Josef M. Debiec, M.D. on the Benefits of Interventional Pain Management for Back Pain

I did read that story and I disagree with the sports trial. As a board certified interventional pain management physician, I deal with patients with lower back pain on a regular basis. The trial's main flaw is that it either placed patients in an invasive surgical group or a non-surgical group. It failed to offer patients a medium of interventional pain management modalities.

Now many patients who fail conservative treatments with physical therapy and over the counter medication often do well with injection therapy and may avoid risky surgery. The majority of spine surgeons refer patients to have these minimally invasive procedures performed prior to surgery to see if symptoms abate. 

These minimally invasive therapies are performed using x-ray guidance to accurately and safely place pain relieving medications around nerves that may be inflamed. A physician who is fellowship trained and board certified in interventional pain management should be able to perform these therapies. If patients fail to improve after these minimally invasive procedures, then at that time back surgery should be considered.


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