Treating Chronic Back Pain Without Surgery? Yes, It’s Possible!

Back pain is possibly the most common affliction affecting close to 80% of people with at least  25% of Americans suffering from lower back pain each year. This condition can be acute, sub-acute, or chronic and lasts for at least 3 months or more. Whether the discomfort is age-related or resulting from an injury, your doctor will likely explore alternative methods of healing before recommending surgery. Typically, back pain is a symptom of spinal arthritis, spinal stenosis, a herniated or bulging disk, or myofascial (muscular) tenderness. The right treatment course will depend on the cause and help you get back a better quality of life. Here’s what to do:

Physical Therapy Under the Supervision of a Trained Practitioner

Physical therapy and exercising is the core treatment option for back pain. The therapist will study the x-ray reports and suggest the right moves for you. While most exercises are performed only under expert supervision, others can be done in the privacy of your home. Over time, you can nudge disks back into position or strengthen your core muscles around the affected spine sections for improved support and flexibility. Regular therapy sessions can also repair your posture and may include aerobic and stretching moves. Taking up yoga, chair yoga, swimming, stationary biking, water aerobics, tai chi, cycling, walking, and resistance training can also help.

Massage Therapy and Osteopathic Manipulation

Massages provided by trained therapists can help by boosting blood flow and muscle balance. Back pain therapy includes a combination of resistance and stretching moves along with gentle pressure to manipulate the muscles and disks. Later, you can apply a topical pain reliever to relax inflammation in the myofascial network to lower the intensity of the discomfort.

Changing Your Dietary Habits

A critical aspect of back pain treatment is dietary changes. Your doctor will advise you to eliminate any foods that contribute to inflammation in the body. Avoiding refined sugar and carbohydrates, red meat, excessive salt, trans fats, and processed and fried foods will help you lose weight and ease the strain on your back. Switch to nutritious foods that fight the swelling like leafy green veggies, peppers, tomatoes, olive oil, blueberries, avocados, broccoli, nuts like walnuts and almonds, and fatty fish rich in omega-3 acids. Eating a dark chocolate dessert also helps.

Incorporating Lifestyle Changes

When treating chronic back pain, you must accept your limitations. Make lifestyle changes to ease the pain and avoid any activities that can possibly aggravate the condition. For instance, limit the weight you carry and make multiple trips or get a friend to help. Be mindful of the movements that worsen the pain and learn to avoid them like, bending in a certain way or sitting for long periods in one position. Your therapist may also recommend posture changes and getting pillows or a mattress that offers better lumbar support. Make it a point to get adequate sleep and rest sessions to give your body time to recover.

Oral Medication

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Your doctor could prescribe oral medications to help you with pain. However, these options are only advised as a short-term solution and should not be taken over prolonged periods. Medicines can give you relief from intense pain, but be aware of the potential side effects and the harm they can cause. Anti-inflammatory drugs, pain killers, and muscle relaxants are some options.

Injectable Treatment

In case of intense pain and difficulty in movement, your doctor may suggest getting injectable options like nerve ablations, epidural steroid injections, and nerve blocks. These injections are placed with precision in the exact site where the discomfort originates. While this minimally-invasive treatment is effective, the benefits may last for only a short time and are best used to complement physical therapy and exercise.

Chronic back pain can be a debilitating condition that hampers movement and makes it hard to go about daily activities. Incorporate these treatment options for an improved quality of life.



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