Do you have back pain that just won’t go away? Edward Carden, MD, who offers interventional pain management services at his practice in Sherman Oaks, California, may be able to help you get relief.
Among other specialties, Dr. Carden is an expert in nonsurgical treatments that effectively address pain related to sciatica, herniated discs, osteoarthritis, and other painful spinal conditions. Dr. Carden approaches chronic pain management from a patient-first perspective and customizes treatment strategies to meet your needs.
In this blog, Dr. Carden discusses five treatments he frequently recommends for treating chronic back pain.
1. Physical therapy
Physical therapy is often a key component of managing chronic back pain. Guided by patient-specific recommendations, physical therapy often consists of strengthening and flexibility exercises to relieve current symptoms and help prevent future injuries. Strategies may also include massage, posture retraining, and correcting any habits that could be contributing to your back pain.
Unfortunately, back pain may limit your ability to participate in physical therapy. To counter this problem, Dr. Carden may focus on other pain management treatments before designing your physical therapy program.
2. Injection-based therapies
Dr. Carden offers a full range of injection-based treatments for chronic back pain, including epidural steroid injections, which can reduce inflammation and soothe irritated nerves. Or, he may recommend a nerve block, which can temporarily disrupt the pain signals traveling along the problematic nerve to your brain.
If your pain is muscle-related, Dr. Carden may suggest trigger point injections, which can reduce painful muscle spasms in the neck, upper back, or lower back.
3. Radiofrequency ablation
Radiofrequency (RF) ablation is a treatment in which a needle-like device delivers heat to the nerve that’s causing the pain. This damages the nerve, which causes the nerve to stop sending pain signals to the brain.
This treatment can offer long-term pain relief, and it’s effective for numerous spinal conditions, such as disc disease and spinal arthritis. It’s important to know that the nerve can regrow, but this usually takes several months to a couple of years, at which point you can get another treatment.
4. Spinal cord stimulation
A spinal cord stimulator is a small device that disrupts pain signals. The stimulator is implanted, usually in the lower back. Attached to it are small wires. These wires go from the device to the spine’s epidural space.
The stimulator sends low-level electrical pulses through the wires and to the epidural space, with the goal of reducing the pain sensations you feel. These devices are adjustable with a remote control, and you can increase or decrease their intensity and turn them on and off.
5. Oral medication
For short-term pain relief, Dr. Carden may recommend oral anti-inflammatory medications, analgesics, or muscle relaxants. These are often helpful for temporary flare-ups in pain or in relieving symptoms until other long-term pain management treatments can take effect.
If you have ongoing back pain and would like to see if nonsurgical treatments could help you, call 310-842-8668 or book an appointment online with the practice of Edward Carden, MD, today.