Treating Back Pain Without Surgery

Treating Back Pain Without Surgery

Suffering from neck or back pain can be debilitating and frustrating. Because the spine is critical to so many of our body movements, pain from a spine condition can make daily life increasingly difficult. The impact of living with a spine condition doesn’t stop at pain-based symptoms. It can affect your mood and quality of life. 

You are not alone. Recent studies have shown that between 70% and 85% of people over the age of 21 have experienced some form of recurring discomfort in their back, hips, or neck. We know that spine surgery can resolve chronic back pain. But it is critically important to be aware of your non-surgical spine treatment options for pain relief. In fact, conservative, non-surgical treatment is always the first step at Oasis Orthopedic & Spine. We firmly believe that surgery should be a last resort. 

Board Certified Radiologist and Interventional Pain Management Specialist

Dr. Ralph Wheeler offers insights into the most common non-surgical treatment options for pain relief at Oasis Orthopedic & Spine 

Medications for Back Pain Relief

Pharmacological treatments such as anti-inflammatory drugs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), over-the-counter medications, muscle relaxants, and other medications can be very helpful in mitigating back pain. While medications and muscle relaxers do not heal a spine condition, they can provide enough pain relief so that other healing methods can work to address the issue causing the pain. Some of the most common medications and muscle relaxants include:

  • Ibuprofen
  • Naproxen
  • Acetaminophen
  • Meloxicam
  • Methocarbamol
  • Cyclobenzaprine
  • Corticosteroids

Physical Therapy for Back Pain Relief

Physical therapy is a conservative, non-surgical treatment that involves strategic exercise and stretching programs. Physical therapy for back pain relief seeks to improve the biomechanics of your spine through re-conditioning and rehabilitation. This can reduce pain, restore movement and posture, improve function and give your body an opportunity to heal without surgical intervention. Physical therapy for back pain relief typically uses 4 types of treatments: 

  • Passive treatment includes heat therapy, ice therapy, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation.
  • Manual treatment is the hands-on manipulation and mobilization of joints and soft tissue.
  • Active treatment involves stretches and exercises led by a physical therapist to re-establish stability and teach proper body mechanics. 
  • Home exercises are individualized active treatments that you do at home on a regular basis to improve the impact of your overarching physical therapy program.

Dr. Ralph Wheeler, Board Certified Radiologist and Interventional Pain Management Specialist at Oasis Orthopedic & Spine provides insight into when he recommends physical therapy to heal back pain: 

Our treatment of patients with back pain typically follows an algorithm beginning with the most conservative treatments and progressing to more aggressive treatments. I recommend physical therapy in the treatment of back pain as a first-line treatment. Physical therapy often plays a major role in back pain recovery.  Its methods not only offer immediate pain reduction, but they also teach you how to condition your body to prevent further injury. Physical therapy treatment typically begins with passive treatments and as your body heals, you will progress to active treatments that strengthen your body and prevent further pain.”

Injection-Based Treatments for Back Pain Relief

In many situations, an injection-based treatment can be used to provide another option for back pain relief. Injections can help alleviate severe pain, inflammation, and discomfort. While the injection’s effects tend to be temporary, they can be critical for acute pain relief especially in conjunction with other forms of physical therapy. 

Typically, an injection is a combination of a steroid and a numbing medicine. The experts at Oasis Orthopedic & Spine can determine the best type of injection for you based on your specific diagnosis. The most common injections for back pain management at Oasis Orthopedic & Spine include: 

When it comes to injection-based treatment for back pain relief, Dr. Wheeler says, 

I typically recommend proceeding with injection-based treatment plans in patients who have failed conservative therapy. These are patients that continue to experience significant back pain after completing trials of physical therapy and/or chiropractic therapy. The other scenario in which I recommend injection-based treatments is for patients that are in such severe pain that they are unable to tolerate conservative physical therapy and/or chiropractic therapy. The injection-based treatment will often reduce the pain to a level that will allow the patient to better tolerate physical therapy and hopefully receive further pain reduction.

 

You should never ignore your back pain. It can be difficult to gauge how healthy or unhealthy your spine is from the pain you experience. Dr. Wheeler can help you identify the cause of your back pain by reading the signals your body sends and help you find relief through non-surgical, conservative treatments. Ultimately, if back surgery is indicated, Dr. Wheeler works closely with Oasis’ spine surgeon, Dr. Sujal Patel, to coordinate the care you deserve.

Request an appointment to get started on your path to a pain free life today.


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COVID-19 UPDATE: 

Oasis Orthopedic & Spine offers telehealth appointments in addition to in-person appointments.

We are dedicated to your safety during COVID-19 and are actively practicing the COVID-19 Safe Care Protocols at all of our locations so you can find the pain relief you deserve.