17 Mar Read this before undergoing spine surgery (ways to get relief nonoperatively)
There are many individuals that suffer from acute and chronic back pain and injuries. Contrary to popular belief, most conditions relating to the spine do not usually require surgical treatment. Most spinal conditions can be treated conservatively (non-operative care). Each spinal condition is different and should be approached individually by the treating Chicago pain doctor. A tailored treatment and management plan is then recommended after a thorough evaluation.
Pain is the most common complaint necessitating a visit to Chicago pain clinics and has been shown to affect 80% of the adult population at some point of time. The exact cause for low back pain is poorly understood and only 10-20% of patients have a definitive cause. In most cases, pain gradually disappears. Studies show that 90% of patients have their symptoms resolve within 3 months after the onset of pain, no matter what treatment is received.
True back pain can be associated with pain radiating to the knee, associated with numbness, tingling and weakness, signifying involvement and irritation of the nerves. Conservative treatment can vary depending on the cause and severity of the pain of the patient.
A common conservative treatment is oral medication that aims to provide pain relief. The list of medication that can be prescribed are:
- Anti-inflammatories – decreases inflammation and can be used for mild to moderate pain.
- Analgesics –reduces the sensation of pain
- Muscle relaxants –decreases the pain caused by muscle spasms. By relaxing the muscle, pain can be reduced.
- Narcotics – a group of strong medication that provides pain relief. Special prescription is needed from a doctor.
- Anti-depressants –has been shown to provide pain relief in nerve-related pain.
Other conservative therapies that can be recommended by a doctor or physical therapist includes:
- Heat or Ice Packs – An ice pack to the site of injury can decrease pain and swelling. Heat therapy can be used after to increase circulation to the area aimed to increase the healing rate.
- TENS – transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is a method where electrical pads are placed on the area of pain sending a low level of electrical current offering pain relief and increasing healing rate.
- Massage – this is used to relieve muscle spasms and tension.
- Ultrasound – this sends vibrating impulses to release tension and increasing blood supply to increase healing rate.
- Acupuncture – Tiny needles are placed into selected points on the body. Some patients feel that it has helped with pain relief.
- Bracing – the use of collars, belts and braces aims to provide pain relief. Long-term wear is not recommended
The most promising conservative therapy is physical therapy. It helps patients to restore muscle tone and strength. The muscles that support the spine helps to maintain the function and stability of the back. Combined with some of the methods described above, guided exercise and stretching programs have proven to be beneficial for patients. Continuation of maintenance exercises after formal PT is completed helps to reduce future recurrences of spinal conditions.
Premier Pain and Spine offers top low back pain treatment that helps the vast majority of patients avoid the need for potentially risky spine surgery. Patients at the Chicago pain centers are frequently able to get back to work, playing with one’s kids, participating in sports and more!
Most insurance is accepted, with state of the art treatment options available. This includes radiofrequency ablation, epidural injections, regenerative medicine and much more. Call us today.
- Schwab FJ. Non-operative treatment of spinal conditions. Orthospine. http://www.orthospine.com/index.php/non-operative-care-mainmenu-28. Accessed 2/8/2017.
- Nonsurgical treatments for spine conditions. Cedar-Sinai. https://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Patients/Programs-and-Services/Spine-Center/Conditions-and-Treatments/Treatments/Nonsurgical-Treatments/. Accessed 2/8/2017.