By Dr. Myrdalis Díaz-Ramírez
If you are suffering from debilitating back pain but really want to avoid an intensive, painful procedure and a long, difficult recovery, here are some ways a qualified pain physician can help you avoid the need for spine surgery:
1) Identify why you are hurting
Muscle strains, herniated or degenerated discs, arthritis, instability, lack of pace for the nerves or spinal cord called stenosis, fractures, infection, cancer are reasons for back pain. Not everything requires surgery.
As part of your evaluation, your Pain Physician will examine you and order any appropriate testing to best define the cause of your pain.
2) Help you get healthier
Some people have issues with weight, smoking, ergonomic problems at work, mood difficulties, etc. Your Pain Physician can help identify these issues and recommend therapies that will improve your overall health and back pain.
3) Prescribe and monitor physical therapy (PT)
It’s amazing how many patients get to a pain doctor without ever having tried this. PT helps your function, decreases your pain, and makes you stronger. Many times, PT is the first and only treatment needed for new injuries.
PT is also used in conjunction with other treatments, such as injections, to improve your pain and get you closer to living a healthy life.
4) Prescribe medications to help the pain
There are different types of pain and many classes of drugs that help with pain problems. Patients are often more familiar with opioids as the preferred pain management type of drug. Luckily, these are only a part of our toolbox for pain management. We have a list of medications that include, for example:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Local anesthetics
- Muscle relaxants
- Blood pressure medications
- Specific nerve modulating medications
So, your fellowship-trained Pain Physician will work with many alternatives when considering the protocol that best fits you.
5) Multiple types of injections and nerve blocks
The most capable Pain Physicians have the most diverse toolbox available to manage your pain. Your Pain Physician can offer joint injections, nerve blocks, trigger point injections or spinal injections to treat your joint pain. They can also inject local anesthetics, steroids, special gels or stem-cell related products to help your problem.
These injections can identify the cause of the pain, help with regaining function, or even achieve healing in particular cases, to avoid spine surgery.
Before considering spine surgery, we invite you to consult with a Fellowship-Trained Pain Physician who can try to develop a pain plan that may help eliminate the need for you to go through such an intensive surgical procedure.
About the Author
Dr. Myrdalis Díaz-Ramírez is a board-certified, fellowship-trained pain medicine physician and anesthesiologist with almost two decades of experience in the field. She is a clinical professor at Florida State University College of Medicine, has co-authored and edited multiple book chapters related to pain medicine, and she has been awarded “Top Doctor” in her field by her peers for the past nine consecutive years. Dr. Díaz-Ramírez is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Dr. Díaz-Ramírez practices at Sarasota Pain Relief Centers’ Central Sarasota location, and holds dual Board Certifications in Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine.
How can we help you avoid unwanted spine surgery?
At Sarasota Pain Relief Centers, our expert pain management specialists are dedicated to providing powerful, minimally invasive procedures and treatments based on the individual needs of each patient.
Our specialists are highly skilled and ready to consult with you to find a customized solution based on your unique situation and the nature of your pain. We’ll work together with you to find the most effective option to minimize your pain and restore your quality of life.
Call Sarasota Pain Relief Centers today at 941-363-9400 to schedule a consultation or click the button below to set up a consultation at one of our clinics online.