How Common is Back Pain?
Millions of people experience back pain on a daily basis. According to the CDC, 8 out of 10 people will have back pain at some point in their lives, and many will have a chronic case for many years before seeking professional treatment. Sciatica, a painful condition that stems from the low back and radiates down one or both legs, accounts for about 10% of reported cases of back pain. The healthcare industry has long used drugs as the first line of therapy for pain and inflammation, treating the symptoms but not the cause. The good news is this trend is now changing.
What Causes Back Pain?
Conditions that lead to back pain have a few common causes. These are both preventable and treatable, without the use of drugs or surgery. For prevention, it’s important to know how body mechanics work. The joints in our spine are designed to take normal wear and tear through walking, running, and activities of daily life. However, the low back, or lumbar spine, is prone to damage from sitting with poor posture for long periods of time. Slouching puts an abnormally high force on one’s low back. It removes the healthy curvature of the spine, which bulges and over-stretches the ligaments and tendons that support the joints.
Quick, sudden movements, such as swinging a golf club or lifting a heavy object, can also cause an injury to develop in the lumbar spine. Once this process begins, the joint slowly begins to degenerate and weaken, leading to bulging discs, pinched nerves, and sciatica.
How is Most Back Pain Treated?
Conventional medical treatments for back pain usually involve temporarily turning off the pain or inflammation in the area. Narcotic pain medications and cortisone shots are two of many examples of these short-term fixes. While temporary treatment can improve quality of life for a time, it fails to address the cause of the issue: the weakened joint complex that began the degeneration process in the first place. In this way, these conventional treatments can actually make conditions worse over time.
Is There a Better Way?
Today, we have a solution to back pain and sciatica that treats the cause of pain, not just the symptoms. Better yet, it uses your own body to heal you, rather than pharmaceutical drugs. This solution is a series of injections using your own platelets. A small amount of blood is drawn from you in office on the same day of treatment. This blood is processed to concentrate your own body’s platelets, which are filled with growth factors called PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma. When delivered through injection to the site of injury, your PRP begins the tissue repair process. It adds more collagen to your ligaments and tendons, strengthening the connection and stabilizing the joints.
This therapy is always combined with specific therapeutic exercises to strengthen the muscles in the back, preventing the issue from happening again. Together, these treatments resolve pain, rather than simply managing it.
Everyone’s bodies are different, of course, and not all types of back pain are treated in the same way. At Source of Health, Dr. Sorr takes each patient’s history into account, and uses physical exams and diagnostic imaging, such as MRIs and X-rays, to formulate the best possible treatment plan for that individual. The commitment to resolving pain, rather than covering it up, however, remains the same.