will be injected to reduce inflammation and provide more robust medication that will last over an extended period of time. These injections work for all major joint pain including back, elbow, wrist, shoulder, knee, ankle, hand, foot, and more. 

Medial Branch Facet Blocks 

A medial branch facet block is a diagnostic procedure to treat a painful facet joint. These are joints between the vertebrae of the spine that allow it to bend and flex. The goal is to determine which joint or branch is causing the pain and to block the pain signal once located. The surrounding tissue is numbed using a local anesthetic and a needle is inserted into the tissue with a contrast solution used to confirm proper positioning of the needle. Once the position is confirmed, anesthetic medication is injected into the medial branch nerves to interrupt the pain signal. 

Rhizotomy 

Rhizotomy is a back pain treatment designed to turn off the pain signal from an inflamed facet joint. The surgeon will insert an electrode using fluoroscopy and send mild electrical currents to stimulate the nerve. It’ll be heated to deaden the nerves so they can no longer send pain signals to the brain. This is a popular treatment for back and neck pain from arthritis and herniated discs

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Sacroiliac Joint Injections 

This non-surgical treatment for back pain treats pain associated with the sacroiliac joint that connects your sacrum to your hip bones. This area causes a lot of lower back pain because it’s a shock absorber for when we bend over to pick something up. The procedure involves numbing the area with a local anesthetic and inserting a needle into the sacroiliac joint. Contrast dye is used to confirm the proper location and anti-inflammatory cortisone is injected. 

Selective Nerve Root Blocks 

This procedure is used to treat pinched nerves in the spine. The non-surgical treatment for back pain involves a fluoroscopy and x-ray imaging to guide the needle to the problem area in the back. When the needle is positioned properly, the anesthetic is inserted into the foramen space thus coating the irritated nerve.