Here are some of our most commonly asked questions. If you have any additional questions, please call our offfice.
Q: What causes my back (or neck) to hurt?
Answer: The source of back or neck pain can be from the discs, the joints, or the muscles. It is not uncommon for some patients to experience pain from all three sources. Factors such as obesity, a family history of disc disease or arthritis, smoking, physical deconditioning, and heavy physical demands or repetitive motion activities can place a person at risk for developing painful conditions of the spine. Inflammation within the discs and the joints can be painful and can create muscle tightness and spasms.
Q: Is there anything I can do to improve my pain?
Answer: Actually, yes. The first step is to address any need you may have to lose weight. The second step is to participate in an approved physical rehabilitation program designed to help you lose weight, improve your flexibility and strengthen the muscles that support your spine. If you smoke, you need to quit, period. We have resources available to assist you with these goals. If you are under a great deal of stress from your family, your job or your lifestyle then these stressors should be identified and steps taken to reduce any anxiety or depression.
Q: Will the procedure be painful?
Answer: We do our very best to minimize any discomfort patients might experience during a procedure. We administer light IV sedation during most of our procedures along with the use of local anesthetic to numb the area to be injected. The use of the fluoroscope to direct the placement of catheters not only reduces any patient discomfort but its use also makes the procedure significantly more safe than injections performed "blindly." Most discomfort experienced during or after a procedure is due to the inflammation that is present rather than the procedure itself creating discomfort.
Q: Are there activities I should avoid after a procedure?
Answer: The day of the procedure you should plan on taking it easy but that doesn't mean lie in bed. Avoid strenuous activities but you will be fine doing your usual daily routine. Unless the physician instructs you differently, you may return to your usual activity level 24 hours after the procedure.
Q: How long will the injection help?
Answer: The benefit from injections varies from patient to patient. Steroid injections can help for 3-4 months or even longer.