Many people experience back pain at some point in their lives. In fact, back pain is one of the most common reasons people call off from work and visit their doctor. Though the cause of back pain varies, as well as the symptoms, it can worsen over time if left untreated. At Greater Michigan Spine & Neurosurgery in Battle Creek, Michigan, experienced spine surgeon Timothy Spencer, DO, offers many innovative conservative and minimally invasive treatments to alleviate back pain. To schedule a consultation, call the office nearest you today.

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What is back pain?

Back pain includes any discomfort you experience in your back. However, most people experience pain in their lower backs. 

Back pain is generally categorized as acute or chronic. Acute back pain often develops from an injury and lasts no longer than a few weeks. Chronic back pain may develop from an acute injury or an underlying health condition and causes discomfort that lasts at least three or more months. 

Though acute pain is typically more severe than chronic pain, chronic pain has the potential to worsen significantly over time. 

What causes back pain?

You can develop back pain after an injury, repetitive movements, or an underlying disease. Common causes of back pain include:

  • Overuse
  • Obesity
  • Poor posture
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Osteoporosis
  • Herniated disc
  • Myelopathy
  • Spinal instability
  • Facet joint pain
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Sciatica
  • Metastatic cancer
  • Degenerative spine disorders

In most cases, back pain develops from problems related to the structures that make up your back, including vertebrae, intervertebral discs, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and muscles. 

What can I expect during a consultation for back pain?

Dr. Spencer is an experienced neurosurgeon who performs a comprehensive evaluation when you come in to see him for a back pain consultation. The goal of your evaluation is to identify the underlying cause of your back pain so you get the most effective treatment.

During your exam, Dr. Spencer reviews your symptoms, goes over your medical and surgical history, and conducts a physical exam. To better understand the cause of your back pain, he may also request diagnostic imaging tests, such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs.

What are conservative treatments for back pain?

Although Dr. Spencer is an expert spine surgeon, he may initially take a conservative approach to help you get relief from your back pain. 

Your treatment plan may include:

  • Over-the-counter or prescription pain medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Home exercise program
  • Psychological support
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Some type of injection

Dr. Spencer may offer one of a variety of injection types to manage your pain, including an epidural steroid injection, selective nerve root block, facet injection, sacroiliac joint injection, medial branch block, or trigger point injection.

The specifics of your treatment depend on the pathology of your pain.

What are minimally invasive solutions for back pain?

If conservative measures fail to help you get relief from your back pain, Dr. Spencer offers many minimally invasive solutions. 

Minimally invasive solutions for back pain include:

  • Laser surgery
  • Spinal decompression and fusion
  • Trans-sacral interbody fusion
  • 360-degree fusion
  • Facet and sacroiliac joint rhizotomy
  • Kyphoplasty/vertebroplasty
  • Lumbar microdiscectomy
  • Lumbar laminectomy
  • Artificial disc placement

With a minimally invasive surgical approach, Dr. Spencer uses advanced surgical tools and techniques, including robotic surgical systems, which help to shorten your hospital stay and get you back to work faster.

For solutions for your back pain, contact Greater Michigan Spine & Neurosurgery by calling the nearest office today.