If you experience chronic low back pain (CLBP), you may have questions: What’s causing it? What do my symptoms mean? Will my condition worsen as I age? How can I find relief?

You’re looking for answers—and you’re not alone. Unlike other debilitating conditions, researchers have never truly known how many people suffer from CLBP. Until recently, many patients have been left in the dark about the cause of their pain or their options for treatment.

As revealed in the Mobility Matters: Landmark Survey on Chronic Low Back Pain in America, created in partnership with The Harris Poll, there are many misconceptions about chronic low back pain, including its potential causes, symptoms, and treatment options.

Before this survey, we didn’t know which patients were suffering the most, or how the CLBP experience may change through life’s decades. In this blog, we’ll share the results of the survey, explore a common, yet often undiagnosed, cause of CLBP, and discuss some of the treatment options available for patients seeking relief.

According to Mobility Matters: Landmark survey on chronic low back pain in America, an infographic. More than 72 million US adults report experiencing CLBP. 27 millions have never been told exactly what's causing their CLBP. More than 8 in 10 wish there were better treatment options for CLBP. Silhouette image of a woman with shopping cart syndrome leaning on a shopping cart to alleviate back pain symptoms. Silhouette image of a man sitting down on a chair to alleviate his back pain.

See more insights from the survey here >

Introducing the Mobility Index

As we grow older, it can be difficult to assess which mobility challenges are a normal part of aging, and which ones may indicate a condition such as CLBP. The Mobility Index, developed as part of the national Know Your Back Story campaign, was designed to demonstrate how older adults could be moving through life if chronic low back or leg pain was not a limiting factor.

Through the Decades: How Does Your Mobility Measure Up?

Poll results show that with age, CLBP patients experience significantly greater challenges performing physical tasks and making it through the day without pain than their peers who do not suffer from low back pain.

Infographic - Mobility Index through the decades. Comparing pain and mobility differences between people with and without chronic low back pain (CLBP) in their 50s. Stand for 30+ minutes: 76% without CLBP, 33% with CLBP. Walk 1+mile: 75% without CLBP, 36% with CLBP. Dance through entire song: 77% without CLBP, 41% with CLBP. Often make it through day without any physical pain: 70% without CLBP, 30% with CLBP. Infographic - Mobility Index through the decades. Comparing pain and mobility differences between people with and without chronic low back pain (CLBP) in their 60s. Stand for 30+ minutes: 77% without CLBP, 35% with CLBP. Jogging: 50% without CLBP, 13% with CLBP. Satisfied with how well my body gets around: 80% without CLBP, 45% with CLBP. Often make it through day without any physical pain: 73% without CLBP, 31% with CLBP.Infographic - Mobility Index through the decades. Comparing pain and mobility differences between people with and without chronic low back pain (CLBP) 65 and older. Going up and down stairs: 79% without CLBP, 44% with CLBP. Walk 1+ mile: 70% without CLBP, 35% with CLBP. Satisfied with how well my body gets around: 81% without CLBP, 42% with CLBP. Often make it through day without any physical pain: 76% without CLBP, 31% with CLBP.Infographic - Mobility Index through the decades. Comparing pain and mobility differences between people with and without chronic low back pain (CLBP) in their 70s. Stand for 30+ minutes: 73% without CLBP, 36% with CLBP. Go up and down stairs: 80% without CLBP, 46% with CLBP. Gt up and down from floor: 66% without CLBP, 28% with CLBP. Often make it through day without any physical pain: 77% without CLBP, 31% with CLBP.

What Could You Do With Fewer Limitations?

If you’re suffering from CLBP, you’re already familiar with the limits your pain can put on daily tasks and activities. But do you know just how much you could be doing without these obstacles?

Image: A physician in a white doctor's coat smiles and reassures an elderly patient, a smiling woman wearing a sweater. Text: Standing for 30+ Minutes. Among adults who don't suffer from CLBP, nearly 3 in 4 individuals aged 50-79 are able to easily stand for 30 minutes or longer. In contrast, the number of CLBP patients in the same age range who can do the same is just over 3 in 10.

Mobility In Your 50s

For CLBP patients in their 50s, having difficulty doing physical activities that were once a regular part of life, such as walking a mile or dancing for the duration of one song, can feel especially discouraging.

Image: Silhouettes of people walking lengthening distances on a chart. CLBP patients in their 50s that can easily walk for one mile or more, only 36%. Can easily dance through an entire song, only 41%. 50-somethings without CLBP that report being able to do these activities with ease, over 75%.

Mobility In Your 60s

For people in their 60s, there are some activities like—jogging—that aren’t for everyone. Even among individuals without CLBP, only 50% of respondents in their 60s reported the ability to jog with ease. However, for patients suffering with chronic low back pain, this number plummets to only 13%.

2 circle graphs. One shows 50% complete, the other only shows 13% complete.

And whether jogging, walking, or doing anything else, fewer than half of CLBP patients in their 60s say they feel satisfied with how their body gets around. In contrast, 80% of 60-somethings without CLBP are satisfied with their mobility.

2 circle graphs. One shows 80% complete, the other only shows 45% complete.

Image: Elderly woman holding coffee mug, with glasses on her head, looking in the distance. Text: 7 in 10 patients between 50 and 79 say they are often unable to make it through the day without pain. Graph description: 10 body silhouettes, 7 out of 10 are colored in blue. 3 remain grey. 2nd graph description: 10 body silhouettes, 3 out of 10 are colored in navy blue. 7 remain grey. Text: Among their peers, this number drops to 3 in 10.

Mobility In Your 70s

Did you know that 80% of people in their 70s without CLBP are able to easily go up and down the stairs? If you are a CLBP sufferer in your 70s, you may have a much different experience, as fewer than half of CLBP patients in their 70s reported the same mobility using stairs.

Image: Elderly Hispanic couple walking down a staircase, hands on the banister, both smiling. Text: I can go up and down the stairs with ease. Graph: 80% shows non-CLBP, 45% shows CLBP.

Getting up from the floor is another activity that impacts CLBP sufferers much more than their peers who don’t experience chronic pain. While 66% of 70-somethings without CLBP reported ease in getting up or down from the floor, only 28% of those with CLBP were able to say the same.

Image: White man in his 60s, sitting on the floor, receiving a helping hand, smiling and getting pulled up. Text: I can get up or down from the floor with ease. Non-CLBP 66%. CLBP 28%.

Could An Enlarged Ligament Be Causing Your Low Back Pain?

Image: White man in his 60s, sitting, hunched over in pain, with his hand on his lower back. Text: 84% of people suffering from CLBP report moderate or severe pain

One cause of low back pain that often goes undiagnosed is an enlarged ligament, which can contribute to lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS), a common, yet overlooked, condition that millions of people may be unaware of.

Image: White woman in her 60s, sitting, hunched over in pain, with her hand on her lower back. Text: 78% of adults with chronic low back pain don't know that an enlarged ligament could be the cause.

What Is Lumbar Spinal Stenosis?

Lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) is a common, yet overlooked, condition that is prevalent in nearly 20% of patients over the age of 60.

LSS is often caused by an enlarged ligament in the back, which compresses the space in the spinal canal and puts pressure on the nerves in the lower back. This pressure around the spinal cord can cause pain, numbness, heaviness, or tingling in the low back, legs, and buttocks.

How CLBP Impacts Daily Life

Unsurprisingly, the chronic low back pain that may be caused by LSS has negative impacts on nearly every aspect of a patient’s life, most commonly in their abilities to exercise, stand or walk for long periods of time, and get a good night’s sleep.

US adults say CLBP has interfered with their ability to complete every day tasks: Exercising 63%, Standing 63%, Walking 58%, Getting a good night's sleep 55%

Low Back Pain & LSS Treatments

Due to its minimally invasive nature and long-lasting durability, many interventional pain management doctors are making the move to mild® as an alternative to epidural steroid injections (ESIs), which may only work in the short-term and may require repeat injections to maintain relief.

More invasive courses of treatment can include procedures such as spacer implants or open surgery, though nearly 80% of CLBP sufferers have concerns about undergoing surgery.

The mild® Procedure, or minimally invasive lumbar decompression, is considered a gold standard of care among treatments for low back pain. By addressing the root cause of pain, the enlarged ligament, mild® has helped 88% of patients avoid back surgery for at least 5 years while providing lasting relief.

For Many Sufferers of CLBP, It Doesn’t Just Go Away On Its Own.

89% of patients have been experiencing CLBP for1 year or more, with more than half (57%) experiencing it for more than 5 years. Circle graphs: 89% 1 year or more vs 57% more than 5 years.

If you’re looking for answers about your chronic low back pain, a spine health doctor can help you determine the cause and provide you with treatment options that fit your needs.

Find a spine health doctor in your area

Learn more about Mild

What is Lumbar Spinal Stenosis?

Lumbar spinal stenosis, or LSS, is a common condition in which the lower spinal canal narrows and compresses the nerves in the lower back. Lumbar spinal stenosis is generally caused by aging and natural wear and tear on the spine. With lumbar spinal stenosis, thickened ligament, overgrowth of bone, and/or bulging discs in the lower back put pressure on the spinal nerves. This pressure can cause a variety of symptoms that affect daily life, including pain and limited mobility.

Up to 85% of spinal canal narrowing is caused by thickened ligament.

Lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) is a common condition. In fact, over two million LSS patients nationwide are diagnosed and treated annually.LSS is generally found in people over the age of 50, and the likelihood of developing LSS increases with age.

Lumbar spinal stenosis is diagnosed by a medical history that includes a review of symptoms, as well as other tests that may be performed to verify LSS, including physical examinations to test mobility, and imaging such as X-rays, MRI, and CT scans.

People diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis may also have been diagnosed with, or be affected by, several other conditions of the lower back, including spondylosis, degenerative disc disease, foraminal narrowing, lateral recess narrowing, or facet hypertrophy.

Treatment options for lumbar spinal stenosis include conservative therapies (e.g., physical therapy, pain medication, chiropractic), epidural steroid injections, the mild® Procedure, spacer implants, and open surgery. mild® is an early treatment option to consider when conservative therapies are not providing adequate relief.

Illustration of an aging spine of a person suffering from lumbar spinal stenosis

mild® is the only treatment with a safety profile similar to an injection, and the lasting relief expected from back surgery.

The mild® Procedure addresses a major root cause of LSS by removing excess ligament tissue to restore space in the spinal canal.

What is Neurogenic Claudication?

Illustration of back pain caused by neurogenic claudicationIllustration of people sitting and pushing a shopping cart with neurogenic claudication
Neurogenic claudication (NC) is a syndrome, also described as a “collection of symptoms,” that is commonly diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis. Symptoms associated with NC result from the narrowing of the spinal canal that compresses the nerves in the lower back, and include pain, numbness, tingling, or heaviness in the lower back and legs. These symptoms are often brought on by walking or standing, as an upright posture places additional pressure on the nerves in the lower back. Symptoms may be relieved by sitting, bending forward, or sleeping curled in the fetal position, which can help reduce pressure on the spinal nerves.

Lumbar spinal stenosis with neurogenic claudication can be treated by a range of therapies that include conservative approaches such as medication or physical therapy, minimally invasive treatments, or surgery. The mild® Procedure is a minimally invasive option that addresses a major root cause of LSS by removing excess ligament tissue to restore space in the spinal canal. By reducing the compression on the nerves, the mild® Procedure helps restore mobility and relieve lower back and leg pain associated with neurogenic claudication.

What are the Symptoms of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis (LSS) with Neurogenic Claudication (NC)?

Symptoms of LSS with NC include pain, numbness, tingling, or heaviness while standing or walking that is relieved by sitting, bending forward, or sleeping curled in the fetal position.

Chart showing descriptions of symptoms for people suffering from lumbar stenosis with neurogenic claudication


“It affects everything you do in life. I was probably able to walk [only] 10 to 15 minutes. I told my family that unless something changed, we wouldn’t be having a big Christmas meal next year. But things changed, and we had the big dinner.”

Watch Lynn’s story

How is Lumbar Spinal Stenosis with Neurogenic Claudication Diagnosed?

Lumbar spinal stenosis with neurogenic claudication is diagnosed by a doctor or Advanced Practice Provider (APP). In addition to taking a medical history that includes a list of symptoms, other tests that may be performed to verify LSS with NC include:

  • Physical examinations to test mobility
  • X-rays
  • MRI
  • CT scan

During the patient consultation, healthcare providers may ask patients a series of questions to understand how LSS affects the patient, including:

  • How long can you stand before you need to rest?
  • How far can you walk before you need to rest?
  • Do you often lean on shopping carts and other objects for support?
  • How does pain disrupt your life?

Using these questions, providers can determine if the patient is a good candidate for mild®, a treatment that addresses a major root cause of their LSS with neurogenic claudication.

If you would like to locate a doctor who treats lumbar spinal stenosis with neurogenic claudication in your area, click here.


“When patients have neurogenic claudication, their spinal canal has narrowed. If you think about your spinal canal, it’s like a garden hose. It is a nice, round circle which allows neural input from the brain to get to the lower extremities. If the garden hose gets a kink in it, less water comes out of the hose to water your plants, or in this case, less neural information from the brain gets to the lower extremities. By debulking the excess ligament that causes the kink, we can create more space and provide relief.”

– Dr. Denis Patterson, Nevada Advanced Pain Specialists

What are Common Treatments for LSS with NC?

The following chart compares several options that are typically recommended for LSS patients when conservative therapies (e.g., physical therapy, pain medication, chiropractic) are not providing adequate relief. Every therapy has risks and benefits. Only you and your doctor can decide which option is best for you.

Infographic showing benefits of mild procedure compared to other treatments for neurogenic claudication

What is the Difference Between an Epidural Steroid Injection and the mild® Procedure?

Two common treatments for lumbar spinal stenosis with NC are epidural steroid injections and the mild® Procedure.

An epidural steroid injection, which is a medication injected in the lower spine to reduce swelling and offer pain relief, is typically offered to LSS patients when non-medical care methods like exercise and physical therapy have failed to provide relief. The steroid medication in the injection is believed to reduce inflammation which relieves pain; however, injections only treat the symptoms of LSS and do not address the root cause of the problem.

  • The effects of epidural steroid injections typically last less than 6 months
  • To provide long-term relief, patients often require 2-3 injections in the lower back on average per year
  • Steroid use is known to increase risk of infections and may cause bone loss known as osteoporosis

The mild® Procedure – Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression

The mild® Procedure is a short, outpatient procedure that can be performed using only local anesthetic and light sedation. The procedure is performed through an incision in the lower back which is smaller than the size of a baby aspirin, or the diameter of a drinking straw (5.1mm) (Figure 1). The mild® Procedure addresses a major root cause of LSS by removing excess ligament tissue which has built up around the spine. This restores space around the spinal cord, which reduces the pressure on the nerves in the lower back (Figure 3).

  • The mild® Procedure does not leave behind an implant, and patients typically resume normal activity in 24 hours with no restrictions.
  • The mild® Procedure does not require stitches, staples, or complex bandaging. Typically, patients leave the outpatient procedure facility, with just a Band-Aid covering their incision, and visit their doctor a few days post-procedure for a quick wound check to ensure healing is progressing normally.
  • mild® has a safety profile similar to epidural steroid injections, but with lasting results.
  • mild® doesn’t eliminate future treatment options because no major structural anatomy of the spine is altered.

Research identifies mild® as a first-line treatment option for LSS, with several key advantages, including lasting pain relief and increased mobility. The mild® Procedure is the only treatment with a safety profile similar to an injection, and the lasting relief expected from back surgery. A Cleveland Clinic 5-Year Study showed mild® helped 88% of patients avoid back surgery for at least 5 years while providing lasting relief.

How does mild® Procedure Treat LSS with NC?

Up to 85% of spinal canal narrowing is caused by thickened ligament. mild® addresses this major root cause of LSS, by removing excess ligament tissue using specialized tools and imaging, and leaves no implants behind.

Photos showing before and after images of a patient treated with the mild® Procedure and suffering from lumbar spinal stenosis

What Should Patients with LSS with NC Expect from Their mild® Procedure?

The mild® Procedure is a short, outpatient procedure with a safety profile similar to an injection.The procedure can be performed using only local anesthetic and light sedation and leaves no implants or stitches behind, only a Band-Aid. Most patients return to their normal activity level in 24 hours with no restrictions and see functional improvement over time. To optimize the results of the mild® Procedure, patients are encouraged to participate in a reconditioning program to regain strength and mobility.

Patients typically recover and resume normal activity within 24 hours with no restrictions.

Is the mild® Procedure an Effective Treatment for LSS with NC?

The mild® Procedure has been proven an effective treatment for LSS with NC. In a Cleveland Clinic study, mild® helped 88% of patients avoid back surgery for at least 5 years while providing lasting relief.

Every year, thousands of LSS patients are able to stand longer and walk farther with less pain, thanks to mild®.

In a separate study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic, clinicians tracked patient results for one year after the mild® Procedure. The published data showed:

  • Average standing time increased from 8 to 56 minutes with less pain
  • Average walking distance increased from 246 to 3,956 feet with less pain

Graphic showing how individuals improve standing time and walking distance after the mild® Procedure


“Before, I couldn’t walk a block without having to sit down and bend over. When I was going through the epidurals, I’d have a few days of respite and then it would kick up again. Sometimes, I didn’t have any days–it just didn’t stop hurting. My doctor told me there was a procedure called the mild® Procedure and I said, ‘let’s do it.’ Since then, I’ve been a new person. I’m not in pain; I don’t need to bend over. Every day I pinch myself and say, ‘wow.’ I’m still walking without pain.”

Watch Nicky’s Story

If You Think You May Have Lumbar Spinal Stenosis with Neurogenic Claudication, What Steps Should You Take?

If you suspect you may have lumbar spinal stenosis with neurogenic claudication, the first step is to talk to a qualified doctor who specializes in treating LSS. If you have already received a diagnosis, mild® specialists in your area can help you confirm your diagnosis and get on the path to lasting relief.

Use our Find a mild® Doctor tool to connect with an interventional pain management specialist in your local area.

There’s good news for patients suffering from chronic lower back pain caused by lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS), as effective treatment options have become more widely available. Traditionally, administering a series of epidural steroid injections (ESIs) had been considered the standard of care, but the short-term results­—typically lasting less than 6 months—left many doctors and patients looking for a more durable solution. Rather than enduring one injection after another, up to 2-3 injections per year, the minimally invasive mild® Procedure has become an increasingly sought after alternative for patients with LSS.

A recent study published in Future Medicine, highlighted some of the top reasons doctors and patients are making the move to the mild® Procedure, or, minimally invasive lumbar decompression. The mild® Procedure is a treatment option that addresses a major root cause of LSS, requires only local anesthetic and light sedation, and leaves no implant behind.

Here’s an overview about ESIs, the mild® Procedure, and how to find an interventional pain provider capable of telling you more about the procedure and its potential benefits.

Epidural Steroid Injections

Epidural steroid injections—medication injected in the lower spine to reduce swelling and offer pain relief—are typically offered to lumbar spinal stenosis patients when non-medical care methods like exercise and physical therapy have failed to provide relief.

The steroid medication in the injection is believed to reduce inflammation, which relieves pain. However, injections only treat the symptoms of stenosis and do not address the problem’s root cause.

The effects of an epidural steroid injection typically last less than 6 months so patients generally require 2-3 injections per year. Repeat steroid use is known to increase risk of infections and may cause bone loss (osteoporosis).

Faye - mild® Procedure for back pain patient

“Being in pain constantly is frustrating. I’m an active person and I wanted to get better. My orthopedic surgeon diagnosed me with spinal stenosis and ordered 3 injections of the cortisone over a period of about 4 weeks. The first shot took away the severe pain, but I was still hurting. And that remained the case after the second and third injections.

I waited about 2 months and then he gave me 2 options: open back surgery, with metal plates between the vertebrae, or get more shots. I wanted something simple that would make me better, and that’s when I found the mild® Procedure.”
-Faye, mild® Patient

Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression: The mild® Procedure

If epidural steroid injections aren’t effective for you, it’s important to know that your interventional pain provider may offer other treatment options. Proactively discussing and considering different options can help you and your doctor make the right treatment decision at the appropriate time.

The recent study highlighted several advantages of the mild® Procedure, including:

  • The mild® Procedure addresses a major root cause of lumbar spinal stenosis by removing excess ligament. This restores space in the area around the spinal cord, reducing pressure on the nerves in the lower back.
  • The mild® Procedure has been shown to provide superior clinical performance to epidural steroid injections and provides lasting relief, with 88% of patients avoiding open back surgery for at least 5 years
  • The mild® Procedure is a short outpatient procedure. It is typically performed using only local anesthetic and light sedation through a single incision that is smaller than the size of a baby aspirin (5.1mm).
  • The procedure does not require stitches, staples, or complex bandaging. Typically, patients leave the outpatient procedure facility with a just a Band-Aid covering their incision and visit their doctor a few weeks later.
  • The mild® Procedure does not leave behind an implant, and patients typically resume normal activity in 24 hours with no restrictions

Dante - mild® Procedure patient

“After mild®, I felt great, and the results have lasted. My golf game is nearly back, too. Anybody that meets the criteria of the procedure should do it. Why live in pain if you don’t have to?”
-Dante, mild® Patient

Find a mild® Doctor

Finding a doctor that offers the mild® Procedure is easy. The fastest way is to use the Find a mild® Doctor feature available on this website. The finder can help you locate a mild® provider in your preferred radius of your address, city, or ZIP code.

Find a Mild Procedure doctor in your area
Find a Mild Procedure doctor in your area
Find a mild® Doctor

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

When discussing treatment options with your doctor, be sure to ask specific questions, including:

  • How effective is the treatment I will receive?
  • How long will the treatment provide relief from my pain/discomfort?
  • What are the risks of the treatment? What are the benefits?
  • Where will the procedure be performed? How long does the procedure take?
  • How long is the recovery?

Hear Linda’s story on how mild® relieved her pain and enhanced her everyday life.

When to Start Your Search

The best time to start searching for a mild® Doctor is today. Chronic lower back pain caused by lumbar spinal stenosis typically worsens in severity over time, making early intervention crucial to restoring healthy function, movement, and quality of life. The study discussed here supports early use of the mild® Procedure, finding that:

  • There is no benefit to performing multiple epidural steroid injections before the mild® Procedure
  • Performing multiple epidural injections delays the patient from receiving a longer-lasting, more effective mild® treatment
  • Performing the mild® Procedure immediately upon diagnosis of lumbar spinal stenosis with thickened ligament, or after failure of the first epidural steroid injection, is recommended

Lynn - mild® Procedure testimonial

“Before the mild® Procedure, I had a hard time standing anytime at all, so that affected my baking and my cooking, sweeping the porch, pulling weeds: just everything I did, it affected it. I was probably able to walk for 10 to 15 minutes at a time. As a matter of fact, I told my family that unless something changed, we wouldn’t be having a big Christmas next year. After 2 epidural injections, I was already finished with them. Then, I had the mild® Procedure done, and it was a miracle. I do feel happier, I feel better. My friends and family can’t believe the difference. Christmas dinner is back on, because grandma’s back to cooking.”
-Lynn, mild® Patient

If you’re ready to learn more about the mild® Procedure, talk to your interventional pain provider or Find a mild® Doctor today.

If you’ve received an epidural steroid injection (ESI) to help manage the pain associated with lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS), but did not experience significant or lasting pain reduction, you are not alone. Although ESIs can be an effective early treatment option for patients with LSS, they are not a one-size-fits-all solution. After an initial epidural injection (or even a series of several injections), many people do not feel significant pain reduction, or many only feel better for a few weeks before the pain returns.

Don’t lose hope—you still have options

Epidurals may not have worked for you, but that does not mean surgery is your only option. Other minimally invasive treatment alternatives, like the mild® Procedure, offer a safe and effective approach that can get you on the path to relief.

 

mild® has helped thousands of LSS patients achieve lasting relief from back pain.

 

The mild® Difference: Addressing a Major Root Cause of Your LSS Pain

When you have spinal stenosis, your lower spinal canal narrows and compresses the spinal nerves in your lower back. This compression can contribute to the pain and mobility issues you are likely experiencing.

In people with LSS, up to 85% of spinal canal narrowing may be caused by a ligament in the back that becomes thickened over time. The mild® Procedure is a minimally invasive treatment option that removes excess ligament tissue to restore space in the spinal canal. The mild® Procedure typically takes less than an hour, and can be performed through a single, tiny incision smaller than the size of a baby aspirin (5.1 mm).

 

Before and after images showing the improvement in lumbar spinal stenosis after patients have undergone the mild® procedure

Are You Ready to Move to mild®?

Patients who have been recommended for, or have tried epidural steroid injections may wonder when they should seriously consider an alternative treatment option that can offer effective, lasting pain relief for their LSS. Here are the 3 most common signs that you may be ready to move to mild®, and the steps you can take if you would like to discuss your options with a mild®-trained doctor.

#1: Your first ESI did not significantly reduce your pain

The patients with LSS who are going to benefit from an ESI can typically be identified fairly quickly after the first injection. In fact, a large clinical study completed across several treatment centers found that the level of pain relief patients experienced 6 weeks after their first injection were generally maintained through 12 months, and that repeated injections offered no additional long-term benefit. Stated simply, 6 weeks after your first injection, you can generally tell whether ESIs are likely to work for you.

Jane Hartigan, an Advanced Practice Provider who works as a Physician Assistant (PA) at a leading pain management practice in Northern California, confirms that their practice routinely moves patients to the mild® Procedure if the first epidural fails. “Our patients love mild®, and it’s been a game-changer in our practice,” Jane says. “mild® offers a similar safety profile to ESIs but with long-term results. So we’ll start with an epidural injection, but we’ll schedule a follow-up soon after the injection to determine if it’s working for that patient. In the many cases that patients are not getting pain relief or improvement in their mobility, we will start to seriously consider the mild® Procedure.”

 

mild® offers a similar safety profile to ESIs but with long-term results” -Jane Hartigan, Advanced Practice Provider

 

#2: You’re feeling “epidural exhaustion” after a series of ESIs

Many patients who receive a series of epidural injections can develop “Epidural Exhaustion,” especially if the injections provide little relief or decreasing relief over time. Jane says, “Epidural Exhaustion is incredibly common in lumbar spinal stenosis patients. A lot of patients come to us from other practices where they received injection after injection with very little improvement. They’re frustrated and can begin to lose hope that they’ll ever feel better.”

In Jane’s practice, LSS patients can move to mild® within weeks of their first injection if the epidural does not relieve their pain. According to Jane, “Many practices perform multiple ESIs, one after another, but we move more quickly toward mild®. When patients are given multiple injections, I feel like it’s just delaying a much better treatment option for that patient. mild® addresses a major root cause of LSS, it’s proven safe and effective, and our patients have had such amazing results. Seeing patients come in after their mild® Procedure, and they’re just so grateful and excited about finally feeling better and being able to walk or stand. It’s so rewarding for me, and reinforces that we’re taking the right approach.”

#3: You’re looking for long-term relief

A key benefit of the mild® Procedure is that unlike ESIs, mild® offers patients lasting results. Many stenosis patients who do show improvement after an initial epidural injection will notice that the relief is short-lived, and additional injections are needed to sustain relief. This is because ESIs do not address the major root cause of LSS. mild®, on the other hand, removes excess ligament tissue that causes the narrowing of the spinal canal without significantly changing the structural anatomy of the spine.

A recent study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic highlights the long-term relief provided by mild®.
The study found:

The mild® procedure provides long term relief. 88% of mild® patients avoided back surgery for at least 5 years following the mild® procedure.

“One of the most rewarding aspects of offering mild® in our practice is having patients that come back to us with other issues, but their lower back is still feeling better,” noted Jane. “I’ve had patients come in months and years later, and they feel the same relief they experienced after the mild® Procedure. They have gone on with their lives without worrying about their LSS.”

Making the Move to mild®

If you are ready to move on from epidural steroid injections, and to find out if you are a candidate for the mild® Procedure, there are a few steps you can take to put yourself on the path to relief.

Find a mild® doctor in your area

  • mild® doctors are specialists who have received specific training on this new, advanced therapy. To search for a doctor in your area, visit our online “Find a mild® Doctor” tool.

Icon - find a mild® doctor in your area

Take charge of your health

  • Before your next visit with your pain specialist, complete this short survey to determine if minimally invasive lumbar decompression may be an effective treatment option for you.
  • Print or save your results and discuss them during your next visit with your doctor or their staff. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and be direct about your goals for your LSS treatment.

Icon - take charge of your health

Understand the plan

  • If you are currently considering or scheduled for another ESI, talk to your pain specialist about considering mild® as your next step. Ask for a complete treatment plan so you understand what will happen if your next ESI fails, or produces only short-term relief.

Icon - understand the plan

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