Top 5 Nonsurgical Pain Treatment Options
For individuals suffering from debilitating low back pain, treatment is of the utmost importance. When surgery is not an option or simply undesired, many alternatives provide substantial relief. These non-surgical pain treatment options can help alleviate discomfort, enabling chronic pain patients to engage in regular day-to-day activities. Always consult with a physician before pursuing any of the following treatment options.
Ice and Heat
Applying ice to the afflicted area can significantly reduce swelling and pain. It does so by reducing blood flow to the region, thus decreasing inflammation that may be causing discomfort. Many low back pain sufferers find that alternating between ice and heat significantly reduces their pain.
Over-the-counter pain medications work well for many individuals suffering from low back pain. They provide momentary relief and are easily accessible. Many physicians may also prescribe muscle relaxants, narcotic pain relievers or oral steroids to manage discomfort.
A massage can help improve blood circulation while relaxing muscles and increasing levels of the brain’s ‘feel-good’ hormones. These hormones, also known as endorphins, are essential in the management of chronic pain. In fact, several narcotic pain medications mimic the action of these brain chemicals as their primary function.
Many times, low back pain may also be the result of dysfunction in a surrounding muscle group. Treating these muscles, in addition to the muscles in the lower back, can significantly reduce pain and swelling, while improving mobility.
Chiropractors typically perform spinal manipulation to adjust and realign the spine. They do so by applying focused pressure around the affected area to guide the spine back into proper positioning.
An appropriate physical therapy program may significantly strengthen the low back, preventing further injury and increasing range of motion. A physical therapist will examine the source of the pain and prescribe a series of exercises to perform regularly. This helps strengthen the back and surrounding musculature, further supporting the spine and increasing an individual’s ability to perform daily tasks. Physicians will often recommend a combination of pain medication, massage, ice or heat, and physical therapy for a multi-pronged approach. When combined, these treatments may show a significant improvement in low back pain for many pain patients.
If you believe your chronic pain requires more direct treatment, consult with a spine expert who can make you aware of your treatment options. Marc Cohen and the spine experts at the Spine Institute have experience helping the people of the New Jersey area alleviate back pain through patient-specific methods. Contact the Spine Institute at one of our many locations to schedule your appointment today.