Lower Back Pain Relief & Treatment Options

If you have lower back pain, you’re not alone–about 80 percent of adults suffer from it at some point in their lives.1 It is the top reason for missed work days. In most cases, lower back pain resolves on its own within a few weeks. But 1 out of 5 people with lower back pain need medical treatment to find relief. If you’re located in southeast Michigan or northwest Ohio, The Heilman Center may be able to help.

Symptoms and Causes of Lower Back Pain

Injuries and the natural aging process are the most common causes of lower back pain. An accident, an awkward twist, or lifting a heavy object can trigger pain. An inactive lifestyle and/or the normal wear and tear of the joints, discs, and bones of the spine also contribute to painful conditions.

Aging is tough on the spine. By age 50, 95% of people have signs of spinal degeneration.2 The rubbery discs that provide space and cushion between the bones of the spine begin to dry out leading to deterioration of the vulnerable spine. The most common conditions include:

  • Herniated discs that bulge outward or rupture causing lower back pain when nerves become compressed or inflamed
  • Arthritis starts to form in the back when less disc volume transfers weight to the joints of the spine. The joints develop arthritis in response to the added pressure.
  • Spinal stenosis occurs when bone spurs from arthritic joints narrow the spinal canal, the tunnel the nerves run through. Nerves can become pinched and inflamed in the narrow canal causing pain in the lower back pain or pain, numbness or weakness in the legs (sciatica).

Diagnosing Lower Back Pain

The cause of chronic lower back pain can be difficult to determine. A pain specialist with advanced training in the complex interaction of the bones, discs, and nerves of the spine is the best doctor to see to find out what is triggering pain, and treat it at the source.

An experienced pain specialist uses more than just diagnostic tests to pinpoint the cause of pain. A patient’s pain history provides valuable insights. Expect a pain specialist to ask you about the onset, location, duration, and severity of your pain. Limitations in movement, previous pain episodes, and other health conditions provide important clues. A patient’s pain history is typically followed by a physical exam, along with neurologic and/or imaging tests to get a full understanding of the cause of the lower back pain.

Treatments for Lower Back Pain

Thankfully, there are many treatments for lower back pain. And for the millions of people who prefer pill-free pain relief, an Interventional Pain Specialist can provide a range of options. You don’t have to suffer in pain. The cause, severity and length of symptoms will impact treatment recommendations.

“My pain level is now a 0-1.  I’m thrilled with the results!”

A man who used to have lower back pain, walking his dog in the park

The aching and burning pain in my lower back was intense. I’d rate it an 8-10 most of the time. Needless to say, I didn’t do a whole lot.

I tried physical therapy which did not help at all. Next, I went to another pain program seeking relief. They said there was nothing they could do for me. I wasn’t willing to accept that answer, so I searched online and found The Heilman Center.

My Heilman Center Pain Specialist said that the constant pain in my lower back was caused by lumbar spinal stenosis. He explained that more than 40% of people over the age of 60 have spinal stenosis caused by normal, arthritic changes in the spine, loss of disc height or thickening of the ligament that connects the bones. He developed a treatment plan for me.

I’m glad that I didn’t accept the answer from the other pain clinic and found a great lumbar spine specialist near me at The Heilman Center. I’ve had tremendous results! I’m doing yard work and enjoying long walks with my dog. I’ve improved 95-98%. My pain level that was a constant 8-10 is now 0-1. I’m thrilled with the results! 

–Gerald R

Mild Pain

Mild lower back pain may respond to an adjustment in activity and simple treatments such as over-the-counter pain relievers. It often improves within a few days.

Moderate to Severe Pain

When more severe pain limits your daily activities or doesn’t improve within a few weeks you may benefit from additional treatments:

  • Stronger medications may be prescribed for moderate to severe pain, although some types of lower back pain, such as sciatica from a bulging disc, don’t respond well to oral medications.
  • For sustained relief and a non-addictive approach to pain management the Pain Specialists at the Heilman Center offer multiple minimally invasive options:
    • Long-lasting epidural injections can provide relief for weeks to months by blocking pain signals to the brain and/or reducing inflammation.
    • Microsurgery procedures can often reduce or eliminate the need for pain medications and prevent the need for major back surgery. Treatments like Vertiflex Superion, Indirect Decompression, Intradiscal Electrothermal Therapy (IDET), and Radiofrequency Ablation are outpatient procedures with short recovery times and use state-of-the-art techniques to treat chronic pain.

If you have lower back pain that has not improved or has been getting worse for more than three months and you’re located in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Canton, MI, or the surrounding areas in southeast Michigan or northwest Ohio, contact The Heilman Center for Pain and Spine Care. We can fit you into the schedule within a few days to begin our 3-step process to pain relief.

  1. Consultation: You’ll meet with a Pain Consultant, a Physician’s Assistant specially trained in lower back pain treatment, who will guide you through the process.
  2. Diagnosis: Your Pain Consultant will get a detailed history and order any diagnostic tests needed to identify the root cause of your pain.
  3. Treatment Plan: Your Heilman Center doctor develops a personalized treatment plan based on your diagnosis, needs, and pain relief goals. Your Pain Consultant will then go over your plan with you and coordinate any treatments you decide to have at The Heilman Center, or provide referrals to other medical providers for treatments we don’t offer.

Best Practices Lead to Best Results

The lower back pain specialists at the Heilman Center use fluoroscopy, an x-ray guidance technique, to pinpoint the best location for injected medication to provide optimal relief.

Why Wait to Find Lower Back Pain Relief?

There are many options for treating lower back pain that don’t involve pills. You don’t have to suffer in pain.

Contact the Heilman Center today at 734-796-7555 to find a real solution that works for you.

  1. “Low Back Pain Fact Sheet.” National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Low-Back-Pain-Fact-Sheet.
  2. “Lumbar Spinal Stenosis – OrthoInfo – AAOS.” OrthoInfo, https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/lumbar-spinal-stenosis.