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Conservative Treatment Approaches to Spinal Problems
The idea of back surgery will likely scare many people away, but luckily that is a last resort for treatment in most cases. If you’re experiencing back pain, numbness, weakness or other symptoms, there are lots of options for non-operative techniques that might resolve your problem.
It is recommended that you visit a spine doctor before beginning any type of spinal treatment. You want to be sure you aren’t doing anything that could worsen your condition or damage your body. Dr. Fischer at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City is happy to evaluate your condition, provide an accurate diagnosis, and create a treatment plan that includes conservative approaches. What are some common conservative treatment methods for spinal problems that may help you achieve a pain-free life?
The goal of pain management is to control chronic or acute back pain by reducing its intensity and frequency. Pain medications, muscle relaxants, or anti-inflammatory drugs may be part of the plan. Other common methods are epidural steroid injections, medial branch nerve blocks, targeted nerve root stimulation, diagnostic nerve blocking, or radiofrequency ablation.
Cold and hot therapy
Cold and hot therapy are often used together to conservatively treat spinal issues. Many patients find pain or inflammation relief by applying ice to the affected area. Applying a heat source to the area increases circulation and reduces pain as well. Dr. Fischer can explain the best process to follow for alternating cold and hot therapies.
The goal of physical therapy is to reduce pain and increase mobility by performing various exercises, stretches, core strengthening, or TENS unit stimulation. This combination of therapies can address current spinal problems and help prevent recurrences.
Incorporating warm water, whirlpools and exercise to ease pain and pressure on muscles and joints is called aquatic therapy. It can also help improve range of motion for patients with spine problems such as sciatica, pinched nerves, stenosis, and more. Some patients find that aquatic therapy is more comfortable than traditional physical therapy due to the body’s natural buoyancy in water.
Easing tension in the spine and its muscles can be achieved through massage therapy. Many kinds of spinal problems involve musculoskeletal irritation and inflammation, and massage is a gentle way to reduce muscle spasms and adhesions causing discomfort. Massage is also famous for reducing stress, which often goes hand-in-hand with spinal issues.
Adjustments by a chiropractor to misaligned joints, especially along the spinal column, can relieve back pain and increase mobility.
The traditional Chinese practice of acupuncture has successfully relieved spinal discomfort in many patients. The practice is said to alter the body’s energy flow into healthier patterns and is used as an often effective, affordable treatment for pain.
Many aspects of yoga make it a way to treat back and neck discomfort and tension. Certain yoga poses focus on improving mobility of the spine and related parts of the body. The meditation and breathing aspects of yoga may also help patients with spinal conditions.
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Fischer today to see if minimally invasive surgery is option for you.