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Back Pain Specialist

Apex Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

John H. Bissell, MD

Physiatrist and Pain Management Physician located in Colorado Springs, CO

If you find it hard to live a normal life because of back pain, there are many innovative treatments available that avoid invasive surgery. Board-certified pain management physician John Bissell, MD, of Apex Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Colorado Springs, Colorado, offers a range of such treatments for back pain. Under Dr. Bissell's expert care, you can benefit from cutting edge therapies, including ketamine infusions and platelet-rich plasma (PRP). To find out more, call Apex Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation to schedule an appointment or book online today.

Back Pain Q&A

What causes acute back pain?

Acute back pain is sudden and often intense, typically occurring during an activity such as:

  • Lifting heavy items
  • Using incorrect lifting techniques
  • Moving awkwardly
  • Twisting suddenly
  • Overexerting yourself
  • Falling over or falling from a height

Acute back injuries are common and range in severity from a mild muscle sprain that heals in a few days to severe, life-changing spinal damage.

Sports injuries are a common cause of acute back pain. Without the right treatment, they may fail to heal properly, leading to chronic back pain.

What causes chronic back pain?

Chronic back pain develops more slowly and is usually a result of a disease or degenerative condition of the spine, such as:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Herniated disc
  • Spondylosis
  • Spondylolisthesis

Chronic back pain can lead to acute pain attacks in some instances; for example, if you have osteoporosis, the weakening of the bones that make up your spine can result in vertebral compression fractures.

Another common cause of chronic back pain is overuse and repetitive strain. Repeating the same movements repeatedly for months or years can lead to excessive wear and inflammation in the affected tissues. Something as simple as persistently poor posture can lead to chronic back pain.

Should I stay in bed if I have back pain?

Years ago, people tried to move as little as possible when they had back pain and tended to stay in bed or otherwise immobilized for weeks or even months. However, this isn't the best approach – generally, it's best not to stay in bed when you have back pain.

Resting and avoiding the activities that aggravate your pain is wise, but keep moving or you could slow your recovery, and your issues could worsen. 

Gentle heat and the use of ice packs combined with over-the-counter pain relief remedies are often effective in relieving mild back pain.

If you have moderate to severe back pain or a few days of self-care doesn't resolve mild back pain, contact Apex Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

How is back pain treated?

To plan your treatment for back pain, Dr. Bissell needs to diagnose the cause. A physical exam, review of your medical history, and diagnostic methods such as X-rays, CT or MRI scans, and electromyography (EMG) can usually pinpoint the problem.

The treatment you require for your back pain can vary depending on the cause and how severe your pain and disability are. Dr. Bissell specializes in using non-surgical approaches for treating back pain, which may include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Epidural injections
  • Transforaminal epidural steroid injection (TFESI)
  • Manual therapy
  • Strengthening program
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Ketamine infusions
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)

Find out how to relieve your back pain by calling Apex Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation or book an appointment online today.