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Back Pain

One of the most common pain complaints among adults is back pain. Ranging from occasional and mild to chronic and life-altering, most adults will experience some type of back pain during their lives. Back pain can affect your ability to stand or walk, and make even the most routine tasks very difficult. Sometimes, back pain results from specific activities or actions, such as improper lifting, overexertion, poor posture, injury or trauma. In many other cases, back pain is a symptom of structural problems within the spine.
Our team is focused on helping patients experiencing many different types of back pain including the following:
Lumbar Arthritis
Lumbar Arthritis
Lumbar osteoarthritis, also known as spinal arthritis, is a symptom of arthritis that affects the spine. Osteoarthritis is often caused by a breakdown of the cartilage in the facet joints which link together the spine’s vertebrae and abnormal bony growths that grow on the vertebrae. Osteoarthritis usually occurs over a number of years and usually develops in older adults.
Symptoms of lumbar arthritis include
  • Endometriosis making it difficult to twist or bend, especially in the morning
  • Fibroid tumors that shoots through the buttocks, thighs, or pelvic area
  • Muscle spasms in the neck or lower back
  • Pain, tenderness and/or numbness in the neck, shoulders, hips or knees
  • Weakness or numbness in legs or arms
Vertebral Compression Fractures
Vertebral Compression Fractures
Fractures of the spine are most commonly fractures to the “body” of the bones of the spinal column. The incidence of this injury increases with age, as women who are postmenopausal and men older than 65 year of age are of increased risk for these fractures. The most common cause for these fractures is osteoporosis, but trauma, infection, and tumors can all lead to this type of injury. While it is possible to heal over time from these fractures, when left untreated, these injuries can cause worsening of pain, breathing, general activity, and blood clots, and have been associated with worsened mortality.
Common symptoms of vertebral compression fractures include:
  • Sudden onset of back pain
  • Pain when applying pressure over the back
  • Poor mobility of the back
  • Pain worse with standing and walking
Sacral/Coccygeal Pain
Sacral/Coccygeal Pain
A very common complaint that people often have is tailbone pain related to sitting. The causes for this can be broad related to trauma to the area, repetitive stress (sitting on hard surfaces, operating heavy machinery), childbirth, prior infections or tumors. The pain itself is often related to either increased or decreased motion of the bones of the tailbone, pain originating from the ligaments, or pain originating from the tailbone itself.
The common symptoms of pain in this region include:
  • Low back pain
  • Pain that originates from the tailbone and radiates to the back of the thigh
  • Pain with sitting
  • Pain that improves with standing or changes in position
Lumbar Herniated Disc
Lumbar Herniated Disc
A herniated disc is one of the most common causes of lower back pain. It occurs when wear-and-tear or injury weakens a spinal disc and causes its gel-like center to leak outside the outer ring of the disc. When a disc ruptures (or herniates) it can press on the spinal cord and nerves surrounding the disc, causing pain. Additionally, the material in the disc’s center is an irritant. When it leaks into the spinal column, it contributes to nerve inflammation.

Herniated disc symptoms vary, in fact some patients have no pain while others experience extreme pain. Herniated discs can occur anywhere along the spine with the most common place being in the lower back (lumbar spine). They can also occur in the neck (cervical spine) and more rarely in the upper back (thoracic spine).

The most common symptoms of a herniated disc are:
  • Sharp, shooting pain from the buttocks down the back of one leg (also referred to as sciatica)
  • Leg or foot numbness or tingling
  • Weakness in the muscles near the herniated disc. You may experience stumbling, or inability to lift or hold items.
  • Rarely, loss of bladder or bowel control
Lumbar Herniated Disc
Lumbar Herniated Disc
Lumbar spinal stenosis is a condition that occurs when the open spaces within the lower back (lumbar spine) narrow, putting pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. This condition is most common in people ages 50 and up. The most common symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis are extreme lower back and leg pain. In extreme cases, symptoms may include difficulty maintaining balance while standing and walking and bowel and bladder problems. Symptoms are worse while standing or walking, because gravity puts more pressure on the spine.
While some cases of lumbar spinal stenosis are congenital (meaning they were present at birth), most cases occur as a result of age-related changes in the body such as
  • Arthritis
  • Bone spurs on the spine
  • Shifting of vertebrae in the lower back
  • Thickening of spinal column ligaments
  • Spinal tumors
  • A bone disorder called Paget’s disease
Lumbar Herniated Disc
Sciatica is the name for pain associated with the sciatic nerve, which extends from the lower back through the buttocks and down each leg. Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes pinched or irritated. This can commonly be caused by a herniated disc, muscle spasm, or a bone spur on the spine. Other causes of sciatica include pressure on the sciatic nerve resulting from being pregnant or overweight; a tumor compressing the nerve; lumbar spinal stenosis, and spondylolisthesis (when a vertebra slips out of place and compresses another vertebra.)

Symptoms of sciatica include generalized lower back pain that radiates to the lower body; buttocks or leg pain that worsens while seated; continual buttocks or hip pain; and leg or foot tingling, numbness, or pain. Sciatica symptoms usually occur on only one side of the body.

Leg Pain
Leg pain may result from an easy-to-identify cause such as trauma, injury, or overexertion – or it may be caused by musculoskeletal degeneration that has occurred over time. In the latter cause, normal wear and tear weakens the leg bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles and eventually causes pain. Sometimes, leg pain is a symptom of a spinal condition affecting the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back, down the backs of the legs.
Back Pain Treatments in The Woodlands
Depending on the cause and severity of the back pain, and a patient’s overall health, treatment options may include:
If you’ve been experiencing back pain for more than a week after resting and avoiding overuse, it’s important to find the source of the pain. A pain specialist, like those at Pain Management Center of Houston can help. Our team in The Woodlands will look at your medical history and take images that will help them identify the source of your back pain. From there they can provide options for management and treatment.
Learn more about some of the common causes of abdominal pain that we treat at our office in The Woodlands.
The pelvic region of the body is located between the abdomen and the thighs (below the belly button and above the legs.) The pelvis protects internal organs including the bladder, intestines, and reproductive organs and supports the hip joints.

Chronic abdominal pain is noticeable but not crippling pain that lasts for more than a few days. It may also appear on and off over the course of several months. This type of persistent, nagging abdominal pain may be caused by a condition that needs to be treated, but is not an emergency and won’t go away on its own.

Reproductive Conditions
Chronic pelvic pain in women may be caused by:

  • Endometriosis - when uterine tissue grows in other parts of the body, including the pelvis, causing pain and scarring
  • Fibroid tumors - non-cancerous growths in or on the uterus

In men, it may be caused by prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate).

In men or women, chronic pelvic pain may be due to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), interstitial cystitis (a common bladder problem) or another condition of the digestive tract.

Pudendal Neuralgia
The pudendal nerve is the main nerve in the pelvis that supplies sensation to the lower buttocks, anal region, and genital region of both men and women. Pudendal neuralgia is a condition that occurs when this nerve is damaged or irritated. Symptoms of pudendal neuralgia include pelvic pain that feels like a burning, shooting, or prickling sensation. Pain may develop suddenly or gradually and may be constant but worse while sitting down. Other symptoms may include numbness in the pelvic region, pain during sex, and feeling a swelling sensation in your buttocks and genital regions.
Tailbone Pain
The tailbone, also known as the coccyx, is the small, triangular bone at the bottom of the spine. Tailbone pain is usually caused by trauma to the area resulting from

  • a fall
  • a blow to the area
  • repetitive friction in the area – from bicycling, for example
  • prolonged sitting on a hard surface
  • joint degeneration
  • injury to a woman’s tailbone during childbirth

Symptoms of tailbone injury include severe, localized pain and tenderness and possibly bruising.

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Pain Management Specialists
in The Woodlands

Pain Management Center of Houston is a multi-faceted pain management practice that is focused on providing pain relief to patients in The Woodlands and surrounding areas. Our goal is to help patients find the cause of their ongoing pain so that we can not only provide relief, but treat the source of the pain.

Start your path to pain relief, a better future, and a more promising quality of life.

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What is Radiofrequency Ablation?
After identifying which spinal nerves are causing a patient’s back pain, the doctor performs radiofrequency ablation to deactivate the part of those nerves that are signaling pain. Guided with x-ray imagery, the doctor guides a tiny probe into the spinal area until it is positioned next to the targeted nerve. Electrical pulses are passed through the probe, heating it up and destroying the part of the nerve that was sending pain signals to the brain. The targeted nerves still function, they’re just unable to transmit pain sensations.

There is a numbing agent given to the local area being treated. The patient remains awake during the procedure that usually takes less than an hour. Patients are able to go home the same day.

What is COOLIEF* Radiofrequency Ablation?
Like other radiofrequency ablation procedures, COOLIEF* disrupts pain signals. Unlike other radiofrequency ablation procedures, COOLIEF* uses water-cooled technology. Water is circulated through the probe at the same time the nerves are being heated. This creates a larger treatment area that leads to better, long-term pain relief and ensures that pain-transmitting nerves being targeted are not overheated, which protects surrounding muscle tissues from side effects like inflammation. COOLIEF* is simply a better version of a proven pain-relieving procedure.
What is Radiofrequency Ablation?
After identifying which spinal nerves are causing a patient’s back pain, the doctor performs radiofrequency ablation to deactivate the part of those nerves that are signaling pain. Guided with x-ray imagery, the doctor guides a tiny probe into the spinal area until it is positioned next to the targeted nerve. Electrical pulses are passed through the probe, heating it up and destroying the part of the nerve that was sending pain signals to the brain. The targeted nerves still function, they’re just unable to transmit pain sensations.

There is a numbing agent given to the local area being treated. The patient remains awake during the procedure that usually takes less than an hour. Patients are able to go home the same day.

What is COOLIEF* Radiofrequency Ablation?
Like other radiofrequency ablation procedures, COOLIEF* disrupts pain signals. Unlike other radiofrequency ablation procedures, COOLIEF* uses water-cooled technology. Water is circulated through the probe at the same time the nerves are being heated. This creates a larger treatment area that leads to better, long-term pain relief and ensures that pain-transmitting nerves being targeted are not overheated, which protects surrounding muscle tissues from side effects like inflammation. COOLIEF* is simply a better version of a proven pain-relieving procedure.