Every person who experiences lower back pain may encounter their own unique symptoms. For this reason alone, there is no singular form of treatment that suits every situation. The spinal column and surrounding structures are rather complex, consisting of bones, joints, nerves, muscles, and a host of soft tissues. Degeneration or injury to any part of the back can have a cascade effect in which minor pain can progress to immobility for short or long periods of time.
Low back pain could stem from a number of causes, sometimes in conjunction with one another. Since no two cases are identical, it is important for an experienced physician to develop a multidimensional approach for patients dealing with chronic low back problems. Ideally, a treatment plan for low back pain will have several different elements. This may require the addition of multiple specialties in the healthcare team. Here, we discuss the various aspects that may need to be included in a customized treatment plan.
Imaging and Testing
The initial plan for treating back pain usually involves x-rays and other forms of imaging to determine the source of pain and type and severity of the spinal injury (remembering that conditions like degenerative disc disease are considered spinal injuries). By accurately pinpointing the cause of back pain, the healthcare team can be established to successfully meet the patient’s needs.
In just about every case of lower back pain, doctors initially develop a conservative approach to treatment. This may include physical therapy, aquatic therapy, heat and cold therapies, and complementary services such as acupuncture. Conservative therapies can support the natural healing of minor injuries and may also decrease the risk of future injuries while bringing long-term relief from pain. Injectable and oral prescription drugs may also be used to control pain and reduce inflammation around the injured spinal segment.
Significant spinal injuries that are causing acute or chronic pain may need to be met with a more direct approach. Spinal surgery has become much more refined through the years than it once was. Dr. Albert has experience with a wide range of minimally-invasive surgical techniques to correct spinal abnormalities and restore the proper structure that allows nerves to pass through the spine without impingement and resulting pain.