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Back, Spine, and Neck Pain Management

Back, spine, and neck pain is a common problem. Most people will experience some level of it during their lifetime. Sometimes, the pain can be severe or may become chronic, which can have a significant effect on quality of life. Many people suffer from this type of pain due to injuries, chronic conditions, and even stress. 

Some causes of back and neck pain are arthritis, degenerative disc disease, and herniated discs. Regardless of the cause, there are treatments to help. The first line of treatment is almost always non-surgical and may include medication, injections, physical therapy, and integrative medicine techniques. These types of treatments can help improve your back mobility and your quality of life. 

If the pain is severe or you have a serious condition, surgery may be an option for you. Two common back surgeries are disc replacement surgery and disc repair surgery. Beaumont specialists can help you understand your condition and which type of treatment is best for you. 

Back and neck conditions often treated with pain management

There are several common conditions that can be successfully treated by with back pain management techniques. Some of those conditions are:

  • Herniated discs
  • Back arthritis
  • Degenerative disc disease

Herniated discs

The spine is made up of bones called vertebrae that stack on top of each other to create your spine. In between each vertebra, there is a disc that helps keep the bones from rubbing against each other. These discs have a tough exterior and a thick, jelly-like substance inside that acts as cushion between the bones. Sometimes the discs slip out of place (slipped disc) or rupture (ruptured disc). When someone has a herniated disc, there are tears in the exterior of the disc that allow the jelly-like substance to ooze out of the disc. This process can irritate the nerves, which can lead to pain, numbness, or weakness in the extremities. Most herniated discs occur in the lower spine, but they can occur in the neck as well. Herniated discs can usually be treated successfully with non-surgical options.

Some symptoms of herniated discs include:

  • Pain in the extremities
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Weakness

Some people don’t have any recognizable symptoms, and they don’t know they have a herniated disc until it’s found on an x-ray or other imaging test.

If you have back or neck pain that travels down your arm or leg, or if you have numbness, tinging, or weakness in addition to pain, make an appointment to see your doctor.

Back arthritis

Arthritis is a common problem that can affect people of all ages, but it more typically affects older people. It’s a progressive disease that affects the joints, including the joints in the back. Back arthritis causes symptoms like pain, swelling, and stiffness in the back. Most people with back arthritis feel these symptoms in their lower back, but back arthritis can affect any area of the back or neck.

There are several types of arthritis that affect the back, spine, and neck. They are often referred to as spondylarthropathies. Some of these types of arthritis that can cause back pain are:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Infective arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Enthesitis
  • Enteropathic arthritis
  • Juvenile spondylarthropathy
  • Gout 
  • Reactive arthritis
  • Psoriatic arthritis

Degenerative disc disease

As people age, it’s normal for the discs between the spine vertebrae to change, weaken, and show signs of wear and tear. When this happens, the discs may not function as well as they used to. If the changes begin to cause problems, such as pain and decreased mobility, it is considered degenerative disc disease. Almost everyone over a certain age experiences disc breakdown, but not everyone experiences the symptoms associated with disc changes.

The symptoms of degenerative disc tend to vary depending on which discs are most affected. Symptoms may include:

  • Pain in the back in neck
  • Pain in the lower back, buttocks, and upper thigh
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms and legs
  • Weakness in the leg muscles

Pain may come and go, or it may be constant and severe. It may last for a few days, or it may cause chronic pain that lasts for months. The pain may change with movement. For example, it may:

  • Be worse when you sit, but better when you walk or move around
  • Be worse if you bend or twist
  • Be worse when you lift
  • Improve when you lie down or change position

Beaumont can successfully treat back, spine, and neck pain

If you’re experiencing pain, Beaumont can help. We offer treatment for even the most complex problems associated with the back, spine, and neck. Our orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons and specialists can help you determine the cause of your pain and offer a wide variety of treatment options to address it.

Nonsurgical treatments for back, spine, and neck pain

Most causes of back, spine, and neck pain can be treated without surgery. Some of the nonsurgical treatment options we offer to help alleviate your pain include:

  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation, including posture therapy
  • Pain relieving medication and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Treatment for any underlying condition to help address the source of your pain
  • Interventional therapy, like nerve blocking and steroid pain injections

Surgical treatments for back, spine, and neck pain

Sometimes surgery is necessary to help relieve pain and restore function. Two common procedures are disc repair and disc replacement surgery. There are several specific procedures back, spine, and neck surgeons use to help alleviate pain and associated symptoms. Some of those procedures are:

  • Minimally invasive procedures, such as vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty
  • Discectomy, which helps remove pressure on a nerve root from a bulging or herniated disc
  • Foraminotomy, which enlarges the bone hole where the nerve root leaves the spinal canal; this procedure is done to relieve pressure on the nerve to reduce pain and symptoms associated with nerve compression
  • Laminectomy, which is also called spinal decompression, to help relieve lower back pain; it involves removing the lamina in the spinal canal to relieve pressure on the spinal cord and the nerve roots
  • Spinal fusion is a procedure done to strengthen the spine and prevent certain movements that can cause pain

Many Beaumont surgeons and specialists are innovative researchers and leaders in their field. Back, spine, and neck surgeons at Beaumont have the special training and experience to expertly treat your pain. 

Make an appointment at Beaumont

If you have back, spine, or neck pain or any related symptoms that are making your life difficult, call 800-633-7377 for a referral to a Beaumont specialist and to make an appointment.