Atlantic Coast Spine & Pain Center
R. Blake Kline, MD
Interventional Pain Management & Anesthesiologist located in Conway, SC
Degenerative disc disease can make it difficult to get through your daily routine. Many people believe that the condition is just another part of growing older, but thanks to advanced treatment options, that’s no longer true. At Atlantic Coast Spine & Pain Center, Dr. R. Blake Kline provides safe and effective treatments for degenerative disc disease. When you’re ready to get back on your feet and back into action, call or use the online scheduling tool to find a convenient appointment time at the Conway, South Carolina, office.
Degenerative Disc Disease Q & A
What is degenerative disc disease?
Your spine has 23 vertebral discs. Degenerative disc disease occurs when these tissues begin to break down.
Your spinal discs serve as shock absorbers between your spinal vertebrae. They’re made of an inner core of gel with a network of fibers surrounded by tough collagen fibers.
Your discs are smooth and relatively pliable when you’re young. As you age, they become more rigid and stiff. As the tissue degrades or sustains injuries, you may start to experience spinal instability and inflammation.
What are some treatment options for degenerative disc disease?
It can take time to find the right treatment for degenerative disc disease. You might try a back brace to limit motion in your lower back and reduce pain.
Another option is radiofrequency ablation, a minimally invasive procedure that limits the transmission of pain signals. The process begins with IV sedation and a topical anesthetic.
Next, Dr. Kline uses a particular form of X-ray imaging to guide a needle to the nerves. A small electrical current is sent through the needle to identify which nerves are sending the pain signals.
Dr. Kline then uses radiofrequency waves to create a heat lesion on the targeted nerves. Doing this disrupts the transmission of pain signals. The process is repeated on as many nerves as needed.
Stem cell therapy is also an effective tool for addressing degenerative disc disease. Injecting your body’s stem cells to the injury site can promote swift healing and help regenerate damaged tissue.
How are facet joint problems diagnosed?
Your facet joints allow your back to move in a twisting motion. Degenerative disc disease can create inflammation in your facet joints.
Dr. Kline can diagnose facet joint problems with a medial branch block. This procedure involves injecting an anesthetic near the medial nerves of a facet joint.
If the injection provides immediate pain relief, Dr. Kline moves forward with treatment options for that portion of your spine, with radiofrequency ablation and facet joint injections being two options.
What are facet joint injections?
These injections can be used diagnostically and as a tool for producing lasting pain relief.
Dr. Kline injects a blend of an anesthetic and a steroidal anti-inflammatory medication into the facet joint that he suspects is the source of your pain. If immediate pain relief follows, then that joint is identified as the problem area.
To begin a path toward fixing your degenerative disc disease, contact Atlantic Coast Spine & Pain Center today.