Jessen Mukalel, MD
Spine, Sports, and Interventional Pain Specialists & Alternative Medicine located in The Woodlands, TX
Back pain affects almost everyone at some point in time. In most cases, back pain is short-lived and resolves on its own or can be alleviated with over the counter medications, chiropractic care, or physical therapy. However, acute back pain can become chronic and persistent. Before chronic lower back pain becomes a normal part of your life, visit Jessen Mukalel, MD, in The Woodlands, Texas, a spine, sports, and interventional pain specialist, who takes an innovative approach to treating back pain and helps you get relief. Call the office or book an appointment online today to learn more about your options for back pain relief.
Back Pain Q & A
What is back pain?
Back pain is common, affecting eight out of 10 people at some point throughout their life. Most people develop acute back pain from a strain or accident. Once one area of the spine becomes injured, your body will try to compensate with other areas of your spine. If not treated immediately, then those areas will require compensation when they become injured. That’s why there is no single cure for back pain relief. Steroids may make you feel young again, but the problem is still there. Treatment requires individualized attention to each injured area, to fully restore you to your former self.
Acute back pain usually lasts no more than a few days or weeks. However, your acute back pain may become chronic or persistent, when lasting three or more months.
No matter the cause, longevity, or severity, if you’re suffering from back pain, Dr. Mukalel can help.
How is acute back pain treated?
Dr. Mukalel takes a conservative approach to treating acute back pain. You may find relief with treatments such as:
- Physical therapy
- Home exercise program
- Chiropractic care
- Low-dose medications like anti-inflammatories, numbing agents, or muscle relaxers
If only partial relief is found with conservative measures or you want to speed up the process, Dr. Mukalel may suggest interventional pain management like steroid injections into the facet joints or epidural space to reduce inflammation, the hallmark of an acute injury.
When your pain becomes chronic, you may find that conservative treatments no longer alleviate your pain.
How is chronic back pain diagnosed?
With chronic back pain, Dr. Mukalel first conducts a comprehensive evaluation to diagnose the part of the spine causing pain. To diagnose lower back pain, he divides your spine into three parts:
Pain generated from the front portion of the spine may be caused by disc tears, vertebral body Modic changes (degeneration), or fractures.
Pain that originates in the middle may indicate spinal cord compression from a herniated disc, stenosis, or chronic spinal nerve root injury.
Pain in the back of the spine may be caused by spinal joint pain, arthritis, muscle spasms, ligament and tendon issues, or sacroiliac joint pain and dysfunction.
How is chronic back pain treated?
After diagnosing the cause of your chronic back pain, Dr. Mukalel offers specific interventional treatment options that result in total pain relief. These include:
- Intracept® Procedure (Modic changes)
- Kyphoplasty (vertebral fractures)
- Intradiscal stem cell therapy (discogenic pain)
- Vertiflex® Superion® intraspinous spacer (decompression for stenosis)
- Epidural steroid injections
- Spinal cord stimulation
- Dorsal root ganglion (DRG) therapy (chronic nerve root injuries)
- Facet joint radiofrequency ablation (low back pain with muscle spasms)
- LinQ™ Sacroiliac Joint Fusion system (chronic sacroiliac joint pain and instability)
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy (chronic tendon or ligament injury)
After interventional pain management treatment, Dr. Mukalel sends you to spine rehabilitation and physical therapy for postural restoration and core muscle strengthening. He rarely recommends low-dose opioid therapy.
To get relief from your back pain, contact Jessen Mukalel, MD, by phone or online today.
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