Low back pain has the power to bring down even the finest and fittest athletes. However, there are many who still take it lightly, simply popping over-the-counter pain pills or braving the pain for the sake of achieving their peak performance and/or personal enjoyment.
Whether you’re a weekend warrior or an elite athlete, avoiding proper medical intervention can only lead to more pain. When left untreated, simple low back pain can progress to nerve problems or degenerative spine changes, which could permanently put you on the sidelines.
If you’re finally contemplating seeing an orthopedic doctor for your low back pain, here are some of the most common treatment options that may be recommended, apart from the standard prescription pain medications.
Low-Level Laser Therapy
Low-level laser therapy (LLLT)—also known as red light therapy or cold laser therapy—utilizes a single wavelength of light. LLLT works by increasing protein production, promoting healthy cell growth, reducing inflammation, and accelerating wound healing, circulation, and tissue regeneration.
LLLT has been used by many professional sports teams on their athletes to reduce inflammation and provide deep-tissue therapy, resulting in significant pain relief and minimized downtime.
Epidural steroid injections (ESIs) have been used for decades and are considered an integral component of the nonsurgical treatment of many forms of low back pain, particularly sciatica. An ESI treatment involves injecting a mixture of steroid medication and anesthetic directly into the epidural space, which surrounds the nerve roots and the spinal cord.
The benefits of an ESI treatment include a significant reduction in nerve pain and inflammation that may last up to three months, and consequently, the elimination of the need for oral medications. In some cases, if physical therapy is incorporated and effective, ESIs may even render a surgical intervention necessary.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy and stem cell therapy are two distinct regenerative medicine approaches used for addressing a wide range of conditions and injuries.
· Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy
PRP therapy involves drawing a sample of your own blood, processing it in a centrifuge, and using its growth factors and healing properties to treat your low back pain.
To perform PRP therapy, your orthopedic doctor will inject a high concentration of your platelets into your low back. Once injected the platelets release substances that promote tissue repair, thereby accelerating healing in your low back that would have otherwise taken a longer time.
· Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cell therapy is another excellent treatment option for low back pain and disc herniation, in place of medications or surgery. Stem cell therapy can repair the damaged disc or facet joint, rehydrate it, restore its function, and ultimately alleviate the pain.
To perform stem cell therapy, your orthopedic doctor will extract stem cells from your bone marrow or a fat deposit through a needle or small incision, whichever is feasible. Your doctor will then place the stem cells in a centrifuge to create a concentrated solution. After that, your doctor will inject the solution into the space in your low back using image guidance (ultrasound or fluoroscopy) to ensure accuracy. Once the stem cells enter the area, they promote cell regeneration and stimulate a healing response.
High-Quality Low Back Pain Treatment in Central Maryland
Don’t let the twinge in your low back keep you from playing your favorite sport. Visit us at the Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland for a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment.
Our dynamic team of medical providers includes board-certified orthopedic surgeons who specialize in the effective treatment of sports injuries and orthopedic conditions, such as those that cause low back pain. We offer non-surgical and surgical treatment options and will recommend the one we consider as the most suitable for your condition.
If you want to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic surgeons, you may call us at 410-644-1880 or use our online contact form. We have multiple locations throughout Central Maryland at which to serve you.