Interventional Pain Management & Neurosurgeon located in Fort Smith, AR
Back pain is one of the most disabling types of chronic pain, affecting millions of people across the United States every year. If you're affected by chronic back pain, board-certified neurosurgeon Tim Maryanov, MD, and his team at Fort Neuro in Fort Smith, Arkansas, can help. They conduct a thorough diagnostic process and deliver comprehensive conservative treatment options, including specialized physical therapy. For persistent back pain, the team offers advanced solutions such as radiofrequency ablation and peripheral nerve stimulation. Call Fort Neuro today to schedule a consultation or use the online booking tool to make an appointment.
What causes back pain?
Sometimes back pain indicates a problem with your internal organs, such as a kidney infection, but you'll probably experience other symptoms like fever and nausea if that's the case. Most often, back pain is due to a problem with your neuromusculoskeletal system.
Some common causes of back pain are:
- Strained or torn muscles
- Degenerative disc disease
- Herniated discs
- Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spine)
- Osteophytes (bone spurs)
Degenerative conditions like spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and osteoarthritis all cause changes in the structures of your spine. However, these conditions don't necessarily cause back pain until the changes lead to compression of your spinal nerves.
How is the cause of my back pain diagnosed?
To diagnose the cause of your back pain, your Fort Neuro provider performs a physical exam and assesses any movement limitations. They're looking to see where the pain is coming from and how it's affecting you.
This exam, together with your medical history and current health, enables the Fort Neuro team to make a preliminary diagnosis. You might then need to undergo tests to confirm your diagnosis and evaluate the extent of the damage to your back.
Tests might include X-rays, a CT scan, or an MRI scan. If your provider suspects there's nerve damage, they might also use neurophysiological testing methods such as electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction velocity (NCV) tests.
How is back pain treated?
In most cases, your back pain is likely to improve if you follow a conservative treatment program consisting of:
- Activity modification
- Physical therapy
- Hot and cold therapy
- Pain-relieving medication
If, after several months, these approaches aren't working, the Fort Neuro team offers several types of spinal injections to relieve your back pain, including:
- Lumbar facet injections
- Lumbar transforaminal epidural steroid injections
- Medial branch blocks
- Cervical interlaminar epidural steroid injections
These spinal injections contain a local anesthetic to give you immediate, short-term pain relief. They also contain steroids — powerful anti-inflammatory medicines that offer longer-lasting pain reduction.
If your back pain persists in spite of these measures, you might benefit from a neurophysiological treatment like radiofrequency ablation, spinal cord stimulation, or peripheral nerve stimulation. These treatments prevent pain messages sent by specific nerves from reaching your brain.
The Fort Neuro team delivers the injections using fluoroscopy, a type of real-time X-ray technology that ensures the needle goes into precisely the right place.
Find out more about how to manage your back pain successfully by calling Fort Neuro today or you can book an appointment online.