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Chronic back pain can be one of the most debilitating and frustrating conditions for patients. It can keep you from doing the things you need or want to do. This common ailment is one of the leading causes of hospital visits, but did you know that there are ways to combat back pain without having to undergo invasive surgery? Dr. Charla Fischer at NYU Langone in NYC can suggest conservative treatment options for patients that may help you avoid unnecessary procedures.

Lose weight
Being overweight places extra pressure on your spine and back muscles. Ask a physician such as Dr. Charla Fischer about your goal weight and strive to achieve that goal so that you have a better chance for a healthy back.

Watch what you eat
You may be surprised to learn that your diet can play a significant role in chronic back pain. Eating a diet that is inflammatory, such as high in refined sugars, trans fats, or processed foods, can contribute to back pain. Look for foods that are known to fight inflammation, such as fatty fish, leafy green vegetables, healthy fats, nuts and seeds.

Don’t fall victim to the temptation of prolonged rest when your back hurts. Strength training, core exercises, and flexibility movements are all recommended to control and prevent back pain. Also, aerobic exercise increases blood flow and delivers nutrients to all parts of your body. Consult with Dr. Charla Fischer for suggestions for safe and effective exercises for you.

Take calcium
You’ve probably heard that calcium is good for building strong bones and decreasing the risk of osteoporosis. Eat foods rich in calcium like dairy or green leafy vegetables. If you’re having trouble getting enough calcium, speak with Dr. Charla Fischer or a registered dietician for advice.

Try yoga
Practicing yoga has proven to effectively reduce back pain. Join a program to learn the correct movements and poses so that you might address your symptoms and also relieve stress and anxiety. Yoga and other meditation programs can help lower the intensity of back pain and improve back function. It can also teach mindfulness strategies that help fight frustration and other aspects of chronic pain.

Quit smoking
Blood and oxygen flow in the body is negatively impacting by smoking, which can lead to weakened muscles in your back. The result can be chronic back pain. Speak with Dr. Charla Fischer or your primary physician for tips on how to quit smoking and improve both your spine health and your overall health.

Consider alternative treatments
Chronic back pain may be aided through alternative treatments like massage, acupuncture, biofeedback, or laser therapy. Ask Dr. Charla Fischer if any of these types of treatments could help manage your back pain.