Who Is A Good Candidate For Stem Cell Therapy?

One new but promising form of pain management and injury treatment uses adult stem cell to help stimulate tissue repair and growth of new cells. This is especially helpful for soft-tissue injuries, including those to the neck and back. Although the functions of different potential stem cell therapies are still being studied, this type of treatment has the potential to be helpful for a number of different types of patients.

How the procedure works: First, the patient’s own stem cells are harvested for use. Using the patient’s own cells rather than a transplant can help avoid potential complications. This can be done in two different ways. First, stem cells can be taken from the patient’s bone marrow. This is the same process used for bone marrow transplants between two different people. In some cases, cells from fat reserves can also be used.

Once these cells are developed into a solution and induced to form the type of tissue needed, the solution is injected directly into the treatment site. The stem cells then develop into new cells to replace damaged or missing tissue, and help to stimulate repair and growth in the surrounding cells.

Potential effects: Adult stem cells like the ones found in bone marrow are new cells that have the potential to form one of a different number of types of cells. Many of the stem Denver Pain Management Doctorscells found in adults are multipotent, meaning they can form multiple types of cells within the same family (such as nerve or muscle). However, these along with pluripotent bone marrow stem cells can still be induced to grow a wide variety of tissues.

The procedure has a gradual effect, as new tissue eventually grows and damaged tissue either is replaced or repaired. Over the next several months after their procedures, many patients reported significant and lasting pain relief and improved function.

The risk of complications from these procedures is quite low, particularly as no foreign tissue is used, eliminating the potential for rejection. There is some risk of infection at the treatment site.

Conditions it can be used to treat: Among other uses for stem cell therapy, it has been explored as a method for orthopedic healing, including for back injuries. It is currently being tested for a few different types of injuries and pain conditions, including:

Osteoarthritis: Research suggests that stem cells can help to regenerate cartilage that may have degenerated in knees or other joints.

Herniated or degenerated discs and lower back pain: Stem cells are thought to be helpful in repairing damaged spinal discs, which would relieve pressure on the surrounding tissue.

Musculoskeletal injuries: There has been experimentation with different methods for using stem cells to stimulate regeneration to replace scar tissue.

Sciatica/nerve pain: For impinged nerves causing pain, numbness, and other effects, stem cells may help repair damage once the pressure on the nerve has been relieved.

While the use of stem cells in any of these types of treatment is in the early stages and still experimental, for some patients it shows promise as a last resort when surgery and other pain treatments have failed. Pain managements doctors working on clinical trials or other types of studies can discuss whether this might be a good option for you.

6 Things To Know About Trigger Point Injections

Skeletal muscles can sometimes develop tight or knotted spots that cause pain in the absence of any other type of damage. Strain or overuse of muscles can cause these, as well as emotional stress. In other cases, they might arise as a symptom of a different pain condition, such as fibromyalgia or whiplash. A better understanding of the injections commonly used to treat these will help you make decisions for your own pain management.

Injections are often combined with other treatments:Particularly when these points appear in patients with conditions such as headache disorders, injections may be used as one element of a treatment plan. For example, manual therapy to stretch the muscles, or other types of physical therapy, may be used as well.

They can be given dry, with no medication: The injections may contain saline, local anesthetics, or corticosteroids. More recently, botox has been used as a treatment option. Pain Management DenverAnesthetics are generally used in low doses, and steroids given infrequently in the same place, in both cases out of safety concerns. Studies on dry injections with no medication have been reported to show a comparable success rate, although further research may be needed.

Medical imaging can be part of the diagnostic process:Recent studies have suggested that MRE, or magnetic resonance elastography, imaging can locate tension in muscle tissue. Other tests, including CT and MRI scans, may be administered as part of ruling out other potential causes for pain along with getting a more complete picture of what may be causing your problem.

Injections should be followed up with stretching and pressure: As mentioned, trigger point injections are sometimes used in conjunction with types of manual or physical therapy. Although you should avoid strenuous activity for the first few days after your injection, regular stretching of the muscle in the treatment area can help to resolve the pain. A doctor will be able to give you advice on how best to do this.

Treating one trigger point may treat another connected one, but not always: A key trigger point is one connected to a nerve pathway that activates another satellite. In this case, treating the key will likely also treat the satellite. A primary trigger point, on the other hand, is connected to a secondary one biomechanically rather than neurologically. Treating the primary site will not treat the secondary.

Trigger point injections carry some minor risks:As with other types of injections, there is some chance of infection or other tissue damage. Injections in certain spots in the upper back may cause some risk of collapsed lungs, and there are common points in the lower back near the kidneys that carry the risk of organ damage if poorly done.

Your pain management provider can give you further advice if you think trigger points in your muscle tissue may be causing you pain. Although commonly used for mysofacial, head, and neck pain, this type of treatment can be useful for conditions in other areas of the body.

Vertebroplasty As Back Pain Treatment For Compression Fractures

Back pain treatment can vary widely, depending on the actual condition that is causing the pain. In the case of compression fractures, vertebroplasty is commonly used. This treatment reduces back pain by at least 90% within a day or two after the procedure. The results usually last for years.

Understanding Compression Fractures

Around a quarter of all postmenopausal American women have at least one spinal compression fracture. The vast majority of those with this type of fracture also suffer from osteoporosis, which makes the bones more porous and fragile. Even though women are considerably more at risk for the disease, men can also suffer from low bone density.

There are three types of bone compression fractures.

Wedge: This type of break only compromises the front of the vertebra and the back remains stable.

Crush: The entire bone is broken and may appear crushed.

Burst: This is the most unstable type of break and involves height loss in the front and back of the vertebra.

Apart from osteoporosis, tumors or trauma can also cause compression fractures. The pain clinics in coloradopain is most often felt in the lower to mid-spine and ends to be very sharp if caused by trauma or a sudden fracture. When the compression fracture has occurred over time, the pain may be slower and minor at first, increasing with walking. Some people can lose up to six inches of height or develop a dowager’s hump.

What is Vertebroplasty?

To stabilize the fracture, bone cement is injected into the broken vertebra. X-rays are used to ensure that the needle is placed in the correct position and the cement is injected. It fills the spaces and holds the pieces of the fragmented vertebra in place. It is similar to an internal casting, which will support the spine and keep it sturdy for years to come.

The entire procedure is done under local anesthetic and the patient will only have a small puncture wound in the spine. The procedure will take longer if more than one vertebra needs support. It usually takes about an hour per vertebra. The patient will need to lie on their back until the cement is hardened.

Once stabilized with cement, the bone should remain stable. Even if it has been weakened by osteoporosis, the bone will hold up to more trauma and compression with the spaces filled in.

Recuperation After the Procedure

While vertebroplasty is usually an outpatient procedure, most patients will find that they need bed rest for at least 24 hours after the procedure, if not more. While the technique is useful in preventing further pain, it is also a good idea to treat the underlying condition that caused the break in the first place. Osteoporosis is completely treatable and future fractures may be prevented.

As a back pain treatment method, this technique is highly effective where recommended. It also prevents future fractures in the same place. Most people find that they recover their ability to walk and exercise again. In some cases, rehab or physical therapy may be necessary in order to recover completely.

Pain Management Through Spinal Decompression Therapy

With around 31 million Americans suffering from back pain at any given point in time, it’s not surprising pain management for this type of discomfort is necessary. There are so many health issues that can cause back problems that no one solution is ideal. However, for many, spinal decompression therapy is a good option.

What is Spinal Decompression Therapy?

Spinal decompression therapy is a non-invasive method of relieving back pain through the use of traction. The procedure is not painful, though patients will feel stretching in their back.

To decompress the spine, the patient lies on a special therapy table. The position (face up or face down) will depend on the practitioner and the type of back injury. The lower half of Pain Management Doctors In Coloradothe table tilts back and forth. The patient is buckled into a harness to ensure security and the table is adjusted to provide traction on the back.

Through gentle stretching and relaxing, the spine is realigned. The idea here is to allow herniated or bulging disks to slip back into place, which relieves the discomfort felt. The position and traction may also promote increased circulation, oxygenation and nutrition to the damaged areas, to speed up healing.

Each treatment lasts between 30 and 45 minutes. To get the full benefit from decompression, it’s usually recommended that the treatments continue for four to six weeks, with several sessions each week. After 15-30 treatments, the patient should notice a definite improvement.

Other therapies may also be included during the sessions to make them more effective. Depending on the clinic, ultrasound, cold therapy, heat therapy or electrical stimulation can be used during the procedure. When combined, multiple treatments may be more effective.

Who Can Benefit from This Type of Pain Management

Patients with pain caused by bulging, degenerated or herniated disks may benefit from gentle traction. It has also been recommended for sciatica and lower back or neck pain of various types. While mild forms of back pain can be treated safely, it’s a good idea to have a consult before deciding on a course of treatment.

Anyone who is relatively healthy, apart from the back pain, could be a good candidate for this technique. While some websites offer instructions for doing this treatment at home, it is not recommended. A professional is able to adjust the amount of traction to best suit the patient’s needs and to avoid injury. It can be difficult to manage this at home.

Potential Risks

Spinal decompression is relatively low risk. Any patients with spinal surgery should consult a doctor before considering this procedure, however. If there is any pain during the stretching, the session should be stopped so the cause of the pain can be determined. Decompression is also not recommended for pregnant women.

In each of these cases, decompression could cause more harm than good and other forms of pain management should be considered. For those with simpler back issues, stretching and decompression may be all that is necessary to relieve chronic pain.

What Are The Risks Of Pain Management Medications?

Pain management doctors are responsible for selecting and prescribing the correct medications for their patients. There are a wide range of pain medications available, but many have side effects that can be quite severe. It’s important for doctors to weigh the risks with the benefits before prescribing these to patients.

When problems arise, pain management doctors will revise the system used to manage pain. While this must be done as safely as possible, it is also important that the discomfort is minimal for the patient. It can take some time to find the exact dose and medication type for each patient’s needs.

Over the Counter Drugs

While over the counter (OTC) painkillers are generally considered harmless when taken in Pain Management Doctors Denverthe correct dose, they can actually cause problems. For patients with chronic pain, NSAIDs are a common choice. However, long term use of these drugs can cause kidney damage, as all the drugs are cleared from the blood through the kidneys. Any patient taking NSAIDs for more than six months should be tested twice a year to check for possible kidney damage.

Another issue with these medications is upset stomachs and ulcers. Any patient that has a history of stomach problems will need to be carefully checked before using these pills. Abdominal pain, black feces, dizziness and weakness when standing up can all be symptoms of something going wrong internally.

Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs for pain tend to be much stronger than OTC drugs, but they also carry an increased risk of side effects.

Opioids tend to cause addiction. For short term use, this is not usually a problem, but when the patient is dealing with chronic pain, addiction can be a real concern. These drugs include oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, morphine, codeine, meperidine, hydromorphone and propoxyphene.

When a patient is addicted to the drug, they have a physical need to take it and will experience withdrawal if the medication is stopped.

Reducing Addictions

Patients over 65 or under the age of 26 are at higher risk of developing an addiction, especially if they have a history of drug abuse in the family. Women tend to become addicted more easily to painkillers than their male counterparts.
Pain Management Doctors DenverDoctors will be on the lookout for symptoms of addiction. Someone who is having problems with addiction to painkillers may require more and more of the medication in order for it to work. The patient may be going to several doctors to get multiple prescriptions and then taking extra medication. In these cases, intervention may be necessary and another drug may be used to manage the pain.

Managing pain also means managing the reaction the patient has to the medicine. Doctors and patients have to work together to find a medication or combination of painkillers that can be used to reduce discomfort and addiction symptoms.

All painkillers have the potential to cause harm, but they are very necessary. It is important that patients work with pain management doctors to prevent as many side effects as possible and to keep the patient as comfortable as possible.

Symptoms And Treatment Of Cluster Headaches

People with migraine headaches will often go to the pain clinic for relief and to prevent the recurrence of their headaches. Cluster headaches are also considered one of the most painful headaches an individual can experience. These headaches typically wake the person during the night and are marked by intense pain of the eye or the area surrounding the eye on one side of the head. The headaches occur frequently during periods of weeks or months that are known as “cluster periods” followed by periods of remission during which there are no headaches at all.

While cluster headaches are not life-threatening, many people who experience them find the pain so debilitating that they seek treatment at a pain clinic during the cluster periods. Denver Pain ClinicWith the appropriate treatment, the severity of the pain can be minimized and the cluster periods shortened. Fast-acting treatments are required because the headaches come on quickly and with such severity.

Recognizing the Symptoms of Cluster Headaches

•    Excruciating Pain – While the pain associated with these headaches is usually limited to the area in or around one eye, it may also be experienced to other areas of the face, neck, head and shoulders.

•    Pain limited to one side of the head

•    Restlessness

•    Excessive watering of the eyes

•    Redness in the affected eye

•    Sweaty, pale skin

•    Swelling

•    Droopy eyelid

One significant difference between cluster headaches and migraines is that lying down during an attack will only increase the pain. Although the individual may experience some of the similar symptoms of migraine, they are limited to one side of the head. The cluster period can last between six and twelve weeks and will often occur during the same periods of time each year. During that period, the headaches will occur daily, often multiple times. Individual attacks last anywhere from fifteen minutes to several hours, often taking place at night during sleep.

Treating Cluster Headaches

There is no cure for cluster headaches, only treatments that help decrease the severity of the attacks. Some of the fast-acting treatments used at the pain clinic include:

•    Trigger Point Injections –A numbing agent is injected into the problematic area to reduce the severity and frequency of pain.

•    Sumatriptan Injections – This drug is often used in its inject able form to treat migraines and is also effective at treating cluster headaches. It is not recommended for those who have heart disease or uncontrolled hypertension.

•    Occipital Nerve Block – Lidocaine and Dexamethasone are combined and injected into the area at the back of the head near the neck.

•    Pain Creams – These are formulated specifically for the patient and have proven effective at decreasing the severity of headaches.

•    Inhaling Oxygen – Some patients find relief from inhaling 100% oxygen but others are unable to use it due to side effects.

The physicians at the pain clinic will sometimes use NSAIDs and narcotics for the most severe cases along with muscle relaxants to relax the muscle of the head and alleviate the pain. Therapeutic remedies are also used to reduce the symptom of pain.

The Role Of Inflammation In Pain

A pain management clinic is a place that people who suffer from chronic pain go to for a variety of treatments. For patients who experience inflammation along with their pain, corticosteroid injections may be given to reduce the swelling. Although all of us have experienced inflammation at some time in our lives, most people do not realize what is actually taking place when the puffiness and redness occurs. This is actually the body’s way of protecting itself against threats that could lead to damage.

Symptoms of Inflammation Include:

•    Redness

•    Warmth of the area

•    Swelling

•    Pain

Of the many people who visit the pain management clinic, they may have any of a number of conditions, illnesses and injuries that cause them to experience inflammation along with their pain. For example, osteoarthritis occurs when there is a wearing away of the cartilage that forms a cushioning layer between bones. With nothing to protect them, the bones rub together, sometimes causing small pieces of bone to break away. The soft tissue in the area of the joint may become inflamed when the body responds to the condition.

Anti-Inflammatory Medications Used by Pain Management Clinics

Sometimes anti-inflammatory painkillers are referred to as nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Denver Pain Management ClinicDrugs (NSAIDS) – Although this group of drugs is available over-the-counter as pain medications, they typically must be used in prescription doses to work as an effective anti-inflammatory. OTC NSAIDs include ibuprofen, naproxen sodium and aspirin while there is a long list of prescription strength NSAIDs including higher doses of Ibuprofen, Lodine, Mobic, Voltaren and many more. They work by blocking the body’s defensive response. People with some health conditions cannot be given prescription strength NSAIDs and they are advised not to take the over-the-counter versions as well due to potential serious side-effects.

Anti-inflammatories are often used to treat people with arthritis as pain and inflammation are a common symptom. In addition, they can reduce stiffness of the joints. While inflammation can usually be controlled, if the person does not take the medications needed to reduce the irritation, it can progress to chronic inflammation that lasts for as long as many months or years. In some cases, untreated inflammation can lead to secondary diseases and conditions such as cancer, atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease.

The Use of Steroids for Inflammation

Corticosteroids, or steroids for short, are man-made drugs that resemble those made by the adrenal glands. These drugs are used to treat inflammation, typically through injections into the affected area. Other methods of dosage include eye drops, ear drops or topical creams. They may also be taken orally, through an IV, or injected into the muscle. There are many different types of steroids but prednisone is the most common type.

Inflammation accompanies pain because it is the response to the cause of the pain, not the cause of it. The treatments listed here and others are used at a pain management clinic to reduce or eliminate pain and inflammation and to provide overall relief for a variety of conditions, diseases and injuries. The doctors at the clinic will diagnose the cause of the pain and inflammation and determine the best course of treatment for them on an individual basis.

Can Anything Be Done About Neck Pain?

Neck pain is one of the most common complaints people have. It is no surprise since many people practice poor posture, and when they work at the computer all day, it tends to make them lean or hunch over the desk. Most neck pain is caused by activities that repetitious or involve long periods where the neck in stationary. Usually this type of neck pain will clear up on its own in 4-6 weeks with non-surgical treatment.

Sometimes wear-and-tear on the cervical vertebrae resulting in the development of arthritis will cause neck pain. If you are experiencing neck pain and numbness in your arms or hands, you may have a more serious problem, especially if you have shooting pains going down your arms.

What can be causes of neck pain?

Aside from wear-and-tear and poor posture, other things can cause pain sensations in the Neck Painneck. These include the following:

•    Muscle strains

•    Nerve compression

•    Injury to neck

•    Diseases, like meningitis and cancer

What type of tests will be done to determine the cause of my neck pain?

Imaging tests

–  X-rays. If there are bone spurs or a bulging disk causing your neck pain, x-rays will pick it up.

–  Computerized tomography (CT) scan. A CT scan will take cross-sectional views of the internal structures of your neck to determine if there is anything an x-ray may not have found.

–  Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).MRIs provide detailed images of the underlying structures of the spinal cord and nerves that come from it, as well as the bones and soft tissues.

Nerve tests

This type of test is done if a pinched nerve is suspected. An electromyography (EMG) will be done to determine if specific nerves are functioning in the right way.

Lab tests

–  Blood tests. Blood tests can reveal things like inflammatory processes or infectious conditions that may cause neck pain.

–  Spinal tap (lumbar puncture).This is a test done by taking a sample of fluid from your spinal cord. Its purpose is to determine the presence of meningitis.

What type of treatment should I expect?

Therapy

–  Neck exercises. A physical therapist may be recommended to help you with effective neck exercises and stretching your neck muscles, if your diagnosis warrants it. Exercise can help improve neck pain and optimize your posture, thereby increasing strength and endurance in your neck muscles. Massage and manipulation, as done by a healthcare professional, may be beneficial for acute neck pain. Over-the-counter analgesics may be recommended as well as cold and/or heat to the affected area.

–  Traction. Pulleys and weights are used to gently stretch neck muscles and keep your neck immobilized. This can offer fast relief for some neck pain.

–  Short-term immobilization. The use of a soft collar to support your neck may offer relief by taking pressure off of certain structures in the neck.

Surgical and other interventions

–  Steroid injections. Corticosteroid medication injected near the nerve roots or other areas of the spine will offer relief if your doctor believes it is beneficial in your situation. Numbing medications can also be used.

–  Surgery. Surgery is rarely needed for neck pain. It may be used in situations where there is compression of a nerve or the spinal cord.

–  Antidepressants. In some cases, it has been found that some antidepressants can help with pain control.

–  Medial and facet branch blocks. A medial branch block is an injection of local anesthetic and steroid that is placed in the outer area of a joint near the nerve that is part of the medial branch. A facet block is different that it is placed into a joint of the spine. Several injections may be needed depending on how many joints need treated.

–  Radiofrequency ablation. Radiofrequency ablation is a procedure that applies heat to certain nerve pathways to interrupt pain signals to the brain. This can be done on an outpatient basis and doesn’t involve anything but a local anesthetic and mild sedation.

–  Spinal decompression therapy. This procedure involves using a needle to extract disc material that is causing the herniation. The result will be alleviating the pressure of the herniated disc on the nerve root. The pain may take a week to subside.

–  TENS units. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a small machine that has leads connected to electrodes which are placed in the area of the neck pain. It produces electrical impulses that block or reduce pain signals from going to the brain. It helps to reduce or relieve pain or muscle spasm.

Things You Should Know About Peripheral Neuropathy

You may have felt what it is like to have your leg “fall asleep.” It is an uncomfortable feeling but it usually goes away with walking around and getting the circulation going. However, there is a condition where this sensation may not go away.

The peripheral nerves branch out from the brain and spinal cord to all the muscles, skin, and internal organs of the body. These nerves are arranged along lines called dermatomes. If nerve damage occurs and affects any of these dermatomes, it creates miscommunications between the brain and other areas of the body. It can impair muscle functioning, cause pain, and produce abnormal sensations to the extremities.

Types of Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is common and affects people over the age of 55 than any other age group. Neuropathies are usually categorized according to the problems they create or the cause of nerve damage. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common neuropathy and diabetes is known to create peripheral nerve damage.

Mononeuropathy

If the damage is isolated to a single peripheral nerve, it is referred to as mononeuropathy. Accidents that cause physical trauma to the affected nerve is a common cause. Any prolonged pressure on the nerve such as lying in bed or sitting in a wheelchair can cause mononeuropathy. Continuous, repetitive motions will lead to a common type of mononeuropathy, carpal tunnel syndrome. It is an injury of overuse strain, which occurs when the nerve in the wrist (carpal tunnel) is compressed.

Polyneuropathy

Polyneuropathy is the more common of the two peripheral neuropathies. It entails multiple peripheral nerve involvement and can be caused by a variety of situations. The fact that it is frequently found in diabetics makes diabetic neuropathy the most common form of chronic polyneuropathy.

The symptoms of polyneuropathy are:

 – Tingling

– Numbness

– Loss of sensation in the arms and legs

With having chronic polyneuropathy, people may lose the ability to feel pain and sense temperature. It is easy for them to develop sores, especially on the feet, or burn Neuropathy Treatment Denverthemselves and not know it. Depending on the nerve involvement, they can also have decreased sensation of needing to urinate or defecate, leading to loss of bowel or bladder control.

Causes of Peripheral Neuropathy

The origin of any peripheral neuropathy may be hard to find. Below are some of the acquired neuropathies:

– Diabetes

– Kidney or thyroid disease

– Alcoholism

– Poor nutrition or vitamin deficiency

– Certain kinds of cancer and chemotherapy used to treat them

– Conditions where body’s immune system attacks the nerves

– Certain medications

– Several rare inherited diseases

– Infections such as Lyme disease, shingles, or AIDS.

Treatment Options

The following treatments will depend on the type of peripheral neuropathy a person has. One or more treatments may be used in conjunctions with other therapies to enhance pain control and reduce inflammation.

– Pain relievers

– Anti-seizure medication

– Immunosuppressive medications

– Capsaicin

– Lidocaine patch

– Antidepressants

– Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)

– Plasma exchange and intravenous immune globulin

– Hand or foot braces

– Physical Therapy

– Surgery

What You Didn’t Know About Low Back Pain

It Is More Common Than You Think

Low back pain is so common that about 80% of U.S. adults have had it at least once in their lifetime. The annoying backache is second only to headaches as the most common complaint. Low back pain in people under the age of 45 is responsible for more missed Low Back pain photodays from work than any other medical condition. Interestingly, it also is one of the nation’s most costly health problems.

So Why is Low Back Pain Such a Problem?

•    It is because of the lumbar region of the back bearing most of the body weight.

•    It contains nerve roots that are most vulnerable to injury and disease.

•    It has poor biomechanical structure

Risk factors associated with low back pain includes excess body weight, poor posture, cigarette smoke, lack of muscle tone, and stress. Working in occupations that require a lot of lifting, vibration like a jackhammer operator, and prolonged periods of sitting can cause low back pain.

It Is Often Due to Musculoskeletal Problems

The causes of low back pain due to musculoskeletal problems include:

1.    Acute lumbar/sacral strain

2.    Instability of lumbar/sacralarea

3.    Osteoarthritis of the lumbar/sacral vertebrae

4.    Disk degeneration

5.    Herniation of disk.

There Are Two Classifications of Low Back Pain

Acute low back pain lasts less than four weeks. Acute low back pain is usually caused by an activity that causes it undue stress on the tissues of the low back. Other symptoms do not appear at the time of injury. They do appear later on because of increasing muscle spasms. One test to determine if it’s acute is a straight leg raise, which will cause pain in the lumbar region but not along the sciatic nerve. There is no need for an MRI or CT scan unless trauma or disease is suspected.

Treatment:

– Analgesics

– Muscle relaxants

– Massage or back manipulation

– Daytime use of back brace

– Avoid activities that include lifting, bending, twisting, and prolonged sitting

Acute low back issues usually improve in about two weeks.

Chronic low back pain lasts more than 3 months or repeats itself in an incapacitating episode. The causes of chronic low back pain is different than that of an acute case. The following are some of the common causes:

•    Lack of physical exercise

•    Structural abnormalities

•    Systemic disease, like cancer

•    Prior injury

•    Obesity

•    Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) of the lumbar spine is found in patients over the age of 50. However Denver Pain Management Doctorsyounger patients with OA have the chronic back pain in both thoracic and lumbar region. Periods of inactivity increase discomfort of this ailment.

Treatment for chronic low back pain is similar to acute low back pain. Reducing the pain associated with the pain and participating in a back pain program are part of the treatment as well as ongoing medical care. Cold and damp weather may aggravate back pain, but rest and heat to the back will help this. Analgesics are prescribed to help alleviate the pain. Weight reduction is encouraged and mild activity each day. Surgery is indicated in patients with severe chronic low back pain who do not respond to conservative care.