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Non Surgical Treatment for Back Pain

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I use conservative treatment methods before exploring more invasive options?
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Non-surgical treatment is commonly referred to as conservative treatment and with the exception of some extreme instances, should be the first course of action taken. Less complicated treatments should be attempted other more complex actions are taken.

Initial application of ice, use of OTC (over the counter) medicines, and rest will help to relieve the pain. If your condition does not react to these treatments your doctor may suggest some of the other activities listed below.

Non Surgical Treatment Methods

OTC Medicine One of the first sources of treatment for acute and sometimes chronic back pain is over the counter (OTC) pain and inflammation medications. These include Tylenol, aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil), and naproxaphen (Aleve).
Heat, Ice & Rest When a back or neck injury occurs, a certain amount of rest is necessary to allow pain and swelling to subside. The idea of an “injury” can take on many forms: trauma, exercise, sports, and an operation to name a few.Ice works by acting as a local anesthetic, restricting blood flow, minimizing the inflammatory response which produces various noxious chemical in injured tissues, and by decreasing swelling.Heat as a treatment modality has limited use. Heat will increase blood flow, bleeding, and swelling.
Massage Therapy Massage helps to physically release these chemicals into the blood stream allowing normal circulation and function to return.
Stretching Stretching is an activity performed to either prepare a muscle or group of muscles for exercise or to elongate a cramped or chronically shortened muscle (tight muscles).
Traction Traction is one of the oldest forms of treatment for back and neck pain. The proverbial medieval rack was used extensively to treat back pain, scoliosis, and spine fractures in addition to being an instrument of torture.
Water Exercises Water therapy has become one of the most popular forms of exercise especially for individuals with arthritis, sports injuries, and spine problems.
“Core” Exercise Program Including Pilates & Yoga For individuals with back and neck problems the foundation of any exercise or rehabilitation program must involve the “core muscles” of the pelvis, back, abdomen, and chest.
Aerobic Conditioning & Personal Training People with back and neck problems should engage in aerobic exercises that are essentially low impact.
Physical Therapy (incl. Gyrotonic & Powerplate) Physical therapy uses most of the modalities described above but in a more concentrated and focused manner.Gyrotonic is a highly specialized form of restoring normal motion and alignment of our spine and joints.The Power Plate device was first developed by the Russian Space Program to be used in orbit by astronauts to maintain and stimulate bone density in a zero gravity environment.
Spinal Manipulation Spinal manipulation is typically performed by chiropractic physicians and osteopathic physicians specifically trained in these technique. It is a passive form of treatment where something is done to the patient versus active exercise.
Acupuncture Acupuncture is an ancient oriental medicine technique used to treat a variety of painful conditions. Therapy is provided by placing small needles in certain anatomical locations in the body.
Spinal Support The concept is to limit the motion and function of an area of the spine that is painful and abnormal.
Rx Medication Often in the non-surgical management of various spinal conditions, prescription medications may be required. Most help in the management of pain, inflammation, muscle spasms, and nerve damage.