Spine, Disc, and Muscle Pain Relief in Los Angeles
What causes back pain?
As the back is composed of complex structures of muscles, ligaments, tissue, discs and bones that function collectively, any problem or condition affecting these structures can cause back pain. With many possible causes of back pain, it often advised that those suffering from prolonged pain or chronic back pain visit a doctor who is qualified to identify the cause. Some of the most common causes of back pain include:
- Strained muscles or ligaments caused by lifting, abrupt, or awkward movements
- Muscle spasms
- Ruptured, bulging, and herniated discs that place pressure on nerves
- Sciatica – sharp nerve pain that travels through the back of the leg
- Arthritis, skeletal irregularities, and osteoporosis
- Everyday activities and poor posture
The ways in which back pain can be caused are numerous. People may experience back pain as the result of sudden injury and trauma or progressive damage, disease, and the natural effects of aging. Regardless of the underlying cause of your back pain, our team strives to provide a diagnosis and effective treatment.
Diagnosing Back Pain
Back pain can be classified according to the part of the back affected:
- Cervical – neck and upper back
- Thoracic – middle back
- Lumbar – lower back
- Sacral – tailbone and pelvic area
Diagnosing back pain will vary from patient to patient, but will always generally concern where the pain is coming from and how you are affected by the pain. Diagnosing such pain can be achieved by conducting thorough evaluations, which can include a review of your medical history, an in-depth pain profile, and a comprehensive physical assessment. Should there be suspicion of a specific condition, additional diagnostic tests can be performed. In addition to imaging tests such as bone scans, X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans, other diagnostic tests may be used:
This test is performed as an outpatient procedure during which contrast (X-ray dye) is injected into one or more of the disc spaces in your spine. Once X-ray images are obtained, we can use the results to evaluate the disc and pinpoint which disc is causing your pain.
Performed in our office, electrodiagnostic studies can help in evaluating the cause of numbness, tingling, pain, weakness, fatigue, and muscle cramping, These tests include nerve condition studies (NCS) and electromyography (EMG) that can confirm nerve compression caused by herniated discs or narrowing of the spinal canal ( spinal stenosis). Examinations typically take 20 to 60 minutes.
Nerve Condition Studies (NCS)
NCSs test how well signals travel along a nerve and can aid in determining the cause of abnormal nerve function. Small electric pulses are applied to the nerve at one site and the response to this pulse is recorded at different points along the nerve. Information obtained through these studies is then evaluated by our team.
Needle Electromyogram (EMG)
EMGs test for abnormalities in the muscle or the nerve. A small needle is inserted into a muscle to record its electrical activity. Information is fed into a recording instrument which is analyzed by looking at a signal on the scope and listening to the sound the activity makes.
Treating Back Pain
Treatments for back pain depend heavily on various factors, including whether the pain can be classified as acute (sudden pain persisting for less than three months) or chronic (pain lasting for more than three months). If home treatments, such as over-the-counter medications, do not address the pain, your medical evaluation can aid our team in charting all available treatment options. These options can range from conservative care treatment to invasive surgery.
When possible, we try to treat patients using safe, comfortable, and non-invasive approaches. Conservative care can include medications, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and prescription medications, or physical therapy, among others.
As we focus on advanced treatment options, we can provide our patients with safer alternatives to invasive surgery. These methods are minimally invasive, performed in an outpatient setting, and are designed to lower risks and recovery periods while still substantially reducing or eliminating pain and improving mobility. Common treatments may include neurostimulation,epidurals, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, and other various interventional and non-surgical treatments.
Degenerative Disc Disease and Disc Pain
Degenerative disc disease and disc pain have been associated with chronic back pain for quite some time and are a common cause of back pain in patients of all ages. Until recently, most treatments available to patients suffering from these conditions have been interventional or surgical. With amazing innovations in medical science and technology, however, we now have newer techniques with which we can safely and effectively treat patients. Some of these minimally invasive, advanced treatment options may include stem cell treatment of the disc, rhizotomy of the basal vertebral nerve in the vertebral body, and disc biacupasty. Our specialists can help you explore the most appropriate treatment options for your unique disc condition.
When to See a Los Angeles Back Pain Relief Doctor
At Nuvo Spine, we want prospective patients to know that they do not have to suffer from debilitating back pain. Although all patients and conditions are unique, pain management treatment is available for individuals throughout the entire spectrum of pain, from acute symptoms that do not improve after 72 hours to chronic and progressive pain that has persisted for six months or more. A specialist in physical medicine, rehabilitation, and pain medicine, Dr. Payam Vahedifar draws from a multi-disciplinary approach to tailor treatment plans specifically to the needs and situations of our patients.
If you have been living with back pain that has negatively impacted your life, allow our team to provide you with a comprehensive evaluation to determine the cause of your pain and how we can help improve the quality of your life. We maintain a comfortable atmosphere in which your questions and concerns are always promptly addressed and where the information you need is readily available. Our Nuvo Spine clinics are located in Encino (in the San Fernando Valley) and Los Angeles. If you wish to learn more about the treatments, services, and comprehensive care we provide, contact a Los Angeles back pain relief specialist from Nuvo Spine today.