What are the Pros and Cons of Spinal Decompression? A Back Pain Expert Responds
August 06, 2022
Back pain is a condition that affects 8 out of 10 people at some point in their lives. In many cases, the pain is temporary and occurs after strenuous activities like running, or from overuse from repetitive motions. For example, your back might feel sore after a round of golf. However, when back pain lasts more than a few days, what kind of treatment should you pursue? You’ve looked into the pros and cons of spinal decompression, and that surgical route isn’t something you’d like to explore. Instead, you’d rather try more conservative treatments first.
At Pain Treatment Specialists, that’s exactly what our pain clinics offer. Our team of nationally recognized back pain specialists utilize minimally invasive treatments for back pain such as epidural steroid injections and radiofrequency ablation that are designed to relieve your pain and swelling. The best part about these treatments is that unlike surgical spinal decompression, you’re up and on your feet the same day. Book a consultation at one of our pain clinics in northern NJ, NYC, or Long Island and receive a customized treatment plan for your neck pain and chronic back pain.
What are the Pros and Cons of Spinal Decompression?
Surgical spinal decompression is sometimes used to treat bulging discs that cause leg pain or numbness and tingling in your legs. It’s critical to research the pros and cons of spinal decompression, since surgery is invasive and carries risks. When you begin searching for this treatment online, it only adds to your confusion. In your results you see phrases like “common problems after spinal fusion”, “lower back surgeons near me”, “can spinal decompression cause damage”, “back surgery l4 l5 fusion”, and “best way to decompress spine.” When you meet with the back pain specialists at Pain Treatment Specialists, you ask them to help you decipher what all this means, as well as if spinal decompression treatments are right for you.
A spinal decompression machine is used for non-surgical treatments. This is used for patients with bulging spinal discs or herniated discs. While some patients experience positive results with this treatment, there is not enough research showing that it produces safe and effective long-term results. Non-surgical spinal decompression therapy side effects include worsening back pain, especially if irritated nerves are the cause of your lower back pain. You’re better off pursuing scientifically-backed back pain treatments like radiofrequency ablation or epidural steroid injections, which are offered at Pain Treatment Specialists.
Spine surgery requires hospitalization, and could potentially cause blood clots or infections. Chronic lower back pain surgery should only be considered if you’ve exhausted more conservative back pain treatments and haven’t found any pain relief. Surgical spinal decompression does not guarantee results, and you may need additional surgeries.
Before you consider spinal surgery or a spinal decompression machine, contact Pain Treatment Specialists. Our proven track record of successful back pain relief utilizes minimally invasive treatments that provide long-term back pain relief.
How Does Pain Medicine Address Chronic Back Pain?
At Pain Treatment Specialists, our team of nationally recognized back pain doctors receive advanced training in interventional pain medicine. This discipline involves advanced study in procedures and treatments that avoid surgery and utilize minimally invasive treatments for pain relief. For example, Dr. Laura Lombardi fellowship trained in interventional pain medicine at Harvard Medical School, where she learned fluoroscopic guided treatments. This procedure uses a special x-ray to precisely identify the exact area needed for treatment. At our state-of-the-art pain clinics, we offer the following treatments for lower back pain:
- Epidural Steroid Injection: This treatment is highly effective for patients suffering from spinal stenosis or herniated discs. Your pain doctor administers a corticosteroid injection around a pinched nerve as it juts into your spine’s epidural space. What is an epidural space? It is a fat-filled area located between the discs of the spine and the bone. If you have a herniated disc, it causes pain and pressure in this area as it presses into your nerves. This injection relieves the pain and swelling in this area, providing tremendous pain relief.
- Radiofrequency Ablation: This cutting-edge procedure uses heat energy to deactivate troublesome nerves. If you haven’t found relief with steroid injections or physical therapy, this treatment is your next step. Your back pain specialist uses fluoroscopic guidance to advance a small needle towards your spine’s facet joints. Then, thermal energy is used to ablate the specific nerve that is producing your pain signals.
Both radiofrequency ablation and epidural steroid injections have reliable, stable, and scientifically-proven efficacy. Schedule an appointment at Pain Treatment Specialists and see what type of back pain treatment is right for you.
How Do I Describe Chronic Back Pain to My Pain Doctor?
When you live with chronic pain, you become an expert at pushing your pain to the back of your mind. However, when you meet with a back pain doctor, you need to accurately describe your back pain in order to assist with a proper diagnosis. Our back pain doctors suggest the following tips for describing your chronic back pain:
- Keep a pain log and write down when your back hurts. Does it hurt more when you first wake up, or is it hard to sit for long periods of time?
- In this pain log, use specific words to describe your back pain. Do you feel a sharp, stabbing pain, or is it a dull ache?
At Pain Treatment Specialists, our nationally recognized back pain doctors only use minimally invasive back pain treatments for treating lower back pain. Our 5-star patient reviews consistently mention that our pain experts are compassionate, knowledgeable, and provide effective back pain results.
Harvard Medical School
Director of Pain Management
Dr. George Hanna is a nationally recognized pain management specialist and Double Board Certified in anesthesiology and pain management medicine. Dr. Hanna is currently available at Pain Treatment Specialists in Manhattan and Clifton, NJ. He is now accepting most major medical insurances, including Medicare.
Harvard Medical School
NY & NJ PAIN SPECIALIST
Dr. Volney is double board certified in Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine by the American Board of Anesthesiology. He is currently seeing patients at our Pain Treatment Center in Manhattan and Clifton, New Jersey. Most pain treatments are covered by all major medical insurances and Medicare.
Harvard Medical School
NY & NJ Pain Specialist
Dr. Michael Nguyen is world renowned in Pain Medicine. Dr. Nguyen completed his residency and advanced Pain fellowship training at Harvard Medical School. During his tenure at Harvard, Dr. Nguyen was awarded the “Mentor of the Year” and also “Teacher of the Year” award.
Harvard Medical School
NJ PAIN SPECIALIST
Dr. Lombardi specializes in the treatment of back, neck, and joint pain. By using a range of minimally invasive modalities as well as advanced procedures, she helps patients achieve a pain free life without the need for surgery. Dr. Lombardi will be offering her pain treatment services in Clifton, New Jersey.