Out of all the reasons why people go to their doctors, the third most common one is back pain. Whether they hurt it on the job or have arthritis, over 80 percent of people will experience back pain sometime in their life.
If the pain in your back is chronic, doctors can choose from several nonsurgical treatment options to reduce pain or help heal your back.
The most fundamental treatment for back pain is exercise. After an evaluation by a primary doctor or an orthopedist, it is the first treatment many doctors recommend.
However, the exercises the therapist will guide you through are specific to the cause of your pain or back problem. A therapist will design a routine of exercises according to your abilities.
As your range of motion increases or pain lessens, they can change your plan to ensure your back becomes stronger and healthier.
Decompressing the Spine
Everyday activities like walking, jogging, lifting weights, or bending over influences the back’s discs. They can sustain small tears or become compressed over time, which can cause pain.
An effective therapy for this problem is spinal decompression, which is a treatment that gently stretches the back.
Stretching the back may resolve problems like herniated discs, pinched nerves in the back or neck, and degenerative disc disease by freeing up the mechanisms in your body to allow nutrients and fluids to flow through the back’s structures.
The diets that many people follow can be high in inflammatory foods, such as dairy products, red meat, alcohol, and cured meats. Your doctor can go over what you typically eat and make suggestions on how to change to an anti-inflammatory diet.
Maintaining a healthy weight is also important when you have back pain. If you’re overweight, a dietician can help you plan a diet that is both anti-inflammatory, and that cuts calories to help you drop the additional pounds that you’re carrying.
Another treatment that helps reduce inflammation around the spine is epidural steroid injections. A specialist will administer the shot to the dural sac, which encompasses the spinal cord.
The steroid helps to relieve pain, at least temporarily, by reducing inflammation around nerve roots. Fluoroscopy, which is a live x-ray, helps the specialist guide the needle to the right target.
While the injection only takes about 10 minutes to do, the effects can last for several days or months depending on the patient.
Sometimes, the cause of back pain is a pinched nerve or a dislocation in the spine. To treat these problems successfully, many people go to a chiropractor to have a back adjustment.
The chiropractor will manipulate the body to help ease joints or dislocations back into place and resolve pinched nerves.Other alternative therapies like acupuncture, massage therapy, meditation, and biofeedback can also help reduce back pain.
If you suffer from acute or chronic back pain, consult your doctor about the problem and discuss which of these nonsurgical therapies may be the best for reducing or eliminating your pain.