Suffering from Back Pain? You’re Not Alone

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Provided by UVA Health

Eighty percent of adults in the United States will experience low back pain at some point. If you are among them, you may be weighing your options for both immediate and long-term relief.

“We work with patients from the start to assess their pain and provide a range of treatment options – surgical and nonsurgical – for orthopedic conditions affecting the back or neck,” said Jarid Tareen, MD, an orthopedic spine surgeon at Novant Health UVA Health System Spine Orthopedics – Manassas, now part of UVA Health. “The goal is to minimize pain and maximize function.”

While a certain amount of back pain is often inherent in the aging process, Tareen’s patients range from teens to people in their mid-90s.

Finding the Source of Pain

Finding the source of back pain usually begins with an X-ray or MRI. From there, at-home exercises, physical therapy, injections and activity modification are among routes clinicians will typically recommend before discussing surgery.

“Even in younger patients, physical therapy plays a pretty significant role in helping get them back as close to 100 percent as soon as possible,” Tareen said.

However, even if you’re referred to a surgeon, it doesn’t mean you’re destined for surgery.

Non-Surgical Treatments

“Treating low back pain is really a collaborative effort between the patient, their primary care doctor, an interventional anesthesiologist, physical therapist, and maybe a surgeon,” Tareen said. “There are a lot of things we can do to help patients stave off or avoid surgery.”

One of the nonsurgical treatments, epidural steroid injections, reduces inflammation at the source of the pain in the spine. Tareen often recommends an injection as a precursor to physical therapy.

If surgery is ultimately determined to be the best course of action, Tareen recommends seeking a minimally invasive procedure.

“With minimally invasive spine surgery, patients experience less blood loss, lower rates of infection, lower rates of complication and faster overall recovery,” said Tareen.

ExcelsiusGPS®

Haymarket Medical Center recently introduced ExcelsiusGPS®, a new robotic surgical platform for spine surgery. Designed to improve accuracy and optimize patient care, the platform combines robotic guidance and navigation capabilities to deliver revolutionary spine surgery with minimal impact to the patient.

ExcelsiusGPS® enhances the surgeon’s ability to treat a variety of spine conditions, such as scoliosis, degenerative spondylolisthesis (slipped disc), oncologic conditions, and more.

“This new platform really changes the game for spine surgeons and patients,” said Tareen. “Patients can finally find relief and not have to experience nearly as many post-operative risks compared to open spine surgery.”

For more information about minimally invasive surgical options to treat your chronic back pain, visit NovantHealthUVA.org/neckandback.

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