Spinal conditions like spinal stenosis or sciatica can plague your life. Surgery may seem like your only option, but plenty of other conservative measures allow you to live pain-free.
Dr. Shachi Patel and the Delmarva Pain and Spine Center team offer several nonsurgical pain relief options. Dr. Patel is an expert in pain management, providing options like steroid injections and radiofrequency ablation for long-term pain relief.
Common spine conditions
Your spine is an essential body component, housing your spinal cord and protecting it from harm. It's composed of vertebrae, the bony parts of your spine surrounding your spinal cord.
An intervertebral disc is between each vertebra, a spongy piece of tissue that absorbs shocks to your spinal canal. Various nerves exit your spine and service other areas of your body.
With so many components, it's no surprise that your spine can sustain injuries and diseases that harm the bones or tissues. A few of the more common conditions that affect your spine include the following:
- Spinal stenosis
- Herniated discs
- Degenerative disc disease
- Vertebral fractures
Many of the above conditions are chronic, developing over time and continuing throughout your life. Infections and fractures can be acute, although vertebral compression fractures are often due to osteoporosis in your vertebrae.
Some treatments help you deal with the pain and discomfort related to spinal conditions. Most of these treatments are nonsurgical, although there are instances where surgery is the best option.
Nonsurgical treatments that help
At Delmarva Pain and Spine Center, Dr. Patel and her team aim to relieve pain without spine surgery. She offers several effective nonsurgical treatments for spine conditions, which include the following.
Trigger point injections
Sometimes pain in your spine manifests as painful tissue knots called trigger points. These areas are sensitive to touch and are very uncomfortable.
Dr. Patel uses trigger point injections to ease pain related to these areas in your body. During the treatment, she injects anesthetic and anti-inflammatory medications right into the trigger point, often resulting in immediate relief.
Epidural steroid injections
If you suffer from spinal stenosis or a herniated disc, Dr. Patel may recommend an epidural steroid injection to ease your pain.
Dr. Patel uses X-ray guidance to insert a needle into your spinal canal, precisely the epidural space, during this injection. When she's in the right location, she injects an anesthetic and a steroid to ease inflammation and relieve chronic pain.
You can experience pain relief for months with epidural steroid injections and return to normal activities within a few days.
If you have pain related to a nerve condition in your spine, Dr. Patel uses radiofrequency ablation for long-term pain relief. During this procedure, Dr. Patel uses a unique form of X-ray, fluoroscopy, to find the right nerves in your spine.
She inserts a cannula into your spinal canal. She inserts a radiofrequency electrode into the cannula when visualizing the problematic nerve. The electrode emits energy that heats up and damages the affected nerve, resulting in immediate pain relief.
Regenerative medicine uses your body's cells to regenerate tissues in your spine. Dr. Patel uses both platelet-rich plasma and stem cell therapy as regenerative medicine treatments.
Regenerative medicine aims to stimulate new cell growth in the area causing pain. Although it's not an immediate fix, you should notice less pain over time as the tissues repair themselves.
When do you need surgery?
Sometimes, conservative measures aren't enough to take care of your pain. If you've tried several nonsurgical treatments without significant relief, it might be time to consider spine surgery.
Dr. Patel helps you understand your options when it comes to surgical treatments. For instance, you may benefit from a minimally invasive spinal cord stimulator if you're suffering from nerve pain related to a spinal condition.
Spinal cord stimulation is an outpatient procedure that provides you with years of pain relief. Unlike other types of spine surgery, spinal cord stimulation requires very little damage to the surrounding tissues. It offers significant pain relief for many people.
Spine surgery is a big deal, and you shouldn't go into it lightly. However, if your pain affects your everyday activities and is preventing you from doing the things you love, spine surgery may be an option.
For most people, though, conservative measures like radiofrequency ablation or epidural steroid injections are enough to control pain related to common spinal problems.
Call our office today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Patel for conservative spine treatments. You can also book an appointment on the website.