Non-Surgical Treatments

Pharmacotherapy - There are many non-narcotic medicine(s) that successfully treat and minimize the pain caused from neck and back injuries and conditions allowing the patient the ability to heal from an injury that does not require surgery. 

Physical Therapy – Physical Therapy is offered as a part of the full spectrum of services at the Spine Institute of Louisiana.  Physical therapists are on site to perform musculoskeletal evaluations on patients according to diagnosis and physicians orders.  The evaluation may include an assessment of the patient’s posture, range of motion, muscle strength, coordination, balance, and spinal joint restrictions.  Physical therapy treatment may be provided based on the initial assessment and physician orders.  Treatment may include:

    1. Manual therapy to reduce joint restriction and musculoskeletal dysfunction
    2. Exercise instruction for appropriate diagnosis or post-operative condition
    3. Communication with professionals in outlying areas to facilitate appropriate rehabilitation progression.

Epidural Steroid Injections – The term epidural steroid injection refers to the injection of corticosteroids into the epidural space of the vertebral column as a means of treating pain caused by irritation of the spinal nerves.  The chief effect of a pain management injection is to reduce pain, but the effect is not long lasting and differs from person to person.  Most patients will receive good relief ranging from several weeks to up to three months after injection. 

Selective Nerve Root Blocks – A selective nerve root block injection is performed to determine if a specific spinal nerve root is the source of pain and also to reduce any inflammation located around the nerve root.  Under fluoroscopy, the physician locates a specific spinal nerve root and injects medication through the skin into the area adjacent to the nerve root bathing the inflamed area.  The procedure takes approximately 30 minutes to an hour and the expected outcome is relief of leg and back pain.

Facet Rhizotomy – Facet rhizotomy has been successful in relieving chronic pain arising from abnormalities of the facet joint.  This procedure is an outpatient procedure for patients whose pain is not related to disc herniation.  The selection process for identifying potential candidates for this procedure requires that the patient has experienced successful selective nerve root blocks. A local anesthetic numbs the injection site then an x-ray machine guides the placement of the needle.  Once the needle is injected, a very mild electrical current is used to stimulate the nerve and verify its exact location and a slight tingling or pressure may be experienced.  The needle is then heated to deaden the sensory nerves.  An improvement in pain should be seen within a few days and continued improvement should be expected over the next several weeks.


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