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Lower Back Pain Specialist

Nebraska Pain Institute

Pain Management Specialist

It’s estimated that 10% of adults suffer from chronic lower back pain, and it’s one of the primary reasons people go to the doctor. Dr. C. Weston Whitten at the Nebraska Pain Institute in Lincoln, Nebraska, offers a number of treatment options to help alleviate low back pain, including medial branch blocks and radiofrequency ablation. For help with your lower back pain, call the office or click to schedule an appointment online.

Lower Back Pain Q & A

What causes lower back pain?

Muscle and ligament strains are the most common causes of lower back pain. This type of pain usually resolves within a few months, if not sooner.

If you’ve been experiencing lower back pain for more than three months, then the cause may be related to a disc, joint, or nerve problem. Common low back conditions that lead to chronic pain include:

  • Facet or sacroiliac joint dysfunction
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Herniated disc
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Scoliosis
  • Degenerative disc disease or osteoarthritis
  • Trauma or a compression fracture

What is lumbar scoliosis?

Lumbar scoliosis is a degenerative spine condition characterized by a sideways or S-shaped curve in the spine. It’s a different condition than adolescent-onset scoliosis that occurs during a young person’s growth spurt before puberty.

With degenerative scoliosis, the discs and joints in your spine wear down as you get older, causing them to move and create the asymmetry. This form of scoliosis can cause back pain, ranging from a dull ache to severe pain that travels down your leg.

How is lower back pain treated?

Due to the variations in pain and its many causes, Dr. Whitten offers a number of treatment options to help improve lower back pain, including:

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Narcotics or muscle relaxants
  • Back braces
  • Steroid injections into the site of the pain to reduce inflammation
  • Radiofrequency ablation

What is a medial branch block?

A medial branch block is a diagnostic procedure Dr. Whitten uses to help identify the source of your lower back pain. He injects an anesthetic near one or more nerves connected to facet joints in your spine. If you experience pain relief, Dr. Whitten can pinpoint that area as the source of your pain and offer more directed treatment. You may need several injections to find the exact origin of the pain.

What is radiofrequency ablation?

A radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure Dr. Whitten performs to treat lower back pain. Using a special live X-ray as a guide, he uses radiofrequency energy to heat the nerve causing your lower back pain, which inhibits its ability to send pain signals to your brain. The procedure takes 30-90 minutes to perform, and you can go home after it’s completed.

Pain relief isn’t immediate, but you should feel a reduction in pain within two to three weeks after radiofrequency ablation.

If you’re suffering from low back pain and would like to know more about your treatment options for relief, call the office or book an appointment online.