The LCMC Health Neuroscience Institute is dedicated to helping those suffering from back pain and spine issues before they become debilitating. While many patients accept their back pain as a part of their life, there are treatments available that may help to minimize or eliminate your pain.
Symptoms of lower back pain
While almost everyone has experienced some amount of lower back pain or stiffness following strenuous activity, it is important to know when to seek medical advice. Some individuals may only experience a dull, constant ache, while others may have sharp shooting or stabbing pain.
You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience:
- Severe pain following a fall or injury
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Leg weakness
- Numbness in the groin area
- Back pain when coughing or urinating
- Unintentional weight loss
- Pain that worsens with rest
- Pain in combination with long-term steroid use, a history of cancer, or a history of IV drug use
What causes lower back pain?
There are many factors that may be contributing to your lower back pain. Some of these include:
- Obesity or lack of physical activity
- Lifting heavy objects
- Poor posture
- Muscle tears
- Herniated or bulging discs
- Abnormal growths
- Narrowing of the space around the spinal cord (Spinal Stenosis)
- Inflammation of the spinal joint (Spondylitis)
While you are waiting for your appointment, you may consider some of these common practices for temporary relief of your back pain:
Ice may be used to reduce swelling and pain within the first 24-48 hours of back pain starting. Be sure to place something (paper towel or cloth) between the ice pack and your skin to avoid harming your skin.
Some over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen may help temporarily relieve your pain. Check with your doctor for more specific details on the correct dose and how often to take any medications.
Massage therapy is a great alternative option for loosening tight muscles and reducing tension.
Like ice, applying heat to the affected area, through heating pads or warm shower, may help to relieve back pain.
Our spine specialists offer minimally invasive treatment techniques that can help drastically reduce your recovery time.
Vertiflex Superion for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
Lumbar spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back that compresses nerves. Patients may experience pain, tingling or weakness in a foot or leg.
Using a minimally invasive technique under local anesthesia, the Vertiflex Superion implant is placed between the compressed vertebrae to hold them in the proper position thereby decompressing the nerves by enlarging the space between the vertebrae. This procedure is typically done in an outpatient setting with minimal recovery time.
Epidural Steroid Injection
An epidural steroid injection is comprised of a corticosteroid and a numbing agent. This treatment is minimally invasive and involves injecting these medications into the space between the vertebra and the protective sac around your spinal nerves. This treatment may be used for patients with herniated discs, sciatica pain, or spinal stenosis, among other things.
Facet joints are located between each set of vertebrae in the spine. Facet injections or “blocks” are used to reduce swelling and inflammation around these joints. The procedure is minimally invasive and is performed using local anesthetic.
Your physician may recommend a laminectomy if less invasive treatment options have been unsuccessful or if symptoms are severe or worsen significantly.
TruFUSE is a minimally invasive technique that uses uniquely designed dowels and specialty surgical tools to provide immediate spinal stabilization and improving possibilities for fusion. It’s designed to correct deformity, improve stability, or as part of a herniated disc treatment.
Mobi-C Artificial Cervical Disc Replacement
Mobi-C Artificial Disc replacement is an innovative treatment designed to eliminate pain while restoring motion and disc height with faster recovery time than spinal fusion.
A discectomy is a procedure performed under general anesthesia that removes the damaged portion of a herniated disc. The procedure is most effective for pain that radiates down your arms or legs.
Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed by inserting a needle through your back into the fractured vertebra. A balloon is then inserted and inflated to expand the compressed vertebra to normal height. Bone cement is then used to fill the space and keep the vertebra in the proper place.