The human spine consists of 24 separate vertebrae interspaced with cartilage, plus the two bones of the sacrum and coccyx. Supporting these bones are 23 discs, more than 30 muscles and tendons that provide spinal balance, stability and mobility, and three major ligaments that prevent excessive movement of the vertebrae.
With all those moving parts, what could go wrong?
When it functions properly, the human spine is a wonder of engineering. The bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments operate like a finely tuned machine to keep us erect, support us while we sit and allow us to bend, twist and turn with ease.
But like all machines, if one part fails, it can interrupt the entire smooth operation. So it is with the back.
There are plenty of reasons why people suffer from back pain, but among the most common are:
When treating patients with back pain, responsible physicians will always prescribe the most conservative therapies first. These include the tried-and-true recommendations of:
But if the pain persists, an experienced pain medicine specialist can offer a number of interventional treatments based on the exact source of the pain.
Advancements in science and technology are enabling skilled pain medicine specialists to accurately diagnose and treat chronic back pain without the risks of major surgery. These treatments are performed on an out-patient basis without the need for lengthy hospitalization or rehab. In fact, patients are often able to resume their normal activity level within days.
Given the complexity of the spinal anatomy, patients with back pain should seek the expertise of a qualified pain medicine specialist. They have the skills to accurately locate and diagnose the source of the pain so that they can then provide the best treatment options for long-term relief.
Dr. Ioannis Skaribas is fellowship-trained and double board certified in Pain Medicine and Anesthesiology. He has been performing minimally invasive treatments to address chronic pain for more than 25 years and is nationally recognized for his expertise in employing the latest advanced treatments such as LinQ™ to help his patients with complex chronic pain.