Ioannis M Skaribas, MD, DABA, FASA
Anesthesiology & Pain Management located in Memorial Area, Houston, TX
When frontline treatments for back pain aren't relieving your suffering, you could benefit from one of the interventional procedures provided by Expert Pain in Houston, Texas. Double board-certified pain specialist Ioannis Skaribas, MD, DABA, FASA, performs advanced operations such as spinal cord stimulator implantation and uses cutting-edge interventions for back pain, including Vertiflex® interspinous spacers for spinal stenosis. To find the solution to your chronic back pain, call Expert Pain today for timely assistance, or book an appointment online.
Back Pain Q & A
What causes back pain?
Back pain develops when there's damage to the structures that make up your spinal column and the surrounding muscles.
Your spinal column is a series of bones (vertebrae) linked by small facet joints with spongy discs between each vertebra that protect the bones and help stabilize your spine. The vertebrae form a column to accommodate your spinal cord, a central hub for all your nerves.
The nerves coming off the spinal cord exit through gaps (foramen) in the vertebrae and spread through your body. Tough ligaments hold the spinal column together and allow you to move your back and neck freely.
If anything affects this delicately balanced structure, it can result in back pain. Some common causes of back pain include:
- Muscle strains
- Sciatica (lumbar radiculopathy)
- Vertebral compression fractures
- Bulging or herniated discs
- Degenerative disc disease
- Facet joint arthritis
- Spinal stenosis
Back pain can also result from systemic conditions, such as kidney infections. Finding the cause of your back pain ensures you receive the most beneficial treatment.
What treatments are effective for back pain?
When you first hurt your back, you're likely to benefit from conservative treatments like activity modification, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory medication. Very often, these are the only therapies patients require.
However, if your pain persists, Expert Pain offers a range of interventional treatments to relieve your symptoms, starting with injectable therapies:
Epidural steroid injections
Epidural steroid injections go into the epidural space that surrounds your spinal cord. You can have these injections in your cervical spine (neck) or lumbar spine (lower back).
The injections contain a potent anti-inflammatory that offers a long-term reduction in back pain, plus a local anesthetic that gives you instant but temporary relief and breaks the cycle of pain.
Your provider at Expert Pain uses fluoroscopic (moving X-ray) technology to deliver the injection at precisely the right place.
Facet joint injections
Facet joint injections are similar to epidural steroid injections, but the steroid goes into the facet joints in your spine rather than the epidural space.
Nerve blocks are injections of a local anesthetic, often with steroids, that numb back pain by delivering the medication directly to the nerves that are signaling pain.
If you have a specific problem with your spine, you might benefit from an advanced procedure like the implantation of Vertiflex interspinous spacers for spinal stenosis.
What can I do if my back pain isn't improving?
If your back pain isn't improving, your provider at Expert Pain might recommend spinal cord stimulation, where they implant a device under your skin that affects the pain signals going to your brain.
Expert Pain uses the most advanced systems, including the Abbott Proclaim™ XR spinal cord stimulation system with BurstDR™ technology, and the Nevro® HFX™ spinal cord stimulator.
For the latest in effective treatment for persistent back pain, call Expert Pain today or book an appointment online.