Back Pain

Live your life without pain through advanced back and neck care

At Doctors Medical Center of Modesto, back and spine care includes surgical and nonsurgical treatments to help eliminate your pain and increase mobility. Our goal is to get you back to your normal activities as soon as possible so you can live life fully again.

We proudly offer:

  • Care provided by a team of  board-certified physicians with specialized training in spine disorders
  • Diagnostic and treatment protocols incorporating the latest evidence-based medicine and research
  • Treatment plans starting with pain-management methods such as anti-inflammatory drugs, heat and cold therapy, special exercises or massage
  • Minimally invasive spine surgery if more conservative pain-treatment options are unsuccessful. Fewer complications, less pain and a faster recovery are often reported with minimally invasive techniques.

Whether it’s a back injury or long-term condition causing pain, the healthcare professionals at Doctors Medical Center will work with you in treatment and recovery.

Surgical Options

Surgery for back pain is considered only when non-surgical options have failed and when the doctor can pinpoint the source of your pain. Causes for which your doctor may suggest surgery include a severely pinched nerve, a compressed spinal cord or an instability in the spine. Some symptoms that may indicate to doctors that you may want to consider surgery include nerve damage that may show itself through pain radiating down the legs or arms; pain, numbness, weakness or tingling in the arms or legs; or a loss of bowel or bladder control. Some chronic forms of low back pain sometimes cannot be treated with surgery.

Back surgery is used for these conditions:

  • Herniated disk
  • Disk degeneration
  • Spinal stenosis (narrowing)
  • Fractures
  • Infections or tumors
  • Spinal deformity

Benefits of a minimally invasive spine procedure

Back surgery techniques are improving. Your doctor may be able to use less invasive surgery techniques. Generally, the benefits of a minimally invasive spine procedure are:

  • Tiny incision
  • Minimal scarring
  • Minimal risk of damage to muscles, bone, nerves or blood vessels
  • The normal structure of the disk is maintained
  • Less pain after the procedure
  • Rapid recovery

It’s important to talk with your doctor about your options for surgery and other treatments.

Non-Surgical Options

Finding the right answer for you

Luckily, most back problems can be treated without surgery. Your doctor may suggest limiting activity and prescribe some pain medications or anti-inflammatory medicines. You may start seeing a physical therapist for exercises designed to strengthen the back or for other treatments.

Conservative, non-surgical options are the first line of treatment for back pain.

Non-surgical treatment options include:

  • Rest
  • Medications to help relieve pain and reduce inflammation
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Physical therapy, including passive therapies such as heat, ice, massage, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation; and active therapies such as stretching, weightlifting and cardiovascular exercises to restore motion and strength
  • Manipulation therapy
  • Braces and collars to limit motion

Take control

You can take these steps to avoid recurrent back problems:

  • Exercise regularly to keep the muscles in your back strong and flexible.
  • Stretch before exercising to help warm up your muscles.
  • Avoid standing or being in one position for too long.
  • Use proper lifting and moving techniques.
  • Get help if an object is heavy or an awkward size.
  • Don’t twist when lifting.
  • Avoid smoking. Smoking and nicotine cause the spine to degenerate faster than normal.
  • Remember what your mother said: Don’t slouch. Sit up straight.

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