“We have multiple treatment options available," says Ahmed Sewielam, M.D., chief of Spine Center and Interventional Pain Management at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic. “Our first challenge is to correctly identify the cause of the pain, which requires a medical visit.”
Dr. Sewielam says that back pain comes in many forms, including lower back pain with sciatica – pain originating in the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back down the back of legs.
“Sciatica symptoms may include shooting pains, burning sensations and weakness in the leg,” he says.
Common causes can include nerve, joint and muscular disorders; compressed discs; and arthritis.
“A rehabilitation program with physician and patient working together is often key to reducing or relieving the pain,” he says. “Many patients benefit from physical therapy that includes back-strengthening exercises.”
Treatments may also include anti-inflammatory medications and, in some cases, muscle relaxants may be prescribed for short-term use.
"For severe pain, we may recommend minimally invasive spine injections and nerve blocks," he says. “We also have the surgical option. But even for patients with herniated discs, only a small percent are eventually considered for surgery.”
Dr. Sewielam believes chronic pain is a disease in itself and should never be ignored.
“Schedule an appointment and start the treatment that’s right for you,” concludes Dr. Sewielam, who sees patients only by referral at Kelsey-Seybold’s Fort Bend Medical and Diagnostic Center in Sugar Land, and Main Campus clinic near the Texas Medical Center.