Nonsurgical Treatment Options for Back Pain
Next to the common cold, back pain is the most frequent reason for employee sick days. Even if your back pain is excruciating, odds are that it will eventually improve without surgery. There are many nonsurgical treatment options for back pain, and most work well in combination.
However, it is always wise to consult a skilled back doctor if your back pain persists for more than a few days. If your back pain resulted from trauma, such as a car accident, seek immediate medical attention.
Hot and Cold Therapy
Heat and ice both play a role in back pain relief. Heating the affected area draws oxygen and healing nutrients to the site. You can use a heating pad, hot pack or even soak in a warm tub.
Cold therapy reduces inflammation by constricting blood vessels. Ice packs are most often used for cold therapy. Your doctor will direct you in how often and for how long you should apply hot and cold therapy each day.
Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Most back pain sufferers do not require prescription opiate medication to ease back pain. Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are sufficient to relieve pain and reduce inflammation for most patients.
These medications include ibuprofen and naproxen, sold in generic versions and marketed as Advil, Motrin or Aleve.
The doctor may prescribe other medications for short-term back pain relief, including muscle relaxants, sleep aids or antidepressants. Many patients with back pain have trouble falling or staying asleep, and the body needs rest to heal.
Antidepressants may help patients whose back pain and inability to function properly is causing them to become depressed.
A custom-tailored physical therapy regimen not only helps relieve back pain, but can teach you how to avoid triggering such pain in the future.
The aim of physical therapy is not just pain relief, but exercises to restore your range of motion and help you regain flexibility. The therapist will provide you with an exercise regimen for you to continue at home.
Certified massage therapists can manipulate muscles, removing or loosening painful knots and reducing muscle spasms. Massage can also help increase mobility in certain patients via gluteal muscle massage. Therapeutic massage helps decrease stiffness and improves blood flow.
Certain factors contribute to back development, and the doctor must address these lifestyle issues with the patient. Overweight patients are more likely to deal with back pain, so the doctor may work with the patient on a diet and exercise plan.
Poor posture also contributes to back pain – this is an issue the doctor can help patients address.
For patients whose pain does not respond to more conservative treatment, corticosteroid injections into the spine can provide long-term relief.
Contact Tampa Bay Back Pain Doctors
If you suffer from back pain and would like to know more about nonsurgical treatment options, call skilled doctors today and make an appointment for an examination.