Dedicated Colorado Springs Back Doctor
Breaking one of the major bones in your body is probably the most painful musculoskeletal injury that you can have. Back pain is a close second. Most of us have had the not so pleasant experience of “throwing” our back out at least once. For me, I was 25 year old medical student at the time and I had just come back from lifting weights at the gym. All it took from there, was me bending over and then I was out of commission for almost a week. Back pain runs the gambit from an acute muscular strain to debilitating degenerative disk disease with significant nerve compression (radiculopathy). I like to use the word debilitating with back pain because it is exactly that. When your back really hurts you can’t work, exercise, play with your kids, walk, or sometimes even lie down. Sometimes the situation can get murky if your MRI shows multilevel disk degeneration. Do you need surgery at every level, or is there one particularly bad level that is causing you all of your pain?
Colorado Springs Back Doctor’s Advice
The literature states that 90% of people with a herniated lumbar disc (slipped disc in your low back), get better without surgery. Most of the time, a course of prescription anti-inflammatories and activity modification is enough. Physical therapy focusing on extension exercises, chiropractic care, or traction will also help some overcome their back pain. Others I have known get a lot of relief from aquatic therapy as it takes the strain off of their back while they are in the water. If the pain is more severe, a short course of steroids and muscle relaxants can help ease the pain. Sometimes, the pain isn’t so much in the back, it’s from the slipped disc pressing on a nerve which causes pain to go down the legs. A medication called gabapentin is sometimes your best bet in these situations. As far as surgery is concerned, improving back pain alone is a 50-50 shot. I’m sure you have had some friends who have had their low back fused and still complain of a lot of pain. The best indication for surgery is when you have a slipped disc that is pressing on a nerve causing pain to go down your leg, and you have failed every other treatment. By removing the slipped disc, pressure is taken off of the nerve and it can recover. However, back surgery can be a tricky business. 50% of people aged 40-60 will have a disk bulge on MRI, even if they don’t have any back pain! This creates the problem of an MRI that shows problems with more than one disc, or all of the discs. While many discs may be bulging, there may only be one or two that are causing the main problems.
Want A Better Way to Get Help for Your Back Pain?
I know that the last thing you want to do when your back is killing you is get in your car and sit in a doctor’s office all day. I do things a little differently in that I come to you. This also isn’t your standard 7 minute appointment. I like to spend an hour with my patients because everyone has different goals and deserves personalized care. Let me come to you, and we’ll figure out how to take care of your back pain together.
Call Dr. Paull – Back Doctor in Colorado Springs
Get in touch with me via email or book an appointment on my contact us page, or call me at (719) 297-5484. Don’t continue to live with back pain. Proudly serving the greater Colorado Springs area, contact me today.
Written by Dr. Daniel Paull