According to Mayo Clinic, back pain is the third most common reason for doctor visits. However, recent years have brought many advancements in diagnosing and treating back pain. One such advancement is interventional spine medicine: a subspecialty that uses innovative techniques to help patients function better and feel less pain.
What is Interventional Spine Medicine?
Minimally invasive procedures and imaging technology help us not only find the source of your pain but also allows us to treat it effectively without surgery whenever possible.
While surgery is necessary in some cases, interventional spine medicine has offered a way to perform surgery with less damage to the surrounding muscles and ligaments. Outpatient basis benefits from this type of minor incisional surgery include:
- Less pain
- Speedy recovery
- Reduced risk of infection
- Reduced risk of complication
- Reduced blood loss
- Reduced reliance on post-operative medication for pain
Specialists in interventional spine medicine know that each patient is different, so they take a holistic approach to patient care. This means that each person who comes to see them undergoes a thorough evaluation. By taking this individualized approach, the specialist can develop a personalized treatment plan to improve their patient's well-being.
For example, if we give a patient an injection to alleviate their back pain, they may be able to participate in physical therapy. Physical Therapy will help them strengthen their back and spine even more. Also, If we meet with a psychologist to address the emotional impact of chronic pain on the patient's mind, it can help us heal via the mind-body connection.
Common Interventional Spine Medicine Procedures
Interventional spine medicine is a field that offers both surgical and nonsurgical options. Some of the most commonly used procedures for treating conditions like herniated discs, sciatica, and lumbar stenosis include:
- Injections: With the help of imaging technologies such as fluoroscopy, injections with a numbing medication and anti-inflammatory corticosteroids can often be administered into specific areas in the spine, like the epidural space or facet joints. Sometimes these injections are diagnostic; if pain relief occurs immediately after injection, the injection site is likely causing your pain. In some cases, injections are used to manage pain. If a longer-lasting corticosteroid medication is delivered correctly to the correct location, the patient may feel relief from pain for an extended period.
- X-ray guidance directs a needle to a specific location in the spine. Radiofrequency and heat disable nerves from transmitting pain signals for an extended time.
- Discectomy: This intervention either removes a bulging or herniated disc in its entirety or partially. Doing this relieves the pressure on the burdened nerve, and pain economies are achieved with interventional medicine. A discectomy can be performed using tiny incisions and delicate tools to operate in an exact area.
NewSouth Neurospine Offers Spinal Intervention
Our spinal intervention physicians offer minimally invasive procedures and diagnostic and therapeutic treatment options. These procedures quickly recover, allowing you to return to your activities and work quickly. Contact us today for more information or set up an appointment.