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Back Pain… Now What?
We can classify back pain intervention into two categories: invasive, and non-invasive. Invasive procedures will range from injections to surgery, while non-invasive would be pharmaceutical, physical therapy or chiropractic.
Let’s consider the options from the most invasive to the least invasive.
- Spinal fusion: although much less common today, is a procedure that fuses together two or more vertebrae using bone grafts or rods. This eliminates motion between the vertebrae which may be the source of pain in some patients.
- Laminectomy: involves removal of the bone overlaying the spinal canal which enlarges the space and relieves nerve pressure.
- Discectomy: involves removing the herniated portion of the disc to relieve pressure of the nerve. This can be done as an open surgery or by endoscopic camera.
- Radiofrequency Ablation: uses radio waves to create heat that destroys the nerves that supply the joint thereby eliminating pain.
- Spinal Cord Stimulator: similar to a pacemaker, a small device is implanted in the back that sends electrical pulses to the spine to interfere with the pain signals.
- Epidural Injections: places medicine into the spine to decrease inflammation.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, 20% of people who undergo surgery will require additional operations, so surgery should always be the option of last resort. In our practice, we offer a non-invasive option to back pain. The McKenzie Method is a unique, comprehensive and highly effective approach to treating the spine, and has widely become the first choice for common back problems worldwide. Most lower back pain is mechanical in origin, meaning that an applied force caused the pain through very specific movements and exercises. While most clinicians are familiar with the McKenzie method, only a certified McKenzie specialist that has undergone extensive training and numerous clinical hours is qualified to diagnose and treat your back pain and restore pain free function. Every patient is different, and sometimes it’s a combination of treatments that best serves the patient. The most important thing a patient needs to know is that there are plenty of options, some of which were not covered in this article. Talk to your health care provider, or stop into any of our conveniently located New Jersey locations.