Back pain is one of the most common reasons a patient comes to a physican's clinic and is one of the leading causes of suffering and disability worldwide.
Although back pain etiology and treatments can vary, facet joint osteoatrhritis represents one of the most common reasons for back pain. Facet joint osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that affects the spine. It affects mostly everyone over time as a part of the aging process of the spine. In younger patients, it is often the result of overactivity when engaging in sports that involve lateral movements of the spine, such as golf or tennis.
Streching and strengthening is key to a healthy back, free of chronic pain. However, sometimes that is not sufficient, especially when the underlying facet joint arthropathy is what causes chronic pain.
The good news is that interventional pain management has a well defined protocol that treats chronic back pain from facet osteoarhritis. This protocol first involves diagnostic injections of the medial branches of the facet joints. The medial brances are small articular nerves that provide pain transmition from the facet joints. If these diagnostic injections provide adequate pain relief for the patient, we then proceed to the second step of this treatment protocol, called Radio Frequency Ablation or RFA. This is a minimally invasive procedure that can be performed in the physician's clinic under X-ray guidance and local anesthesia. By using heat applied from a special needle to the joint pain transmiting nerves, this therapy can provide substantial back pain relief for about 8-12 months or longer, and it can be repeated as needed. It is to date one of the most succesfull and safe procedures in the field of pain medicine.
Dr. Skaribas is an expert in the treatment of back pain. He is a fellowship trained, double board certified interventional pain management physican with more than 20 years experience in the management of chronic pain. His practice Expert Pain is located in Houston Texas and is a center of excellence in interventional pain management care for any chronically painful conditions.
If you suffer from chronic back pain and you are looking for long term treatment please call our clinic for a consultation with Dr. Skaribas at 832-862-7246 or look up our practice at www.expertpaincare.com.