Back pain affects 80% of Americans, and it can strike at any point during your lifetime. But, just because it’s a common problem, that doesn’t mean you have to live with it. Dr. David Duffner and his team at Orthopedic & Physical Medicine Associates, Inc., offer cutting-edge surgical and nonsurgical treatments that can relieve your chronic back pain and reduce your risk of long-term problems.
Understanding back pain
Back pain can come on suddenly and disappear in weeks, or it can turn into a chronic problem that lasts three months or more. You can develop back pain from the smallest movement, like picking up a pencil, or from traumatic injuries, like car accidents or falls. One of the most common issues behind back pain, however, is age-related deterioration of your spine, such as osteoarthritis. With osteoarthritis of the spine, there’s a breakdown of the cartilage in the joints and discs of the neck and back. Other causes of back pain can include:
- Strained or sprained back muscles or spinal ligaments
- Ruptured or bulging intervertebral discs
- Spinal irregularities, such as scoliosis
While anyone is at risk of getting back pain, your chances are higher if you smoke, are overweight, don’t exercise regularly, or if you’re over age 30.
To determine the best treatment for your back pain, we will perform a careful assessment to determine the precise cause of your discomfort. After reaching a diagnosis, we might recommend a variety of nonsurgical or surgical treatment options.
Nonsurgical treatments for back pain
Whenever possible, we try to address chronic back pain with noninvasive or minimally invasive options. Common nonsurgical treatments for back pain can include:
- Medications, such as pain relievers, anti-inflammatories, or muscle relaxants
- Topical pain-relieving creams, ointments, or salves
- Chiropractic care or massage therapy
- Physical therapy or exercise
We also offer other treatments, such as cortisone injections, platelet-rich plasma therapy, and stem cell therapy.
Cortisone injections, which can help relieve pain and inflammation, are normally injected into joints.
Platelet-rich plasma therapy
With platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, we use the growth factors in your blood to activate new tissue growth in areas of your body that are damaged or diseased. After drawing your blood, we concentrate its healing agents in a centrifuge. Then we inject the PRP into the area causing you pain.
Stem cell therapy
This form of regenerative medicine uses your stem cells, the powerful building blocks of your body, which are found in your bone marrow and other areas. By concentrating these unique cells and injecting them into locations with disease, we can generate new tissue to repair tendons, muscles, bones, and other tissue.
If you have chronic back pain that doesn’t respond to nonsurgical treatment, we might recommend surgical treatment.
Surgical treatments for back pain
In some cases, surgery might be the best solution for chronic back pain. These types of situations often include pain with nerve compression, which can cause muscle weakness, numbness, or symptoms radiating into your arms or legs.
As a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Duffner specializes in surgical procedures related to bones, joints, cartilage, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Depending on your condition, Dr. Duffner might recommend several types of back surgery, such as:
- Discectomy, which removes some or all of your herniated disc
- Laminectomy, which removes a piece of a vertebra to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerves
- Spinal fusion, which reduces movement between two or more of your vertebrae
Some surgical treatments for chronic back pain are more invasive than others, so Dr. Duffner will walk you through your procedure and provide additional information on what to expect during the recovery process.
To learn more about nonsurgical and surgical treatments for chronic back pain, book an appointment online or over the phone with Orthopedic & Physical Medicine Associates, Inc. today.