Back pain might be common among American adults, but it can be surprisingly difficult to treat. Common causes of chronic back pain range from herniated discs to spinal stenosis, and the pain affects each person in different ways.
There are lots of nonsurgical options to help you manage back pain, but not every treatment works for everyone. When physical therapy, osteopathic manipulation, or over-the-counter pain relievers aren’t enough to manage your back pain, you might be relieved to know there are other treatments out there that don’t involve spine surgery.
At New York Spine and Sports Surgery, Aron Rovner, MD and our team of specialists are proud to offer a suite of nonsurgical treatments like steroid injections and radiofrequency ablation (RFA). With a comprehensive consultation, Dr. Rovner can evaluate potential causes of your pain and recommend treatment to relieve it.
If your back pain is linked to chronic inflammation or nerve damage in your spine, you could benefit from steroid injections or RFA.
Steroid injections for back pain
Steroid injections are a minimally invasive, long-lasting treatment option for back pain. Dr. Rovner may recommend steroid injections, also called corticosteroid or epidural injections, for back pain caused by nerve irritation, inflammation, or spinal stenosis.
The steroids used in the injections work by reducing inflammation that irritates your spinal cord and introducing an anesthetic to minimize pain. This type of treatment is effective but temporary, because it doesn’t address the cause of your pain.
Getting a steroid injection takes just a few minutes in the office. There’s a low risk of side effects, and the pain-relieving benefits can develop shortly after treatment. Many people who get steroid injections for back pain enjoy several months of pain relief with each injection.
If you choose to add steroid injections to your pain management plan, our team chooses the best type of medication and the right dosage for your condition. Most of the time, the injection is administered near the location of your pain. For example, we’ll inject the medication in your lower back if that’s where the pain is.
Radiofrequency ablation for back pain
Like steroid injections, RFA can treat nerve pain in the neck and back. It’s a minimally invasive procedure that uses heat from radio waves to stop pain signals from certain nerves in the body.
For the procedure, our team may use an IV with sedative medication and inject local anesthesia to keep you comfortable. Dr. Rovner uses an X-ray device called a fluoroscope to guide the radiofrequency needle to the exact site of your pain. The electrical current from the needle targets the nerve, heating it to create a lesion that stops the pain signals.
RFA is an outpatient procedure, and most patients can go home the same day. Side effects may include temporary soreness around the treatment area, but pain should dissipate within a few days.
In order to be effective, RFA needs to target the nerves causing your pain. RFA treatment isn’t a permanent fix for chronic back pain, but it brings significant relief for many people and the benefits can last for several months.
Results achieved with steroid injections and RFA can vary, but we’re committed to helping you find real relief from your back pain.
To learn more about your nonsurgical treatment options, schedule a consultation with us at New York Spine and Sports Surgery. We have offices in Garden City, New York, and Fair Lawn, New Jersey. Call the office nearest you or send us a message online.