Chronic pain of any kind presents both physical and emotional challenges. Statistics suggest that back pain contributes to a large percentage of “sick days” for Americans. It is difficult enough to manage wellbeing when an injury has led to intense spinal discomfort and limited range of motion. The persistence of any degree of pain can create extraordinary stress because it leaves you wondering if you might need spinal surgery. Does chronic back pain need surgery? We want to answer this the best way we possibly can.
What Causes Spinal Pain?
The spine has multiple segments and houses numerous nerve roots. The nerves stem off of the spinal cord and travel through small spaces in between vertebrae that are referred to as foraminal space. The distance between two vertebrae is only as great as the cushiony disc that separates these bones. If the disc is injured or wears down, nerves are compressed. We call this nerve impingement.
Nerve compression is a significant issue because symptoms can extend all along the nerve path. If the pathway of an impinged nerve follows the length of the arm, that arm may feel weak or experience sensations of burning, tingling, numbness, and more. For some people, the symptoms of nerve impingement are debilitating.
The Value of Prompt Medical Care
Back and neck pain are incredibly common, but that doesn’t mean they are normal. If you have been sensing tightness, aching, limited mobility, and other symptoms for more than a few weeks, a thorough medical examination is recommended. An accurate diagnosis of the cause of back or neck pain is the basis for successful treatment.
Conservative Care Comes First
When the cause of spinal pain is identified early, there is a high likelihood that conservative treatment can successfully reduce symptoms. This may include medication to soothe inflammation in the muscles around the spine. Physical therapy is also a useful modality often prescribed to manage back pain. Finally, powerful anti-inflammatory medication may be injected to obtain long-lasting comfort.
Spinal surgery is usually considered as a final step in resolving persistent back pain. The procedures that are performed today are much more conservative than what has been common in the past. The laser-assisted discectomy & neural decompression performed in our Tampa spinal care center modifies the bulging or herniated part of a spinal disc to create more space for the affected nerve or nerves. As a result of this minimally-invasive procedure, patients feel significantly more comfortable and mobile.
Learn more about discectomy and neural decompression at (813) 920-3022.