The Latest Conservative Back Pain Treatment Options
If you’re suffering from back pain, we can help you by discussing the best top ten treatments for back pain according to an Ivy League medical clinic.
Nowadays, many orthopedic doctors are quick to suggest highly-invasive treatment options in order to treat back pain. However, surgery is risky, requires long recovery periods and can be reliant on a lot of prescription medication. Research is now beginning to highlight the adverse effect that opioids and other pain medication can have on our health.
There are many safe, effective treatment options available for chronic back pain and other back pain conditions. These procedures are minimally invasive and maximally effective at getting you back to full health! Below, we discuss the top ten treatments for back pain available at an expert medical clinic.
Anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are used to reduce inflammation, pain, swelling and fever that can be caused by an injury or disease. Common examples include Ibuprofen, Motrin and Advil. NSAIDS can be used for temporary pain relief at home. However, it is recommended that you consult a doctor before taking any medication, particularly if they are taken for long periods of time. It is also vital that you take the correct dose that is described exactly on the label.
Alternative Therapy – Massage Therapy
Massage therapy works by creating a deliberate pressure on soft tissue. This includes the muscles, connective tissues, tendons, ligaments and joints. It is a common method selected by many Americans to ease areas of tenderness and discomfort. However, it does not address the root cause of pain and is recommended to be used in conjunction with medical treatment.
Epidural Steroid Injection Lumbar (if suffering from low back pain)
This minimally invasive treatment choice is an excellent way to directly target back pain and may help you avoid the need for complex surgeries. The procedure can be completed in under 30 minutes and is highly effective. This procedure is when a pain doctor injects a corticosteroid (anti-inflammatory) and local anesthetic pain relief medicine to alleviate pain. It is commonly used for low back and leg pain. This procedure should be completed by a Board Certified pain doctor.
Facet Joint Injection
A facet joint injection is an excellent way to feel the benefits of immediate pain relief. It can be performed multiple times depending on how many joints are affected and can even assist a doctor in the diagnosis of your pain. It works by injecting a small amount of local anesthetic into one or more of the small vertebrae along the spine. It is important to ensure that this procedure is carried out by a Board Certified pain doctor.
Ice is a great way to reduce pain and swelling in an area of pain. It is recommended to apply ice for a period of between 10 – 20 minutes at least 3 times a day. If the pain and swelling has reduced within 48 – 72 hours, apply some heating pads to the area that is sore. It is important that you do not apply heat or ice directly to the skin as this could result in a burn! Make sure you wrap the ice and heat source in a towel before application to the skin. If pain does not subside, ensure you speak to a pain management physician.
Intrathecal Pump/Intrathecal Drug Delivery/Pain Pump
This is a method of giving pain directly to the spinal cord. The pump delivers the medication via a catheter to the area around the spinal cord to relieve pain. However, this method is usually only prescribed once all other treatments have been completed.
Lumbar Radiofrequency Ablation
Lumbar RFA is an excellent method for long-term pain relief and is typically used to treat chronic low back pain. It is a steroid-free option that applies heat using alternating current technology. The heat energy is produced by a special generator that operates at high frequencies. It is generally prescribed for individuals who have already had minor procedures, such as lumbar facet joint injections.
Physical therapy is one of the best treatments available for chronic pain. It can minimize the discomfort experienced by chronic pain and is very effective against musculoskeletal pain. Physical therapy is composed of aerobic, strength and pain relief training, in addition to stretching movements. A pain management physician will be able to refer the best physical therapist to suit your back pain treatment.
Spinal Cord Stimulation/ Nerve Stimulation/ Neuromodulation
This procedure is a great alternative to opioid use and narcotics. It can reduce pain and the consumption of pain medication significantly. It works by using a small device called a spinal cord stimulator (SCS) that delivers electrical impulses to the spinal cord. This electrical nerve stimulation stops the sensation of pain.
Spinal surgery is an option for back pain if all other treatments do not work for you. There are several types of back surgery that can be performed to alleviate pain and increase mobility again. Back surgeries range from a discectomy (removing part of a disc to prevent nerve compression) to a full spinal fusion. That being said, it is necessary to consider the risks associated with having surgery, such as: drug reaction, infection, nerve damage and long recover periods.
In addition to these treatment choices, a pain management physician goes beyond their knowledge of physical medicine to help your rehabilitation. A pain doctor can provide advice that can help your back pain, such as weight loss techniques to help you maintain a healthy weight, or small daily modifications that can assist in your back recovery.
Before committing to surgery, consider visiting a pain management physician to explore your potential treatment options. They will be happy to answer any concerns you may have and can provide an accurate assessment of your back pain.