When chronic back pain limits what you can do, it’s important that you get an accurate diagnosis as soon as possible. At Texas Brain & Spine Center, with offices in Webster and Lake Jackson, Texas, skilled neurosurgeon James Gregory Bonnen, MD, and his medical team offer on-site diagnostic testing for back pain. Dr. Bonnen also provides customized treatment, including minimally invasive surgery, to ease your pain and improve your overall spine health. To find out more about options for treating back pain, schedule a consultation at Texas Brain & Spine Center by calling the office or requesting an appointment online.
Acute back pain can develop due to muscle strains or sprains and usually resolves with home care within one to two weeks.
Chronic back pain can result from direct injury to the spine or because of an underlying medical condition. Some of the most common causes of chronic back pain include:
You can also experience chronic back pain as the result of a synovial cyst — a fluid-filled sac that develops on the spine due to degeneration in the vertebral facet joints. This type of cyst most often develops in the lumbar or lower spine.
During your evaluation, Dr. Bonnen reviews your personal and family medical history to identify any existing or hereditary conditions that may contribute to your back pain. He also performs a physical exam, checking your back for swelling and other visible symptoms.
To better understand the cause of your pain, Dr. Bonnen may order imaging tests, like X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans, that allow him to see the structures of your spine, like your spinal cord, muscles, nerves, and discs. This allows Dr. Bonnen to identify any narrowing (spinal stenosis) or areas of nerve compression. In some instances, Dr. Bonnen may also suggest blood testing, bone scans, or nerve studies to help identify the cause of your back pain.
Once he diagnoses the cause of your pain, Dr. Bonnen makes a treatment plan that focuses on relieving pain and improving your mobility.
If you have chronic pain from a herniated disc or radiculopathy, Dr. Bonnen may first recommend medications to manage pain and physical therapy to strengthen your back.
Techniques Dr. Bonnen may use include:
Kyphoplasty uses medical-grade cement to stabilize the spine and treat fractures caused by osteoporosis or direct trauma.
Decompression surgery is performed using minimally invasive techniques to remove bone spurs and thickened ligaments in your back to reduce pressure on the nearby nerves that’s usually caused by a herniated disc or natural degenerative changes that cause spinal stenosis. Decompression surgeries can include procedures like a laminectomy and discectomy.
Spinal fusion surgery involves joining two or more vertebrae together to stabilize and support the spine after an injury, to treat degenerative spine disease, or another spinal disorder.
For synovial cysts, spinal stenosis, fractures, or a herniated disc, surgery may be necessary if existing damage and pain is severe. Dr. Bonnen uses minimally invasive techniques to remove cysts or damaged areas of your spine to alleviate pressure on your nerves.
If you have chronic back pain and can’t find relief with conservative treatments, schedule a consultation at Texas Brain & Spine Center today. You can call the office, or you can request an appointment online.