What might be causing my back pain?
Your back pain could have many causes, from a minor injury like a muscle strain to a serious spinal disorder or a variety of degenerative conditions. Ventura Neuroscience Center offers comprehensive diagnostic services and treatment for common causes of back pain such as:
- Herniated discs
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spinal stenosis
- Radiculopathy (pinched nerves)
- Spinal tumors
These problems tend to cause persistent and sometimes severe back pain. You might also have symptoms of nerve compression, such as "pins-and-needles" sensations, prickling, burning, or tingling feelings, numbness, and in some cases, a loss of function.
If the nerve compression is in your neck (cervical spine), these symptoms affect your arms and shoulders, while lower back (lumbar spine) problems cause issues with your legs and feet.
What should I do if I have back pain?
If your back hurts because you've done too much or tweaked a muscle at the gym, you should find the pain fades after a few days of rest. If the pain is severe, doesn't improve, or gets worse, you should call Ventura Neuroscience Center.
Their experienced neurological team can determine the cause of your back pain after conducting a physical examination, assessing your symptoms and medical history, and looking at the results of diagnostic imaging tests like X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans. If there's a suspicion of nerve compression, you might also need an electromyogram (EMG).
What treatments are available for back pain?
Initial treatment for most types of back pain involves a combination of conservative approaches like physical therapy, medication, activity modification, and therapeutic massage.
These methods are often all you need to resolve back pain. However, for patients who aren't getting relief from their discomfort, Ventura Neuroscience Center also offers a range of other treatments, such as:
- Epidural steroid injections
- Facet joint injections
- Sacroiliac joint injections
- Nerve blocks
These injections contain either a steroid, a local anesthetic, or very often both. The steroid has potent anti-inflammatory effects that can last for months, while the local anesthetic provides complete relief from back pain for a shorter period.
What options are there for treatment-resistant back pain?
More advanced treatments for back pain involve using radiofrequency ablation, which deactivates the nerves sending pain signals to your brain, and spinal cord stimulation, where you have an implant that delivers electrical signals to your spinal nerves to scramble their signals.
Surgery usually becomes an option only when no other treatments are helping. Minimally invasive spine surgery techniques such as discectomy and fusion, artificial disc replacement, and spinal decompression could relieve this type of stubborn back pain.