Do You Know Your Spine? Learn About Spinal Conditions and Treatments.
The spine is a complex part of the body, so it is susceptible to various conditions. What treatment options are available for these conditions? Our spine surgeon in Delray Beach, Dr. Hepler, will prescribe either a non-operative recommended treatment or an operative treatment depending on your specific condition.
What Causes Back Pain
Often back pain is age-related but can also result from an injury. Some of the possible causes of back pain can include:
- Spinal stenosis- A narrowing of the spaces in between the spine, putting pressure on the nerves
- Spondylolysis- Degenerative changes in the spine, including the discs in between the spine. It is often caused by osteoarthritis
- Spondylolisthesis- A displacement of one of the vertebrae over another. It most commonly occurs in the lumbar spine
- Lumbar stenosis- narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back
- Compression fractures- Any vertebrae fracture in the spine
- Sagittal malalignment- An imbalance or stress on the muscles that keep the spine upright
- Infections, tumors, or inflammatory conditions
What are Non-Operative Methods for Treating Back Pain
Is it possible to avoid surgery when you have a spinal condition? Sometimes non-operative methods can prolong or even prevent the need for surgery altogether. Your spine doctor may make recommendations if you have not tried non-surgical options.
Many patients find relief from physical therapy. The most important piece of physical therapy is that you do the exercises at home as directed by your physical therapist. Exercises can be tailored for your specific condition.
Back braces can also be prescribed. Many patients find comfort and pain relief with the right back brace. Often corset-style braces worn daily, when used with physical therapy, can be helpful for pain management not just for non-operative patients but also for patients after surgery.
Injection treatments may be an option depending on your condition. Common injections include nerve blocks and spinal epidural injections. Injections are usually not long-term solutions and are used with other non-operative options.
Of course, alternative treatment methods can be very beneficial for spinal pain. Alternative methods include massage, acupuncture, and electrical nerve stimulation.
Your spine doctor may recommend analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and muscle relaxants. Additionally, Your spine doctor may prescribe pharmaceutical medication. Unfortunately, medication can sometimes be a short-term solution and side effects. Be sure to work with your doctor to find the right medication for your condition.
What are My Surgical Options?
When non-surgical options have failed or if your condition is serious, you may need to consider surgery. There are different surgical options dependent upon your diagnosis:
- Discectomy- Removing the herniated part of a disc.
- Laminectomy- Removal of the bone over the spinal canal
- Fusion- Connects two or more parts of the spine. A fusion can also use it to stabilize a spinal fracture
- Artificial discs- Rarely used and are a relatively new option. Often used as an alternative to a spinal fusion
Your spine doctor will explain in-depth what surgical procedure is best for your condition, spending time to explain how the surgery will be performed. Always ask questions if you are unsure or do not understand the information provided regarding your surgery.
Are You in the Search for the Best Spine Doctor Near Me?
There are many possible causes of back pain, including
- spinal stenosis,
- lumbar stenosis,
- compression fractures,
- sagittal malalignment,
- and – rarely – infections, tumors, or inflammatory conditions.
Because of the large spectrum of possible causes, it is vital to get an expert opinion. Dr. Hepler will be able to diagnose the cause of your pain.
Not sure what is causing your back pain or what condition you are suffering from? Please schedule an appointment with Dr. Hepler, our orthopedic surgeon in Fort Lauderdale and Delray Beach, so he can evaluate your condition, provide an accurate diagnosis and develop the best treatment plan for you. Contact us today.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.