Back Pain Management in Mesa, AZ
Eight out of ten adults will suffer an acute back pain at some point in their life. For many of these adults, back pain is a recurring problem that flares up over and over through the years. While the occasional episode of back pain is challenging enough, chronic back pain can take complete control over your life.
Back pain is the most common type of chronic pain; chronic pain, on the whole, costs the U.S. over $100 billion per year in time away from work, medical expenses, and other costs, according to the American Chronic Pain Association.
Back Pain Conditions Treated at Mountain Vista
At the Pain Management Center at Mountain Vista Medical Center, the specialized and experienced medical staff helps patients control their symptoms and live functional lives in the face of chronic pain. Below, you can learn more about a few of the conditions treated at the Pain Management Center. This list is not comprehensive; additional conditions may be treated. For more information, see our Back Pain Relief resource page. To learn more about any of the treatment options mentioned below, view our Pain Treatment page.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Between every vertebra in the spine is a disc that’s made of cartilage. These discs provide cushioning and support. As the body ages, these discs undergo natural wear and tear – a condition commonly referred to as “degenerative disc disease,” even though the condition isn’t necessarily “a disease.”
Degenerative disc disease can cause pinched nerves and limit the back’s range of motion. In some patients, this condition may hasten the development of other back conditions, such as spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, and osteoarthritis.
While there is no cure for degenerative disc disease, the pain and discomfort associated with the condition may be lessened with exercise and physical therapy, medications, vertebroplasty/kyphoplasty, epidural steroid injections, XLIF®, or other treatments.
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the space within the vertebral column. This narrowing may occur due to disc herniation, development of bone spurs, tumor growth, spinal injury, ligament thickening, or as a result of some other cause. Consequently, pressure on the spinal cord and other nerves causes pain, muscle weakness, and numbness in the neck or lower back (depending on where nerves are pinched). Pain can also radiate out into the buttocks and legs (producing symptoms of sciatica). Lumbar (lower back) spinal stenosis may be treated with vertebroplasty/kyphoplasty, steroid injections, or other treatment modalities.
Spinal Compression Fractures
A spinal compression fracture – also known as vertebral compression fractures – may be caused by a fall, overextension, or even a simple cough or sneeze in some patients. These fractures are most common in patients who have osteoporosis, cancer, or have sustained a previous vertebral compression fracture.
Symptoms may include sudden and severe back pain, difficulty bending or twisting, more intense pain when standing or walking, mild pain relief when lying down, and loss of height/hunchback shape. Basic lifting motions may cause pain in patients with spinal compression fractures.
Some patients may get symptomatic relief by wearing a brace or other orthotic device. More severe fractures may require vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty. Learn more about spinal compression fractures.
Spondylolysis is a condition that causes a stress fracture in the lower back. This typically occurs when the back is hyperextended. The pain can feel like a muscle strain in the lower back; but, unlike a muscle strain, the pain doesn’t get any better. If left untreated, the damaged vertebra may shift, resulting in spondylolisthesis, which causes pressure on nearby nerves. This condition is initially treated non-surgically with rest, anti-inflammatory drugs, and possibly a back brace. If symptoms do not improve, your pain management specialist may refer you to an orthopaedic surgeon for fusion surgery or XLIF®.
Facet Joint Syndrome (Facet Joint Osteoarthritis, Spinal Arthritis, Spinal Osteoarthritis)
The facet joints are small synovial joints between the vertebrae in the back and neck. Because of their mechanical nature (the facet joints help you bend, twist, walk, and sit) facet joints can wear out over time. Spinal Osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative condition of the cartilage, is another common name for facet joint disease/syndrome. Pain management specialists with Mountain Vista Medical Center use a number of advanced procedures for diagnosing and treating this condition, including facet joint injections, radiofrequency ablation, and medial branch blocks. These treatments can offer pain relief for several months.
Coccydynia (Tailbone Pain)
The coccyx – better known as the tailbone – is the curve-shaped bone at the end of the spine. This bone can cause pain in some patients – oftentimes for no known reason. The pain may range between slight discomfort while sitting to excruciating no matter what position the body takes. Coccydynia may be caused by a sports injury, fall, childbirth, or automobile accident. In rare cases, coccydynia can be caused by tumor, infection, or fracture.
Symptoms of this pain typically include painful sex, pain during bowel movements, deep ache in the tailbone area, and immediate pain when moving between a sitting and standing position. In some cases, the tailbone may be manipulated back into the proper position, alleviating pain.
Oftentimes, acute mild coccydynia can be treated with rest, ice, special pillows, and pain-relievers. Some patients may undergo injections or – in rare instances – coccygectomy, surgical removal of the coccyx.
Post-Laminectomy Syndrome, also referred to as failed back syndrome (FBS) or failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS), is a complication that occurs in some patients after spinal surgery. FBS may manifest itself as chronic back or leg pain.
There are several factors that may contribute to post-laminectomy syndrome. These include (but are not limited to): scar tissue, loss of muscle tone in the back, changes in joint mobility, hypermobility in the spine (combined with instability), disc herniation, and post-operative pressure on a spinal nerve (or nerves).
Treatment options for failed back syndrome can vary widely, considering the different factors that may cause the condition. At Mountain Vista Medical Center, treatment may include opioid medications, a spinal cord stimulator implant, XLIF®, and RACZ caudal neurolysis. Your pain management specialist can provide you with more detail about these advanced pain management options. Or, remember – you can always view the Pain Treatment page to learn more about these therapies.
“Lumbar radiculopathy” is a term physicians use to describe radiating pain caused by a pinched nerve in the lower back. In many cases, the nerve is pinched because of a slipped or herniated disc. Pain typically shoots out from the back into the lower thigh, calf, and – in rare cases – the foot. (Learn more about lower limb lumbar radiculopathy.)
Herniated discs aren’t the only cause behind lumbar radiculopathy. Other causes (listed in order of prevalence) include: lumbar spinal stenosis, diabetes, nerve root injury, and scar tissue from a previous back surgery that causes nerve root impingement.
Your pain management specialist at Mountain Vista Medical Center may perform a discogram to diagnose your lower back pain. During this test, a special contrast dye (visible with x-ray imaging) is injected into the body. This allows the pain management specialist to visualize the affected disc and plan treatment.
Herniated discs in the lower back may be treated with epidural steroid injections. More severe cases may require discectomy (surgical removal of the herniated disc). Other treatment options are available for post-laminectomy syndrome caused by non-disc-related issues.
Other Back Pain
The pathology behind back pain can be complex. Your pain may be caused by mechanical problems of the spine, pinched nerves, slipped discs, muscle strain, or localized or systemic disease. Back pain symptoms can vary widely from patient to patient, and may not clearly align with any condition described on this page. At Mountain Vista Medical Center, your experienced pain management professionals are equipped to get you back to a healthy, pain-free lifestyle as soon as possible.
Back Pain Management Like You’ve Never Known…
At the Pain Management Center at Mountain Vista Medical Center, patients have the unique opportunity to meet with specialists from diverse backgrounds, including osteopathic practitioners, neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, interventional radiologists, and anesthesiologists.
You aren’t stuck with receiving treatment from a single physician within a single specialty. If your physician is unable to provide the diagnosis and treatment that you need, then he or she can make sure that you are connected with a pain management specialist with experience in dealing with your particular back pain symptoms.
Wondering what specialists at the Pain Management Center at Mountain Vista Medical Center can do for your back pain? Call 1-877-924-WELL for more information. Not sure if your pain is “chronic pain” or not? Take our two-minute self-assessment. Pain management is possible, but it’s up to you to make the call!