Back Pain Specialist

Southern Pain and Regenerative Medicine

Pain Management and Anesthesiology & Interventional Radiology located in Memphis, TN & Union City, TN

Of all the adults who struggle through a bout of back pain, 1 in 5 won’t improve. Instead, their back pain turns into a long-lasting and often debilitating problem. At Southern Pain and Regenerative Medicine, Thomas Hodgkiss, MD, offers customized treatment for back pain using many possible interventional medicine options that go to the source of your pain. When you need more than conservative medical care for back pain, call one of the offices in Memphis and Union City, Tennessee, or book an appointment online.

Back Pain Q&A

What causes back pain?

Back pain often starts when you pull a muscle lifting something heavy, fall, or suffer a sports injury. Overuse injuries are another common cause of back pain. These injuries develop gradually as you repeat the same movements, frequently placing stress on the same muscles.

Over the years, the structures that support your back go through degenerative changes. These changes lead to painful problems such as:

  • Spinal stenosis
  • Herniated discs
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Slipped vertebrae

These conditions often lead to radiculopathy, or as it’s more commonly known, pinched nerves. 

What other symptoms accompany back pain?

In addition to back pain, you may lose some mobility or develop muscle spasms. Pinched nerves can also cause pain and tingling that travel along the length of the nerve. 

Sciatica is a well-known example of radiculopathy. This condition, which is caused by a pinched sciatic nerve, causes severe, sharp pain that shoots down one leg. In severe cases, a pinched nerve leads to numbness and muscle weakness. 

How is back pain diagnosed?

As a holistic health care provider, Dr. Hodgkiss focuses on identifying the root cause of your back pain. Your assessment includes a physical exam and a thorough review of your symptoms. 

Depending on the results of your exam, Dr. Hodgkiss may perform or order additional tests. You may need blood tests, X-rays, an MRI or CT scan, nerve function studies, or a bone scan.

How is back pain treated?

Back pain treatment typically begins with conservative care such as anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes that take stress off your back.

When you still have back pain despite your initial treatment, Dr. Hodgkiss recommends treatments that draw from a wide range of interventional therapies, such as:

  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Radiofrequency (RF) ablation
  • Spinal cord stimulation
  • Intrathecal pain pump
  • Therapeutic discography
  • Kyphoplasty
  • Sacroplasty
  • Basivertebral RF ablation (for advanced arthritis)

These treatments all target the source of your pain using different techniques. Epidural steroid injections and an intrathecal pain pump both deliver medications into the space along your spine. Steroids reduce inflammation, while the pump provides pain-relieving medication.

RF ablation uses heat, while spinal cord stimulation uses a mild electrical pulse to block the pain signals that travel from the spinal cord to your brain. 

Kyphoplasty and sacroplasty treat spinal fractures caused by osteoporosis. Both minimally invasive procedures use bone cement to restore and strengthen the collapsed bones.

You can get relief from back pain at Southern Pain and Regenerative Medicine. Schedule an appointment today by calling or booking online.