Back Pain Specialist

Rio Grande Pain Team

Pain Medicine located in Weslaco, TX & McAllen, TX

Your spine supports your whole body and is constantly in motion, so it’s not a surprise to learn that most adults experience back pain over the years. In about 10% of all cases, back pain evolves into a chronic and debilitating problem. Dennis Slavin, MD at Rio Grande Pain Team specializes in pain management, providing targeted treatment that effectively relieves back pain. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Weslaco, Texas or book an appointment online.

Back Pain Q & A

What causes lower back pain?

In many patients, back pain develops from strained muscles due to an overuse injury, lifting heavy objects, or everyday activities.

As you get older, lower back pain is more likely to arise from degenerative changes such as osteoarthritis.

The most common causes of lower back pain include:

  • Arthritis
  • Bone spurs
  • Herniated disc
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Injuries (sports, accident, overuse)
  • Slipped disc (spondylolisthesis)
  • Narrowing of spinal canal (spinal stenosis)
  • Compression fracture due to osteoporosis
  • Compressed nerves (sciatica, radiculopathy)

Although back pain originates in inflamed and compressed spinal nerves, the type of pain can range from a burning ache to a sharp, debilitating pain. In some patients, the pain is constant, while others have severe attacks followed by a pain-free period.

Will I develop symptoms other than pain?

When a nerve in the spine is compressed or damaged, you may feel symptoms anywhere along the nerve. Lower back pain is typically associated with sciatica, which is when the sciatic nerve is compressed at the spine.

The sciatic nerve travels from your spine, through the buttocks, then down each leg. As a result, it causes pain that radiates down the affected leg. It can also cause tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness.

How is back pain treated?

Physical therapy and structured exercise are important parts of a treatment plan for back pain. They reduce inflammation, strengthen muscles, and help you maintain movement.

However, your pain may make it difficult, if not impossible, to engage in physical activities. That’s when you need interventional pain management.

Dr. Slavin specializes in interventional pain management, which identifies the source of your pain, then uses different types of treatments that target the source of your pain.

A few examples of interventional treatments include:

  • Nerve block therapies: Pain is blocked with medication injected at a specific nerve
  • Spinal cord stimulation: Mild electrical stimulation blocks pain-causing nerve signals
  • Epidural steroid injections: Reduce inflammation and provide pain relief for several nerves
  • Facet joint injections: Steroids injected into the joints reduce inflammation

Dr. Slavin administers interventional treatments in the office, and your recovery from the procedure and your pain is quick.

To learn more about treatments for back pain, call Rio Grande Pain Team or book an appointment online.