Not all back pain means that you are destined for surgery. Many patients find relief through conservative pain management, which means treating back or neck pain or other spinal conditions with non-surgical methods. It is not uncommon for pain and other symptoms to improve with one or more conservative types of treatment.
What are some common types of conservative treatments for back pain? Here are some methods that medical experts advise:
- Pain management: Medication to alleviate pain ranges from over-the-counter products like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to prescription drugs like muscle relaxants or stronger pain medications. Sometimes steroid injections or stimulators may be recommended to help control pain.
- Physical therapy: Dr. Fischer refers patients to a skilled physical therapist to learn stretching or strengthening exercises to benefit the spine and other parts of the body. One of the key elements is strengthening the core muscles located in the body’s midsection that provide important support for the spine. Another element of physical therapy is sometimes the use of traction or a TENS unit.
- Heat or ice therapy: Intermittently applying heat or ice, or alternating both, may be helpful in conservatively treating back pain. The heat or ice should not be applied directly to skin so that excessive temperatures do not harm the body. Dr. Fischer recommends placing heat or ice in the affected area of the back in intervals not exceeding 20 minutes at a time.
- Physiatry: Learning to use your body and adjust your lifestyle to relieve spine symptoms is one way to improve your quality of life. Experts can recommend ways to alter your daily activities and habits to improve your health.
- Weight management: It stands to reason that lowering your overall body weight places less stress on your back and entire body. Dr. Fischer can suggest ways to lose weight through a healthy diet and safe exercises.
- Stress management: Pain levels often increase in conjunction with higher levels of stress. Some ways to reduce stress include breathing exercises, meditation or yoga.
- Acupunture: Alternative therapies like acupuncture are sometimes helpful in treating back pain.
If you do not find relief through these conservative approaches to back pain, ask Dr. Fischer what other options might be successful for your condition.
Contact Dr. Fischer today to schedule a consultation.