Low Back Pain

John S. Michels, MD -  - Interventional Pain Management

John S. Michels, MD

Interventional Pain Management located in Dallas, TX

Low back pain is a common problem that affects nearly everyone during their lifetime. In about 5-10% of all cases, however, the problem doesn’t heal, and the pain becomes a chronic, often debilitating condition. John S. Michels, MD, of Interventional Spine & Pain in Dallas uses spinal pain mapping techniques to determine the cause of your back pain, then provides advanced interventional treatments to deliver effective pain relief. If you need help with low back pain, call the office or book an appointment online today.

Low Back Pain Q & A

What causes low back pain?

Low back pain often results from musculoskeletal injuries, especially when the pain develops in athletes and young to middle-aged adults. As you get older, however, low back pain is most likely to be caused by degenerative changes that gradually develop from daily stress on your back, such as:

  • Herniated disc
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Bone spurs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative disc disease

All these conditions end up compressing spinal nerves, causing inflammation and pain.

What symptoms develop in addition to pain?

When your back pain is caused by a pinched or damaged nerve, you may experience pain, tingling, numbness, a burning sensation, or muscle weakness along the length of the nerve. When the sciatic nerve is compressed, you’ll develop intense pain that radiates down the length of your leg, known as sciatica.

How is low back pain treated?

Dr. Michels begins treatment for low back pain with conservative therapies, such as physical therapy, ultrasound therapy, transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS), and muscle relaxants or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

When your pain persists despite conservative treatment, he recommends interventional therapies that target the nerves responsible for sending pain signals to your brain. You may receive treatments such as:

Epidural steroid injections

During this procedure, Dr. Michels injects steroids and a local anesthetic into the space around the spinal cord. Using imaging guidance, he precisely places the needle near the targeted nerves.

After the medication is injected, it flows around the nerves, where the anesthetic immediately relieves pain by blocking nerve signals. The steroids reduce inflammation to provide longer-lasting pain relief.

Facet joint injections

During this procedure, Dr. Michels injects steroid and anesthetic medications near the nerves serving the facet joints in your spine.

Radiofrequency ablation

Radiofrequency ablation uses heat from radio waves to create a temporary wound on the specific nerve transmitting pain messages. The wound stops the nerve signals from reaching your brain. This treatment usually relieves pain for nine months to more than two years.

Spinal cord stimulation

Spinal cord stimulation is delivered using a medical device to send mild electrical impulses into a specific area of your spine. The electrical stimulation relieves your pain by blocking or masking nerve signals. Dr. Michels uses several of the most advanced spinal cord stimulators on the market, choosing the one that’s best for your needs.

Interspinous spacer

Dr. Michels performs minimally invasive surgery to implant the Superion® Indirect Decompression System between two vertebra. The interspinous spacer gently separates the vertebrae to relieve pressure on your pinched nerves.

If you continue to suffer from low back pain, call Interventional Spine & Pain or book an appointment online today.