How to treat back pain without surgery
Back pain is becoming increasingly prevalent in American society. Approximately 80 percent of Americans will be touched by neck or back pain at some point in their lives. Not everyone who experiences neck or back pain requires surgery, though. For the most part, the back pain will dissipate with time and conservative treatment.
If you are experiencing neck or back pain, you may be suffering from one of these conditions:
- Bulging/herniated disc
- Spinal stenosis, or arthritis of the spine
Some forms of neck or back pain stick around for a while. If your pain persists for more than 12 weeks, it is often referred to as chronic neck or back pain. This type of pain may be treated with conservative treatment, which is defined as treating chronic back pain without the use of surgery. Your physician may recommend some of the following treatment options:
Low-impact exercises. When back pain strikes, it can make moving difficult. Engaging in low-impact exercises can be greatly beneficial to helping relieve neck or back pain. Make a point to walk every day for a few minutes. Staying active will help your back heal faster. You can also join a Pilates or yoga class to help strengthen your core muscles. Other forms of low-impact exercise include swimming and biking.
Physical therapy. Your physician may recommend that you see a physical therapist to help relieve your chronic neck or back pain. A physical therapist can assist you in developing a plan to strengthen your back, regain your range of motion and alleviate your pain. Partaking in physical therapy can also help prevent neck or back pain in the future.
Ice and heat therapy. Both heat and ice can help relieve back pain. The heat will help ease tense muscles while keeping arthritic joints warm. Ice will aid in reducing inflammation and swelling. Alternate ice and heat throughout the day as needed. Remember; don’t fall asleep with a heating pad as prolonged use can cause skin damage. Also, make sure to wrap ice packs in a towel.
Healthy eating. Staying physically fit is a big part of maintaining back health. Your physician may suggest that you drop a few pounds to lighten the load placed on your spine. Consider eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables, many of which are anti-inflammatory in nature and will help lessen the pain.