People who are struggling with chronic back pain are anxious to find relief from their discomfort, but most patients prefer to have an operation as a last resort. Conservative spinal surgeons in Santa Monica understand that surgical procedures should only be performed if absolutely necessary, and they work hard to explore all alternative treatment options with patients before recommending surgery.
Many spinal surgeons offer a combination of treatments in an effort to provide back pain relief for patients. When people are experiencing acute inflammation around the spinal column, oral steroids, non-steroidal pain relievers, muscle relaxants or narcotic pain pills may be prescribed. Physicians may also recommend physical therapy or prescribe specific exercises to their patients in order to strengthen the spinal column and thus reduce pressure and pain. Some individuals find relief from steroid injections in the spine’s epidural space. Ultrasound therapy, TENS units and heat applications are also employed in treating back pain.
Many times, spinal surgeons will allow patients to go through a trial period during which they will observe how a patient responds to different treatments. If a reasonable amount of time has passed and the patient is still in pain and experiencing decreased mobility, the physician may opt for surgery.
In rare cases, conservative treatments are bypassed and an immediate operation is performed in order to prevent a permanent disability or halt a life-threatening illness. A sudden compression of the spine’s nerve sac, cauda equina syndrome, is an example of a condition that requires emergency intervention. Another condition that requires prompt surgical treatment is a cancerous spinal tumor that causes symptoms that include back pain, weight loss, nausea, numbness, tingling and weakness.
If you are looking for treatment options for spine pain, reach out to Dr. Hyun Bae of the Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration and schedule an in-person consultation.
Dr. Bae is an experienced and trusted conservative spine surgeon who specializes in minimally invasive surgery, and has also been involved in some of the industry’s most innovative clinical trials for devices such as Mobi-C and coflex. Call 310-828-7757 for more information or request a consultation.