March 26, 2018
Back pain is a common experience. In fact, over 90% of us get back pain at some point in our lives.
What I have found is the way you handle and treat that pain when it first occurs plays a major role on if that pain will return.
Even though back pain is common it also has a large component that is unknown and sometimes fear provoking. As human beings, we crave control. The moment we feel pain, if we don’t know how to fix it that control goes out the window. Right away it creates a “fear-avoidance” moment. The good news is, the natural history of acute back pain shows that 94% of us get better in 12 weeks. What’s the catch? Without knowing what caused the pain 65% of us will have a recurrent episode within 6-9 months. This feeds a potential pathway where acute pain then becomes chronic pain.
Would you believe the average person with back pain sees about 9 different specialists? That’s 9 different people, all with different terminology. As you can imagine this can cause both confusion and frustration. That’s why I like to take a holistic approach when treating my patient in hopes that I am the first person they come to see. I determine the best route of treatment based on multiple factors including their lifestyle and function. Assurance, terminology, and an understanding of the process is at the heart of how I work with my patients whether they need surgery or not.
A Minimally Invasive Option
Just because patients are coming to see me, a spine surgeon, doesn’t always mean that they need surgery. However, for patients that are a good candidate for surgery I have seen great results with what is called minimally invasive surgery.
Across the country minimally invasive spine surgery has generated a buzz by providing a different surgical option for patients. As the name implies, a minimally invasive procedure requires less to get the same result. With minimally invasive surgery we preserve the blood supply and nerve connection to the muscles of the spine through muscle splitting techniques. This increases activation, decreases the amount of pain, and it gives people confidence to move ahead quickly.
The most important part of minimally invasive spine care is knowledge. At OA Centers for Orthopaedics and throughout our entire Spectrum Spinecare Team, we pride ourselves on educating patients on the process and help them navigate through the different resources they can use to get better quicker and avoid reoccurrence. We also make it a point to see patients within 24 hours so that we stop the cycle of waiting to see multiple specialists while you are in pain. With a goal to break away the fear and address the pain when it happens. Work with a spine care specialist to educate yourself as to what to do and know you will get better.