Patient Education

Back Pain
Back pain is an incredibly common symptom, with over 80% of the population having an episode in their lifetime. The good news is that most back pain is short lived and resolves. Carolina Spine can work with a person to help reduce future incidences of back pain. For back pain that does not resolve, it is a significant socioeconomic issue with back pain being one of the leading causes for missed work. Carolina Spine can help dramatically reduce or eliminate pain to allow you to return to your normal daily activities through establishing the correct diagnosis and prescribing the right treatment or procedure. Some of the treatments include appropriate medications and specific spine physical therapy. Some of the procedures include trigger point injections, transforaminal epidural steroid injections, sacroiliac joint injections, facet joint injections, radiofrequency ablation or RFA, and discography. These minimally invasive procedures can eliminate the need for major spine surgery or if surgery is necessary, pinpoint where pain is located in the spine to guide the surgeon.

Neck Pain
Neck pain can be caused by multiple causes, including arthritis, sports or work related injuries, auto accidents, and or simply posture. Carolina Spine Center will work with our patients to understand the type of pain they are having. Treatment may include appropriate medications, physical therapy, trigger point injections, cervical transforaminal or epidural steroid injections, facet joint injections, radiofrequency ablation or RFA.

Knee, Hip, and other joint pain can be caused by repetitive work, sports injuries, or simply life. The key in treating these injuries is to accurately diagnosis the cause of the pain. Once established, treatment options include appropriate medications, physical therapy, and peripheral joint injections, including hyalgan for knees. Surgical consultation is an option when necessary.

Myofascial Pain
Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) is a painful musculoskeletal condition and is characterized by the development of myofascial trigger points that are locally tender when active, and refer pain through specific patterns to other areas of the body. This painful condition can be relieved through physical therapy, exercise, trigger point injections, and appropriate medications. Carolina Spine Center can coordinate and manage this multi-disciplinary approach of care.

Sciatica or "pinched nerve" refers to pain radiating down the arm or leg. From a spine specialist perspective, sciatica is not a precise enough term. Carolina Spine Center will perform a thorough history and physical examination, order appropriate diagnostic studies, to establish the cause of sciatica and determine which particular nerve is the root of the issue and focus treatment accordingly. Treatment options include appropriate medications, physical therapy, selective nerve root blocks.

Peripheral neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy is a disease of the nerves that mainly affect the feet and legs. This nerve disorder can cause burning and tingling. Treatment options include appropriate medications and potentially, spinal cord stimulation.

Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
Failed Back Surgery syndrome is an umbrella term for a person who can continue to have pain following several surgeries. Failed back does not mean surgery was done incorrectly. The key to effective treatment is to establish a diagnosis and may be related to further degeneration of the spine, stress that is now produced in different areas of the spine, or a missed diagnosis. Carolina Spine will work to determine the cause of pain and help the patient obtain relief. Treatment includes appropriate medications and diagnostic and therapeutic interventional procedures.

Osteoporosis is characterized by a loss of bone density, leaving bones and at increased risk of breaking or fracturing. Osteoporosis can be prevented a diet rich in calcium, vitamin D, and exercise, as well as the cessation of alcohol and smoking. Carolina Spine can help evaluate osteoporosis and prescribe effective medications for treatment. In the event of a painful fracture that does not respond to bracing, activity modification, and appropriate pain medications, treatment options include kyphoplasty. Kyphoplasty uses orthopedic cement to stabilize the fracture, relieve pain, and restore some vertebral height.

Muscle Deconditioning/Tightness
Muscle deconditioning and tightness can often result in back or neck pain. Typically, this can occur after prolonged sitting, for example, when driving for extended periods. The key treatment for this condition is routine stretching and strengthening of muscles that attach to the spinous processes. This allows less stress to be placed on the spine itself and more stress to be picked up by the musculature. In the low back, important muscles to address are the hamstrings, gluteal or buttock muscles, and the latissimus dorsi muscles. Carolina Spine will work with the person to find where deconditioning is most present and address it with the correct exercise program.