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Resolving Back Pain that Affects Millions

Over time, the discs between the vertebrae of the spine go through a natural aging process. For many of us this process occurs unnoticed. For others it can be the source of intermittent or constant low back pain.

An estimated 6 million people in the U.S. live with chronic discogenic pain, yet relief is possible with proper medical attention.

If you, you friends or loved ones are among those who suffer from back pain, there’s hope through a variety of advanced, non-surgical techniques that can strengthen your spine. But first, let’s discuss the symptoms…

Back Pain Symptoms Actually Mimic Other Conditions

Discogenic back pain can occur when the spongy discs between the vertebrae of the spine become impaired. When we’re young, the discs are predominantly water, but as we age, they dehydrate and become more susceptible to cracks and fissures called annular tears. These tears can potentially cause an inflammatory reaction that leads to pain.

The most common symptoms of disc degeneration are:

  • Lower back pain and muscle spasm
  • With occasional pain radiating to the buttocks, groin or thighs
  • Pain typically worsened by bending, sitting or standing in a stationary position
  • In that case, the pain is often relieved by lying down or walking

These relatively non-specific pain symptoms can be very similar to other conditions. To make a definitive, accurate diagnosis, a pain management specialist conducts a complete medical history (a family history of back trouble is common) and thorough physical examination. An MRI may be helpful in identifying discs with signs of degeneration, and discography may be used to confirm that the annular tears are the source of pain or to detect tears missed on imaging.

Back Pain Treatments that Do NOT Involve Surgery

Discogenic back pain has been treated effectively for years with sophisticated, non-surgical approaches such as epidural corticosteroid injections and intradiscal heat therapy (IDET or DiscTRODE).

Today, another promising new option shows remarkable success, providing lasting pain relief by actually healing impaired discs. Advanced intradiscal restorative therapy works in tandem with the body’s inherent ability to heal itself, frequently leading to complete and permanent improvement. Injecting the impaired discs with a solution of dextrose, glucosamine and chondroitin – natural substances already found in the body – may have the potential to stimulate the growth of new cartilage and heal the discs.

It’s a simple procedure performed safely in a sterile, office-based setting. Intradiscal restorative therapy may offer a healing alternative without the potential risks of surgery, general anesthesia, hospitalization or long recovery periods.

Following treatment, physical therapy, exercise and patient education can help you continue to strengthen your back and prevent discogenic pain from recurring.