Posts Tagged ‘back’

Mid Back Pain

December 3, 2008

Mid back pain is defined as pain in the thoracic spine.  The causes of mid back pain are very similar to the causes of low back pain.  As a result, many of the treatment options are similar.  These include epidural steroid injections, facet injections, trigger point injections, prolotherapy, and physical therapy.  Mid back pain is different in that surgical options become much more dangerous, as the lungs are in the way and commonly have to be deflated.  In addition, mid back pain can also involve pain coming from the ribs and the joints that attach the ribs to the spine.  Upper extremity numbness due to changes in the shape of the ribs can also accompany mid back pain.  Scoliosis or an abnormal curvature of the spine can also cause mid back pain.  Like the low back, some of the causes of mid back pain can be treated with injections of stem cells.

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Chronic Back Pain

December 3, 2008

Chronic back pain has multiple causes.  Often these patients are placed on narcotic medications to treat chronic back pain.  Other common options offered to chronic back pain sufferers include low back surgery.  Regrettably, both of these options used to treat chronic back pain can often make the problem worse.  Again, finding a specific cause of the chronic back pain is an important part of planning treatment.  For example, chronic back pain due to a disc bulge pressing on a nerve or the dura can often be treated sucessfully with a stem cell injection into the disc.  Other treatment options for chronic back pain include epidural steroid injections, facet injections, trigger point injections, prolotherapy, and physical therapy.

Back Pain Relief

December 3, 2008

Back pain relief strats with a specific diagnosis.  You can’t get back pain relief without knowing what’s causing the back pain.  Once the structure causing the back pain is known, back pain relief is the next step.  If you have a disc problem, the cutting out a piece of the disc or fusion is rarely a way to get back pain releif.  Other options for disc related back pain relief include stem cell injections.  If you have a facet joint problem, back pain relief may be gained with either the injection of stem cells into the joint or facet joint radiofrequency.  SI joint problems can also cause back pain and injecting the SI joint with anti-inflammatories or stem cells may allow for back pain relief.  Prolotherapy may also provide back pain relief.  Other options for back pain relief include: acupuncture and acupressure , epidurals , physical therapy , and massage therapy.

What Causes Back Pain?

December 3, 2008

As a physician who has seen thousands of patients with back pain, there are many causes.  These include disc problems where the disc is painful or can be damaged causing a bulge or herniation.  Back pain can also be caused by a disc placing pressure on a nerve.  If this is the case, newer stem cell procedures can repair the disc bulge.  Back pain can also be caused by irritated or damaged facet joints.  Yet another cause of back pain is the SI or sacroliliac joint.  Muscles and ligaments being overloaded or injured can also lead to significant back pain.  Back pain can also be due to occult problems like vertebral compression fractures, cancer, a balooning out of the aorta, etc…  

The most important part of a back pain work-up is identifying a specific strutcure that is causing the pain.  Just throwing narcotics or other medications at the problem is extremely counter-productive.  Too often back surgery is the conclusion when the cause of back pain goes undiagnosed.  This can cause significant complications.

Avoid Back Surgery

December 3, 2008

As a physician who has treated thousands of patients with chronic low back pain, back surgery is a two edged sword.  Back surgery can be avoided in 99% of the cases and is performed 90% of the time when it shouldn’t be.  New treatments such as transforaminal epidurals work in many patients.  Back surgery has significant complications and often produces more back surgery.  If you have a disc bulge, treating your low back and leg pain with stem cells is now one way to avoid back surgery.  This new stem cell treatment can repair a disc bulge rather than cutting on the disc, which ultimately weakens the disc.