One of the most popular trends in chronic back pain management is using minimally invasive treatments. Many back doctors today choose to start out conservatively with treatments for chronic back pain, and escalate over time if pain fails to subside or the condition doesn’t improve. This “hands-off” approach has become more common, especially among Texas spine doctors whose goal it is to try to manage pain and heal injuries without surgical intervention, wherever possible.
Minimally Invasive Process
Leading back doctors today are taking a minimally invasive approach to chronic back pain management, looking to everything from anti-inflammatory medications to physical therapy and aquatic therapy to acupuncture to treat painful conditions. Doctors like Dr. Mark Valente, a leading specialist in minimally invasive procedures and the Founder and Medical Director of DISC Spine Institute, believe in “the body’s ability to heal,” so pain management plans are designed to be as minimally invasive as possible, with individualized care appropriate for the condition and the patient.
Minimally Invasive Surgery
However, for those patients who don’t see enough of a reduction in pain through more conservative treatments, minimally invasive back surgery may be the answer. Only 10 percent of today’s spine doctors have the necessary training and experience to perform certain minimally invasive back surgeries, so it’s critical for patients to find a doctor who is skilled in an array of treatments and procedures when they first seek an answer to their chronic back pain.
Minimally invasive surgical procedures cut the time spent in the hospital by half over traditional surgeries, according to the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (SMISS); limit the time spent under anesthesia; reduce scarring from several inches to as little as 3mm; and use about 1/10 of the blood of traditional surgeries, all of which helps to reduce the trauma on the body and the amount of pain felt.
Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty
For people suffering with compression fractures, the pain can be intense and debilitating. Two procedures growing in popularity can put an end to the pain and also come with a surprising secondary benefit: restoring height lost due to the break in the vertebra. Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty can be done as outpatient procedures in about 15 minutes through small, 3mm incisions, with only a local anesthetic and no stitches.
The quick and easy recovery, the low risk of complications, and the fact that, “Pain reduction or elimination is immediate,” said Medscape, makes these minimally invasive procedures popular for back pain relief due to compression fractures.
Pain Management: Injections
Epidural Steroid Injections have become more popular in chronic back pain management because they offer effective treatments for conditions like herniated discs and require no general anesthesia or hospitalization. In addition, “An epidural steroid injection (ESI) may be tried when other nonsurgical treatments have failed to relieve severe leg pain from lumbar spinal stenosis,” said WebMD.
Chronic back pain and neck pain is sometimes caused by an inflamed joint and cartilage, which can lead to conditions like bone spurs and arthritis. By using facet injections, spine doctors can provide pain relief with a quick and simple procedure that’s performed under x-ray on an outpatient basis. Steroid and local anesthetic are injected into the inflamed joint in a minimally invasive procedure that takes only minutes.
For more information, contact DISC Spine Institute, experts in minimally invasive treatments, the most effective medical procedures to treat and eliminate chronic back pain. Subscribe to Back Stories to stay up to date on all the latest posts.