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The Best Long-Lasting Treatments for Chronic Back Pain

Chances are, you’ll experience back pain at some point in your life — perhaps due to an injury, overdoing an activity, or tweaking your back in some way. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health, 80% of all adults will suffer a bout of low back pain during their lifetime. Yet, despite how common back pain is, diagnosing and treating it can be a complex process.

We are all too familiar with what back pain is, but what’s chronic back pain? Simply put, chronic back pain is persistent back pain that lingers several weeks or so after the initial injury and prescribed treatment.

Since diagnosing and treating back pain is so tricky, finding the best practices and long-lasting treatments for chronic back pain is critically important. John S. Michels, MD, of Interventional Spine & Pain in Dallas, Texas, knows all too well how an injury can change the trajectory of your life. Dr. Michels is a former professional football player and Super Bowl champion with the Green Bay Packers whose career was cut short by an injury. Dr. Michels offers these insights on treating chronic back pain so that you can live a full and productive life.

Finding the root cause of your pain is job 1 in the process. For some patients, the cause of the pain can be traced back to an injury, while for many other patients the pain is age-related. When X-rays and physical examinations fall short of determining the cause of the pain, Dr. Michels uses advanced diagnostic methods known as pain mapping techniques.

Think minimally invasive first

Once the origin of the pain is discovered, it’s time for treatment. When at all possible, it’s best to start with conservative, minimally invasive strategies to address back pain. For instance, with low back pain, conservative measures may include:

Surgery is reserved for the most severe cases.   

Injection-based therapies

There are a variety of injection treatments that can address back pain, such as thoracic epidural steroid injections for upper back pain and lumbar epidural steroid injections for lower back pain. Injections are effective treatments for herniated disks and other issues where the source of the pain starts where the nerve exits the spine. The injections contain both steroids and a local anesthetic. This combination serves to relieve back pain by blocking nerve signals. 

Multi-disciplinary approaches

Back pain, like most pain, manifests differently from patient to patient. In some cases, the best long-lasting treatment for chronic back pain is a combination of therapies. The combination may also change as your condition changes. The goal is to design a treatment plan that will not only greatly enhance your quality of life, but also improve your mobility and functioning while enhancing your pain coping skills.

If your chronic back pain is keeping you from living your best life, contact John S. Michels, MD, at Interventional Spine & Pain in Dallas, Texas. Book your consultation today by calling our office or clicking “Request Now” above.

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