Aging does not mean a decrease in function or muscle atrophy. But as people age, they may experience back pain. Dr. Farzad Sabet, Shasta Orthopaedics’ back pain specialist, first approaches back pain issues with conservative treatment options, such as getting in shape, stretching, taking anti-inflammatory medication, doing physical therapy and having chiropractic adjustments.
If patients are still experiencing back pain, Dr. Sabet schedules an MRI to look at the facet joints–the connections between the bones of the spine. From the physical examination the doctor can determine if the pain is coming from the facet joints.
Many patients experience relief from receiving facet joint injections. If the relief is temporary, Dr. Sabet may recommend cauterization of the nerves that go to the facet joints, a procedure that involves inserting a needle around the facet joints and burning the nerve supply of each facet joint separately. The area is numbed and the procedure takes less than half an hour. Epidural injection techniques can also offer pain relief.