Doctors treat painful Schmorl nodes with conservative treatments, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids, and surgery when necessary, according to European Spine Journal. Doctors use segmental fusion surgery, tumor necrosis factor-alpha blockades and rami communicans nerve blocks to alleviate pain when conservative measures do not give patients lasting relief.
A pathologist named Christian Georg Schmorl diagnosed the nodes for the first time in 1927, notes European Spine Journal. The nodes are lesions on the vertebrae, most often on the thoracolumbar spine. They occur frequently and often without symptoms, but many patients suffer significant back pain due to the lesions. As of 2015, physicians do not agree on what causes the condition, and they have not established a standard treatment protocol for it.