Back Pain

Sherwin Hua, MD

Neurosurgeon located in the Bay Area, California

Back pain can develop for numerous reasons, and in fact, back pain is one of the most common causes of discomfort and restricted movement in the US. Board-certified neurosurgeon Sherwin Hua, MD, is a world-leading pioneer in spine surgery and welcomes patients from throughout the Bay Area to his DimeSpine Neurosurgery practice, which has locations in Campbell, Hayward, San Francisco, and San Jose, California. Dr. Hua provides a comprehensive range of treatments for back pain, including the revolutionary approach to spinal surgery called the DimeSpine technique. Find out more by calling DimeSpine Neurosurgery today or request an appointment online.

Back Pain Q & A

What causes back pain?

Back pain tends to be caused either by injury or tissue deterioration.

Sporting injuries, whiplash from being in an auto accident, and falls, trips, and other common mishaps are responsible for many cases of acute back pain. These injuries can strain muscles, tear ligaments, or cause problems like fractures and ruptured discs.

Improperly treated, these acute injuries can become chronic pain problems. Other causes of back pain are typically related to wear-and-tear or tissue degeneration, such as:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Osteoporosis
  • Spondylolysis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Herniated discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Radiculopathy 

Wear-and-tear and age-related degeneration happen slowly over the years, although overuse and injury can accelerate the rate of progress.

How is back pain treated?

For most people who have chronic back pain, less invasive therapies are often highly effective. Your treatment plan could include:

  • Rest and gentle exercise
  • Pain medication
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Physical therapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Massage
  • Acupuncture
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Nerve blocks

For patients who aren’t responding to these treatments, Dr. Hua can trial a spinal cord stimulator implant that helps control pain by disrupting pain signals with electrical pulses.

If your back pain continues despite giving these therapies time to work, Dr. Hua can discuss the option of spinal surgery through the most minimally invasive and most advanced techniques to date.

What kinds of surgery could help with back pain?

Dr. Hua is a leading spinal surgeon who offers the latest advances in spinal surgery to patients at DimeSpine. He developed a revolutionary approach called the DimeSpine Fusion technique, which uses the smallest incisions to perform surgeries, including transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) and posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF).

These surgeries involve making incisions that are 16-18 millimeters in length, or the same size as a dime. Dr. Hua can take out any damaged tissues like parts of ruptured discs, then fuse the vertebrae on either side to restabilize your spine.

If you have sciatica, Dr. Hua can relieve your pain using microdiscectomy surgery, which is comparable to endoscopic or laparoscopic surgical techniques.  If you have foraminal stenosis, Dr. Hua can use purely endoscopic techniques, for which he only needs to make incisions of 10mm or less.

Dr. Hua also believes in performing lamina-preserving spinal decompression surgery as an alternative to laminectomy for spinal stenosis and spondylosis. Rather than removing the roof of the vertebrae, which is called the lamina, to make room for the spinal cord, Dr. Hua removes ligament overgrowth and shaves the bone but preserves the main structure and support system of the vertebrate.

He can also create a hinge in the lamina that enables him to open the vertebrae up to accommodate the spinal cord without losing structural integrity, called laminoplasty in the cervical spine.

These surgeries require exceptional skill and knowledge, but Dr. Hua is one of the most outstanding spinal surgeons in the US and a pioneer in the field of minimally invasive spine surgery.

If you need help resolving back pain, call DimeSpine today to request an appointment with Dr. Hua, or use the online booking tool.