Pain is a feeling set off in the nervous system. Acute pain lets you know that you may be injured or have a problem you need to address. Chronic pain is different. The pain signals go on for weeks, months or even years. The original cause may have been an injury or infection. There may be an ongoing cause of pain, such as arthritis or cancer. But in some cases there is no clear cause.
Problems that cause chronic back pain include:
- Ligament and muscle strain
- Pain from nerve damage
- Disc pressing on a nerve
Chronic pain usually cannot be cured, but treatments can help. They include medications, physical therapy, acupuncture, electrical stimulation and surgery. Other treatments include psychotherapy, relaxation and meditation therapy, biofeedback and behavior modification.
Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Learn more about brain and spine neurological conditions at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Why choose Ohio State for treatment of chronic back pain?
Comprehensive Care: The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s Comprehensive Spine Center has multiple options in one location to treat chronic back pain. Our experts will diagnose the severity of your condition and know which approach will restore you to the highest level of function possible with the least-invasive treatment.
You can receive these services at our Comprehensive Spine Center:
- Consultations with physicians
- Imaging tests (X-ray, CT and MRI)
- Pain management procedures
- Physical therapy
Team Approach: At Ohio State, your care is not limited to just one physician’s perspective. We have a clinical team available to determine the source of your pain and make the most accurate diagnosis for you.
Among the experts at our Comprehensive Spine Center are:
- Physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians
- Physical therapists
- Spine surgeons with neurosurgical and orthopedic training
- Pain specialists/anesthesiologists
We involve you in decision-making as we work together to formulate an individualized treatment plan for you.
Physical Therapy Expertise: Our physical therapists specialize in spine conditions, working with you one-on-one to alleviate pain and improve strength and coordination.
Surgical Expertise: For the majority of people with chronic back pain, surgery is not necessary. But if your quality of life is compromised, our fellowship-trained spine surgeons can address the most challenging surgical cases, helping people who have not found help elsewhere. We perform more complex spine surgeries than any other medical center in central Ohio.
Research: You will benefit from our involvement in national and international trials that provide you with the most current methods for chronic back pain treatment.
New Technology: We rely on new technology to deliver better care for our patients. Recent additions include an implanted nerve stimulator that will not interfere with an MRI scan. We also recently acquired a device to perform radiofrequency ablation, which uses radio waves to provide long-acting pain relief in the joint above the tailbone.