Kavita Trivedi, D.O. Answers Questions On: Nonsurgical Treatments for Neck and Back Pain
What is the biggest advance in treating back and neck pain you’ve seen?
I think the biggest change is that the medical community is moving away from up-front surgery and using less invasive treatments.
As a result, we see people more willing to try various interventional therapies, such as injections, as well as non-interventional options such as different types of physical therapy.
What do you do differently when treating acute versus chronic neck pain and back pain?
My goal in treating patients with acute pain is to decrease the pain and other symptoms that started abruptly. In patients with ongoing issues, we may have more time to try and incorporate a range of pain-management modalities.
Some patients do require surgery to treat the conditions that are causing their pain – or they have exhausted their nonsurgical treatment options without seeing improvement. In those cases, I make referrals to my surgical colleagues.
What’s the difference between the various types of pain-relieving injections?
Epidural injections and selective nerve root blocks involve injecting steroid medication directed at specific nerves in the epidural space. They can offer significant pain relief and may help patients delay or completely avoid surgery.
Facet injections are when we inject cortisone medication into the affected facet joints that often develop arthritis in the spine. These injections can relieve pain for days to months.
Nerve-root blocks involve injecting anti-inflammatory medication near irritated nerve roots. The procedure can deliver significant pain relief and help patients to avoid or delay surgery.