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Having surgery is the last thing anyone wants to do if there are ways to avoid it. Many conditions, including those associated with your spine, can be treated through conservative methods and preventive care. If you experience back pain or problems, seek the help of an experienced physician like New York City spine surgeon Dr. Charla Fischer to see if surgery is the ideal treatment method for you, or if there are other options that will help you avoid going under the knife. Here are some guidelines that may get you started on a path to preventing spine surgery. 

Stay active
When your back hurts, it might seem logical and most comfortable to lay around and rest. However, this is actually the wrong thing to do. Exercise is the best way to maintain strong muscles and keep your spine healthy and functioning well. It not only strengthens muscles, it also increases blood flow to your spine which will contribute to better health in the area. Unless you’re experiencing an active muscle spasm at the time, make it a priority to perform simple exercises and stretches that target your back. Walking and water aerobics are two good activity choices. Consult Dr. Fischer for more tips on safe ways to exercise.

Eat right
Maintaining a healthy diet full of nutrients is an important element of keeping your spine in shape. Choose fresh foods high in vitamins and other benefits instead of junk food or processed foods. Foods full of fat or sugar can cause spinal inflammation, which may lead to various back problems. Eating a healthy diet also helps you maintain an appropriate weight that avoids placing unneeded stress on your spine.

Attend physical therapy
Sometimes Dr. Fischer recommends physical therapy to patients who may benefit from it. This usually consists of exercises that focus on areas of your back that are damaged or at risk. Some common conditions that can be helped through physical therapy are sciatica or herniated discs. Your doctor may instruct you on exercises or refer you to a physical therapist who specializes in helping patients with back issues. 

Consider spinal injections
Some patients experience pain relief from spinal injections directed into the area of the spine causing discomfort. They can be especially successful in relieving pain due to a compressed nerve. Dr. Fischer can determine if spinal injections are right for you and which type might be most helpful, as there are different kinds available. One kind you may have heard of is corticosteroid injections, which provide short-term pain relief and sometimes even longer depending upon the condition.

Consider treatment options
If Dr. Fischer determines that your back problem is related to spinal misalignment, other treatment methods may be recommended. These might include chiropractic manipulation or therapeutic massage. If these are considered options to help avoid surgery, schedule an appointment for one of these types of treatments to see if you get the relief you need without surgery.