Back Pain Treatment: Relief Is in Sight

AMC is one of the first clinics in China to offer a full range of services for back pain and neck pain treatment. Our experienced pain management specialists are considered some of the best in the United States and are recognized as world leaders getting people pain-free (the vast majority without ever requiring surgery).

AMC anesthesiologists are leaders in the latest treatment options for back pain and neck pain, from the most common outpatient procedures, to the most complex cases.

Getting an Expert Diagnostic Evaluation

Thanks to the advanced diagnostic testing available at AMC, our experts are better able to identify potential causes of your back pain and neck pain, greatly reducing the need for surgery. The diagnostic tools we use most commonly include X-ray, MRI and CT.

Acute Pain Management

Acute pain management is the medical specialty focused on treating pain regardless of the cause. These specialists are often called on when a painful condition does not respond to pain management treatments aiming to “fix” the problem. Some practitioners focus more on pharmacologic management while others on more interventional treatments such as injections. The doctor will try to prescribe medications that provide maximal pain control with the least potential side effects.

Chronic Pain Management

At AMC, we understand that pain can be very difficult to control. Sometimes, even after many months of treatment, the patient may still suffer from chronic pain. This can have many deleterious effects on one’s life. It may affect one’s job, home life and relationships with others. Chronic pain management is designed to help individuals cope with some of the effects of long-term pain. An ideal chronic pain management treatment would be one designed to reduce or eliminate the use of pain medications, maximize physical functioning, overcome psychosocial barriers to recovery and bring the patient to maximum medical improvement. If the patient has not been able to work because of chronic pain, the program may also focus on returning him/her to work or involvement in retraining for a different career.

What to Expect

Please refer to Surgery Information under Education to learn more about what you can expect on the day of your procedure for pain management.

Trigger Point Injection for Back Muscle Spasms

Description of Trigger Point Injection

A back muscle spasm is an extremely common cause of acute and chronic neck pain and back pain. Spasms often present as painful “knots” within the muscles. The muscles of the neck and back can be so uncomfortable that they also restrict range of motion. In addition to physical therapy, trigger point injections are also used to help reduce the inflammation and irritation within the muscle.

What to Expect Before a Trigger Point Injection

Once you have decided to have the trigger point injection, the following events take place:

  • If taking aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications daily, stop these medications at least three days before the injections.

What to Expect During the Trigger Point Injection

  • The patient lies flat on his/her abdomen on an X-ray table.
  • The skin is numbed with lidocaine.
  • Using fluoroscopy (live X-ray) for guidance, the physician directs a needle toward the epidural space. Fluoroscopy is considered important so that the physician can more easily determine if the needle is in the right place.
  • The steroid solution is injected (you may feel heaviness and/or numbness in your legs caused by the anesthetic). This generally lasts only a few hours.
  • An epidural steroid injection usually takes between 15 and 30 minutes.

What to Expect After the Epidural Steroid Injection

  • Following the steroid injection, the patient is usually monitored 15 to 20 minutes before being discharged to go home.
  • It is important that the patient have someone drive him/her home after the steroid injection.
  • Patients are usually asked to rest on the day of the injection.
  • Normal activities (those that were done the week prior to the injection), including work, may typically be resumed the following day. Please note that your back may be sore for 24 to 48 hours.

There is no definitive research to dictate how often a patient should have epidural steroid injections. In general, it is considered reasonable to perform up to three epidural steroid injections per year, but no more than four during this period. The decision to do a series of injections is usually based on the patient’s response to the first injection.