A spine center can directly affect your outcome of treatment if you are having issues with your back or spine. With 80% of Americans reporting at least some type of back pain, the need for spine centers to address this pain is relevant. The back is a vital part of the body with its support required to walk, run, sit and bend. A spine center will be staffed with professionals to treat all aspects of back pain, with the experience, training and tools to provide relief.
Spine Center Professionals
A spine treatment center will typically be directed by an orthopedic surgeon. This specialist will have attended medical school with a specialty in the musculoskeletal system, and be board certified by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. A well-qualified orthopaedic surgeon will have completed fellowship training in spine surgery. Because back pain is an issue that can often be controlled with pain management, often an anesthesiologist board certified by the American Board of Pain Management will be available at the center as well. This specialist may also have fellowship training in pain management and as well as anesthesiology. The registered nurses (RNs) of a spine pain treatment center have been trained in pain management and dealing with spinal issues as well and can record patient symptoms to relate to the physician.
Non-surgical Options at a Spine Center
There are five regions of the spine with the most recognizable the top three: cervical (neck), thoracic (middle back) and lumbar (lower back). Lumbar back pain is the most common, and with rest and treatment, can often be relieved with non-surgical options. With physicians on staff at a spine treatment center, prescription medications for pain and muscle relaxing can be ordered when over the counter (OTC) drugs are not effective any longer. After a proper diagnosis, these stronger pain killers may be prescribed before any treatment takes place. Some of the treatments may include physical therapy, massage, electrical nerve stimulation, traction and back supports. In addition, at-home treatments will include the use of hot/cold packs, stretching and extension exercises, and proper rest. With the rest prescribed, the patient will also be asked to slowly move into an exercise routine to strengthen the muscles around the affected area.
Sometimes the non-surgical treatment options do not relieve the pain. A spine center will have the tools to offer minimally-invasive back treatments that do not require a trip to the hospital. When a nerve has pressure from a herniated vertebral disc, steroid and anesthetic injections can ease pain in the area and can last up to six months or more. Kyphoplasty, the insertion of an x-stop spacer for spinal stenosis, and minimally invasive spinal fusion are all treatment options with a spine center specialist.