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Back Pain Specialist

Louisiana Pain Institute

Cathy Zhang, MD

Pain Management & Cosmetics located in Covington, LA & Denham Springs, LA

Back pain is the sixth most costly condition in the United States, with millions of workdays lost each year. If back pain keeps you from living life to the fullest, contact Cathy Zhang, MD, at Louisiana Pain Institute, with locations in Covington and Denham Springs, Louisiana. Dr. Zhang can help you figure out what’s causing your back pain, then take steps to solve it. To learn more about your options, book a back pain consultation online or over the phone today.

Back Pain Q&A

When should I see a physician for back pain?

Back pain is a broad category with countless causes. If your back pain exceeds that of daily aches and pains, you may benefit from the many nonsurgical and minimally invasive services that Dr. Zhang offers.

Consider a visit if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Pain accompanied by unexplained weight loss
  • Pain that lasts longer than a few weeks
  • Severe pain that isn’t improving
  • Back pain that radiates down one or both legs, especially if it extends beneath the knee

Dr. Zhang offers solutions for acute and chronic back pain.

How do you diagnose back pain?

To find out the source of your back pain, Dr. Zhang goes over your medical history and your habits. Then she performs an exam and any needed tests.

During the initial examination, Dr. Zhang assesses your ability to lift your legs, sit, stand, and walk. She sees how far you can bend your back without major pain and whether you have muscle spasms. 

Dr. Zhang asks you to assess your pain on a 0-10 scale during these exercises. She also asks how your back pain affects your everyday life.

To confirm or rule out a diagnosis, she may order X-rays, an MRI, or a CT scan.

How do you treat back pain?

Dr. Zhang provides multimodal care for your back pain. Sometimes, the best course of action is physical therapy, or physical therapy with medication, like anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxers. She may also suggest topical creams.

If conservative treatments aren’t sufficient to relieve your pain, Dr. Zhang may suggest:

Epidural steroid injections

Epidural steroid injections contain steroids like cortisone and an anesthetic. The steroid decreases inflammation around your nerve roots, and the anesthetic numbs the local area.

The Vertiflex™ Procedure

The Vertiflex Procedure relieves chronic back pain caused by nerve compression, like sciatica or lumbar spinal stenosis.

During this same-day, minimally invasive procedure, Dr. Zhang implants a small spacer inside the spine to open it up, decompress the nerves, and provide stability.

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)

Radiofrequency ablation relieves back pain by heating nerve tissue to prevent it from sending pain signals. Dr. Zhang inserts a thin needle into the area where you feel pain, then delivers a microelectrode to the tissue. 

Once the electrode is in place, she delivers a small amount of radiofrequency through the needle. This heats up the nerve tissue and stops the pain signals after a few minutes.

Spinal cord stimulator

Spinal cord stimulators can help with many types of back pain, including failed back surgery syndrome, peripheral vascular disease of the lower extremities, diabetic peripheral neuropathy, chronic low back pain, and chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS).

Dr. Zhang implants spinal cord stimulators under the skin, where they send electrical signals through your spinal cord nerves to block pain. 

The Minuteman® fusion device

Made by Spinal Simplicity, the Minuteman is designed to immobilize and stabilize spinal segments in the thoracic, lumbar, and sacral regions while you wait for bony fusion. The Minuteman is minimally invasive and offers an alternative to traditional pedicle screws.

To find and address the root cause of your back pain, set up an appointment at Louisiana Pain Institute online or over the phone today.