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Neck Pain And Back Pain – May Not Require Surgery


Neck pain and back pain are one of the most common health problems faced by adults. Most of the time, self-care techniques such as rest and over the counter medication can help. But, when the pain becomes chronic interfering with daily activities, you may need additional treatment. Pain Intervention is one of the treatment options that can increase the patient’s quality of life.


Dr. Pornpan Chalermkitpanit, a pain management specialist, Bangkok Spine Academy,Bangkok International Hospital, explained that office Syndrome is caused by misuse of muscle, such as staying in the same posture for a prolonged period or spend many hours in front of a computer. Symptoms include shoulder pain, back pain, and neck pain. Most patients will get better after stopping the same behavior, taking medications, massage, acupuncture, or physical therapy. However, if there are still repetitive injuries, this will lead to spine problem in the future.


Causes of chronic neck pain and back pain

Most patients who suffer chronic neck pain or back pain are having spinal condition with muscle strain. The muscles along the spine help stabilize and support the spine. If the pain does not go away within 1 month, there might be a spinal condition causing the pain.


Signs of chronic neck pain and back pain

  • Chronic neck pain or back pain longer than 1 month
  • Numbness of hands/legs (not getting better after taking medications of physical therapy)
  • If the pain interferes with daily activities, seek medical attention immediately.


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The doctor will take history, perform physical examination, and order an MRI scan or an injection to identify cause of pain. These will help pinpoint the cause of pain, so together the doctor can create a plan for relief.


Get back to living without surgery

Most patients who suffer from chronic neck pain or back pain think that surgery is the only treatment option. Therefore, most patients do not come to see a doctor at the early stage but wait until the pain interferes with daily activities or sleep. Fortunately, most of those cases resolve without surgical treatment. Surgery is indicated only after non-surgical treatment has been tried and failed.


Pinpoint the cause of pain

At Bangkok Spine Academy, Bangkok Hospital, we focus on identifying the cause of pain using pain intervention method. Diagnostically, injections with numbing medication can be used to help determine which structure in the back is generating pain. After the injection, the patient feels temporary relief after an anatomic region is injected, it can then be inferred that the specific region is the source of the pain. When considered in conjunction with a patient’s history, physical examination, and imaging studies, this can be very helpful in guiding further treatment for the patient.

Moreover, injections can be useful for providing pain relief. It can be more effective than an oral medication because they deliver medication directly to the anatomic location that is generating the pain. Depending on the type of injection, some forms of pain relief may last around 3-4 months. In addition, radiofrequency ablation is another treatment option that can provide 6-9 months pain relief. These treatment options help the patient getting back to normal life without having to take long-term medication.


Pain intervention treatment

Dr. Pornpan explained that pain intervention is a diagnostic injection to identify the specific site of pain. This can be done in the patient who have chronic neck pain or back pain. The doctor will use ultrasound guided method for cervical spine and x-ray guided method for thoracic and lumbar spine. The duration of treatment for each location is around 30-60 minutes in a sterile room. This can be done without anesthesia. The injection needle is smaller than the one using to draw blood for blood test. After the procedure, the patient will have to stay 1 hour in a recovery room for observation and can go back home or to work immediately.

The procedure can reduces the pain around 70-80% in patients who cannot undergo surgery or can help identify the vertebral level or nerve root that is causing the pain before the surgery. This can increase the success rate of the surgery and reduce the recovery time. 

Dr. Pornpan also advised that office workers who are suffering from office syndrome should change the posture frequently, sit correctly, and stretch the muscle every hour. This allow the muscles to rest and avoid any prolonged strain.

However, if you are suffering from neck pain or back pain, it is best to seek medical attention immediately in order to identify the cause and treat it early. Early treatment can help the patient getting back to normal life faster. You do not have to keep living with pain. Let us help you get back to enjoying life.