Pain and Spine Clinics in Phoenix, AZ include the services of Board Certified pain management specialist doctors who offer therapies for managing acute and chronic pain. Lower back pain treatment protocols are the most commonly incorporated therapies due to the high rate of lower back injuries and pathologies. These therapies are individualized for each patient depending on their set of unique circumstances, and this is also taking into account the patient’s medical, occupational, and social history.
The approach in managing a patient’s lower back pain is done on a multidisciplinary basis where allied healthcare professionals such as physical and occupational therapists, as well as biokinetic therapists, psychologists and dieticians are also included in the management of the patient, where applicable.
Conditions that are managed:
The following are the most common lower back pathologies causing acute or chronic pain that is managed by the healthcare team at Pain and Spine Clinics:
- Lower back pain which can be caused by cartilage degeneration.
- Facet joint pain caused by inflammation of the area.
- Autoimmune conditions where the body’s immune system produces proteins that attack the joints of the back such an ankylosing spondylitis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Wedge or compression fractures of the body of the vertebral (spinal) bone through trauma, injuries, or diseases.
- Persistent back muscle strains and spasms.
- Pain caused by deformities in the alignment of the spine such as scoliosis and/or kyphosis.
- Scheuermann’s disease.
- Degenerative disc disease which results in bone-on-bone contact causing inflammation and pain.
- Ruptured or herniated discs leading to nerve root irritation or nerve compression.
- Sacroiliac joint disease or inflammation.
- Sciatic nerve impingement or inflammation.
- Spondylolisthesis (shifting of the spinal bone)
- Cauda equina syndrome.
- Coccydynia (tailbone pain).
Therapies offered at the clinic:
The biggest problem regarding lower back pain is the disability that it can cause if it becomes persistent. Chronic lower back pain is defined as a type of pain that lasts for longer than three months and has a different effect on the nervous system of the body.
The treatment approaches that are incorporated by the pain management Phoenix doctors and the multidisciplinary team at Pain and Spine Clinics include the following:
- Prescribing oral pain medications that include acetaminophen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen or naproxen, opioids such as codeine or hydrocodone, anticonvulsants such as gabapentin, and antidepressants such as duloxetine which work on altering the way pain is interpreted by the body.
- Therapies incorporated by physical therapists include exercises to help improve mobility and range of motion of the lower back as well as muscle and core strengthening exercises to improve the support structure for this area.
- Regenerative medicine in the form of intravenous administration of stem cells which help to stimulate the release of factors that reduce inflammation of affected areas of the lower back and improve repair and healing of damaged tissue.
- Minimally invasive procedures may also be performed if the more conservative approaches are not effective in managing the patient’s pain. These include administering medications such as steroids with or without local anesthetic medications in the affected joints or around the nerves causing the pain. Another procedure, called radiofrequency ablation, involves inserting a probe through a needle under X-ray imaging guidance to the affected area. Once this area is reached, the end of the probe is heated and this numbs the nerve that is affected which causes the blockage of pain impulses to the brain.