Lower Back Pain: Understanding Your Treatment Options

About 16 million American adults suffer from chronic lower back pain, with symptoms that affect their day-to-day routines and activities. While lower back pain can be debilitating, available treatments can help relieve your symptoms so you can get back to enjoying your life.

With locations in Houston, Spring, Baytown, Conroe, and The Woodlands, Texas, Zaid Malik, MD, and the team at Superior Pain Relief offer comprehensive pain management options for lower back pain, including nonsurgical and minimally invasive treatments. Here’s how we can help you.

Why lower back pain happens

Also called the lumbar spine, the lower back is a common source of pain for many people, partly because the lower section of your spine is so flexible and partly because it’s used in so many actions. Over time, the joints and discs in your lower back get subjected to a lot of stress and strain that can eventually lead to chronic pain.

Some of the most common causes of lower back pain include:

Chronic pain often begins as a mild, nagging ache and grows worse over time.

Treatment options for lower back pain

Different types of lower back pain require different treatment approaches. Dr. Malik performs a comprehensive evaluation of your symptoms, including a physical exam and imaging studies, before determining the best approach for you.

Physical therapy and medication form the cornerstones of conservative treatment for lower back pain, along with lifestyle changes to help prevent recurrence of chronic symptoms. You may move on to other options when conservative treatments don’t provide meaningful relief.

Injections

When physical therapy and medications aren’t effective, injections are often the next step in treatment for many types of back pain. Epidural injections are administered to the epidural space surrounding your spinal column, while facet joint injections target the joints between each pair of vertebrae. 

Some patients require ongoing treatment to manage their pain. In those instances, Dr. Malik may recommend an intrathecal pump implant to deliver pain medication in specific, repeated doses. 

Treatments that disrupt pain signals

For nerve-related pain, minimally invasive treatments often focus on preventing nerve signals from traveling from the damaged or overactive nerve to the brain. Radiofrequency (RF) ablation uses heat energy to damage nerve endings responsible for lower back pain so they no longer transmit those painful signals.

Spinal cord stimulation and dorsal root ganglion stimulation use a similar approach, but with different technology. In these treatments, Dr. Malik implants a tiny device near your spine that emits controlled interference that prevents pain signals from reaching your brain.

Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty

These minimally invasive procedures are typically used in people who have compression fractures, tiny breaks associated with osteoporosis. Both aim to stabilize the injury site and prevent future problems.

Get relief for your chronic back pain

If you have lower back pain, it’s important to know that there are effective nonsurgical options beyond medication. To learn more about these and other lower back pain treatments, book an appointment online or over the phone with Dr. Malik and the team at Superior Pain Relief.

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