nonsurgical-spine-treatment

Before Surgery Always Do This One Thing: Pursue Nonsurgical Spine Treatment

Kris E. Radcliff, M.D. January 19th, 2017

This article is your "at a glance" overview of the most effective and most commonly prescribed nonsurgical spine treatment methods.

Whether you're suffering from a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or some other condition, your back pain is enough to have you wondering what kinds of treatment methods are available. Before we jump into discussing some of the most commonly prescribed nonsurgical spine treatment options, we thought we'd back up and mention the important topic of prevention.

Preventing Spine Problems

In order to prevent your current condition from getting worse and to keep yourself free of new injuries in the future, follow these best practices for taking care of your spine:

  • Posture: Stand and sit straight, with your shoulders back and your head up!

  • Lifting: Avoid twisting when lifting and keep your back straight, bending at your knees and hips instead.

  • Working: If you spend hours per day at a desk, be sure that your chair is comfortable and your computer screen is at an angle that doesn't put strain on your neck.

  • Sleeping: Invest in a quality mattress and sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees.

Most Recommended Nonsurgical Spine Treatment

If you're currently struggling with a spine condition and you're experiencing debilitating pain or frustrating immobility, it's time to take action! The very first step is the important process of finding a qualified spine physician who can provide a clear diagnosis and oversee your care.

For some, the path to recovery requires spine surgery. However, for many patients, some basic, nonsurgical spine treatment options are sufficient to ease or eliminate pain.

  1. Medications: Let's start with the simple, obvious option of taking pain relief medication. Your doctor will be able to prescribe the right type and dosage for you.

  2. Physical Therapy & Exercise: When you carefully stretch your back and perform simple exercises to strengthen surrounding muscles, your spine can benefit from improved flexibility and stability. A specific physical therapy program may also include treatments such as heat, ice, ultrasound and massage.

  3. Bracing: Again, the use of a brace is not the right option for every case, but your physician may recommend that you try wearing one, especially during times of more demanding physical activity. Some spine problems will resolve with a time period of reduced mobility, which a brace can provide.

There are dozens of additional nonsurgical spine treatment options, including yoga, pilates, chiropractic, and others. It's recommended that each patient check with their qualified spine physician to find out what treatment methods may work best for their particular case.

An Extra Tip: We like to remind patients that while rest can be a helpful, nonoperative approach to spine care, too much rest can be problematic. One or two days of rest can relieve acute pain, but if you find yourself still in bed for a longer period than that, ask your doctor about how to gradually return to activity. Too much rest can result in muscle atrophy, risk of blood clots or even bone mineral loss.

If you have exhausted all nonsurgical spine treatment methods and are still suffering from pain and immobility, it's time to ask, "Do I need spinal surgery?"

Visit us here or contact us at 1-800-321-9999. You can learn more on that topic as well as additional information about spinal conditions and physicians on the following pages in our spine blog series:

Spine Series - Blog 1: Could I Have a Spine Condition? Here's How You Know...

Common Spine Conditions

How Do I Know if I Have a Spine Condition?

Should I See a Spine Physician?

Spine Series - Blog 2: Have You Tried These Treatments for Spine Conditions?

Nonsurgical Spine Treatment

Best Spine Physician

Spine Series - Blog 3: Answering the Big Question: Do I Need Spinal Surgery?

Spinal Surgery Recovery

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