The Southeastern Spine Institute

Opioid abuse reached a crisis level in 2018, but prescribing opioids under the guidance of a physician in therapeutic doses is still an efficient and effective way to alleviate back pain. The physicians at the Southeastern Spine Institute (SSI) are highly trained specialists in back pain management. Your spinal medicine physician determines the cause of your pain and then finds a treatment plan that’s right for you.

Your doctors realize that you mainly just want a better quality of life. Back pain not only keeps you from doing the things you love, it keeps you from doing the things you need to do. Left untreated, chronic back pain can even lead to anxiety and depression. But getting you on your feet and back to your daily activities doesn’t necessarily have to involve prescribing opioids or long-term treatment plans.

Types of Back Pain and Treatment Options

Prescribing opioids is rarely the first option. There are many causes of back pain, ranging from poor posture to accidental injury to damage because of inflammatory disease. Determining the type of back pain helps guide your doctor in the course of your treatment.

Common causes of back pain and associated treatments include:

  • Poor posture. A common source of back pain, it’s easily treated with physical therapy and education about proper posture and alignment.
  • Chronic back pain. Chronic pain can be a result of an injury or accident. You may experience great improvement with several types of injections such as:
  • Pain from cancer. Cancer in your abdomen can be relieved by a celiac plexus block.
  • Severe back pain due to injury. An accident or degenerative disease may require surgery. Prescribing opioids and physical therapy may also be a part of your treatment.

A healthy back is comprised of a series of nerves, discs, bones and ligaments, and each has a specific function. They all must be in proper alignment, too. When any element is injured or diseased, the result is back pain. Treating back pain at its source not only helps relieve your pain, but also prevents further damage.

What You Need to Know About Opioids

Your SSI doctors can determine if prescribing opioids is the right course of treatment for you. If you’re prescribed opioids, a few factors you should know include:

  • Opioids can be a successful part of your treatment plan after back surgery or for chronic pain that has no treatment.
  • There are several types of opioids, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine and morphine.
  • Opioids are highly addictive. Improperly using them can lead to abuse and addiction.
  • Opioids have side effects such as nausea, confusion, hallucinations and constipation.
  • Opioids should only be taken as prescribed by your physician.

There are many causes of back pains and many more types of treatments. Surgical and non-surgical options are discussed as part of your customized treatment at SSI. Prescribing opioids may be necessary for long-term use if you’re in chronic pain. Follow the guidance of your physicians as they develop a treatment plan that’s unique and right for you.