Back pain is a common problem. It’s so common, in fact, it’s one of the main reasons people head to the doctor. This issue can vary from person to person, and it can be acute or chronic. Either way, 8 in 10 people end up with some form of back pain during their lifetime. And, when it doesn’t go away, it can seriously impact your quality of life.
Vladimir Fiks, MD, has the training and tools you need to ease your back pain and restore function in your spine. If you have back pain, here’s how a visit to Advanced Pain Management Center in Portland, Oregon, could help.
Getting to the source of the problem
Back pain may be common, but it can appear for a wide range of reasons. That also means that finding effective pain relief requires an accurate diagnosis from an expert.
The spine is incredibly complex, and all of its intricate parts — such as the vertebrae, discs, muscles, connective tissue, and nerves — can be to blame for back pain. You can also have back pain because of another medical condition altogether.
Before making treatment recommendations, Dr. Fiks examines your back, assesses your symptoms, and performs diagnostic testing to diagnose specific issues. Then, based on this evaluation, he can create a personalized strategy to help address your low back pain, so you can find relief as quickly as possible.
In many cases, low back pain improves within about a month, often with over-the-counter pain relievers, heat, and gentle physical activity. However, Dr. Fiks could suggest more advanced treatment for certain causes of back pain or symptoms that don’t improve with conservative methods.
When conservative treatments aren’t enough
It can be frustrating living with pain, especially when you haven’t found effective solutions in the past. However, there are therapies that can help, even for complex pain conditions that affect the spine, such as:
- Disc damage
- Abnormal curvature, such as scoliosis
In these cases, Dr. Fiks could turn to four forms of treatment that relieve back pain in very different ways.
1. Spinal injections
As you might expect, this treatment involves targeted therapeutic injections directly into the area causing your pain. However, there is a wide range of spinal injections Dr. Fiks could suggest, depending on the cause of your pain. For example, epidural steroid injections deliver anesthetic and steroid medication to inflamed nerve roots in the epidural space. However, radiofrequency ablation applies heat to nerve tissue to decrease pain signals going to the brain.
Dr. Fiks often uses spinal injections for low back pain caused by issues like herniated discs, osteoarthritis, sciatica, and spinal stenosis.
2. Spinal decompression
If you have pain in your low back when you try to stand up straight, it could be due to spinal stenosis. In these cases, spinal decompression could provide the best solution.
Spinal decompression increases space in the spinal canal, where it constricts the nerve roots. Dr. Fiks can often use minimally invasive techniques to access these areas and remove excess tissue, which relieves pressure on the nerves.
This pain treatment usually takes less than an hour and doesn’t require general anesthesia, steroids, opioids, or stitches. And you can typically return to normal activity within 24 hours without restrictions.
3. Regenerative therapies
Sometimes, the best course of treatment involves healing the damage causing your symptoms, which is precisely the goal of regenerative therapies. These treatments activate the body’s natural ability to heal tissues in the body.
There are several types of regenerative therapies that work to trigger and accelerate this process, such as:
- MLS laser therapy
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy
- Bone marrow concentrate therapy
Each of these treatments takes place during an office visit and comes with few, if any, risks. Dr. Fiks could incorporate regenerative therapies into your treatment plan if your back pain is associated with your soft tissues, nerves, or joints.
4. Spinal cord stimulation
If you have hard-to-treat back pain, spinal cord stimulation could be the solution.
This treatment involves implanting a small device — called a spinal cord stimulator — which generates mild electrical pulses. These pulses interfere with the pain signals coming from your nerve roots, so you feel a more pleasant sensation or nothing at all.
Spinal cord stimulation can offer results for numerous pain conditions that haven’t responded to treatments in the past, especially those involving nerves. And before going through the minimally invasive implantation process, Dr. Fiks assesses whether the treatment is right for you with a trial.
If you have low back pain, Dr. Fiks can help. To learn more, call 971-233-4199 or book an appointment online with Advanced Pain Management Center today.