Our Expert Approach to Pain Management
State-of-the-art care for your back and neck pain is available right in your neighborhood. At MedStar Montgomery, our multidisciplinary team includes orthopedic spine surgeons, neurosurgeons, physiatrists (rehabilitative medicine physicians), nursing staff, physical and occupational therapists, radiologists, and an interventional pain management team who will work collaboratively with you to pinpoint the causes of your pain, provide pain relief, and help you get back to the activities you enjoy.
At your first visit for back and neck pain, your physician will ask questions to understand and diagnose your pain, including:
- When does the pain happen?
- How long does it last? Does the pain come and go? Or is it there all the time?
- Is this pain new? Have you ever had this pain before?
- Does it hurt in more than one place?
- Does it feel like it's on the inside or on the outside of your body?
- Does the pain keep you from doing certain things?
- Does pain interrupt your sleep? Does it change your mood? Affect your appetite?
- What makes the pain better? What makes it worse? What have you tried to relieve the pain?
Your doctor may also recommend imaging studies such as an X-ray, MRI, CT scan, or nerve conduction studies to help diagnose the source of your back and neck pain.
At MedStar Montgomery, we ensure each patient is educated about their condition and take time to discuss all possible treatment options. Our back and neck pain specialists encourage trying non-surgical treatment whenever possible, and many patients find pain relief through a combination of medications and physical therapy. Your doctor may also recommend including these non-surgical treatments for back and neck pain:
- Epidural steroid injections which reduce pain that starts in the spine and radiates to an arm or leg. Epidural steroids such as cortisone are injected into the spinal canal to decrease inflammation or compression of a nerve and the associated nerve pain. These injections may be recommended for patients with herniated, bulging, or degenerated discs.
- Epidural lyses of adhesion, injections of a medication into damaged nerve roots to help dissolve scar tissue. These injections can help relieve chronic low back pain.
- Facet joint blocks, injections of anti-inflammatory and pain reducing medication to a facet joint located on the back of the spine where the vertebrae overlap. Degenerative disc disease, arthritic conditions, and injury can increase pressure on facet joints, and this type of injection can help reduce associated pain in the neck, middle back, and low back.
- Intradiscal electrothermal therapy, the insertion of a heated needle into a pain-causing disc to destroy local pain receptors. This procedure can benefit patients with chronic disc pain.
- Nerve root blocks, pain-relieving injections targeting nerve roots as they exit the spinal cord.
- Sacroiliac joint injections, steroid injections between pelvic bones that can reduce inflammation and pain in the low back and the buttock or leg on one side of the body.
Learn more about the back and neck pain conditions our team can help you address and surgical approaches we offer when pain does not respond to conservative treatments: