Your back is the core of your body’s support system, and when it hurts, even slight movements can aggravate the problem. Surgery is often an option for chronic conditions and can be a good choice. It’s not, however, the only choice. Here are several treatments you can try before choosing to go under the knife.
Make Some Changes
Diet, exercise and clean living are touted as the cure for so many ailments that it’s easy to tune out that advice. Though not a panacea, careful lifestyle choices can resolve a plethora of issues, and back pain is one of them. Obese frames contribute to back pain and worsen disk degeneration. Smoking also increases the odds of experiencing back pain as do high impact exercises. Exercise in the pool to relieve stress on all of your joints, try losing a little weight and give up cigarettes if you want to reduce back pain. Take the time to learn about proper lifting and sports injury prevention as well.
Listen to your body and act quickly when back pain starts to flare. Get some type of over-the-counter NSAID (non-steroidal inflammatory drug) in your body as soon as you can. Place an ice pack on the affected area and try to keep moving, albeit gently. If the pain persists, contact your family doctor for a prescription pain medication or oral steroids. Don’t try to push through the pain or ignore it, as this can make problems worse.
Physical therapy is an excellent way to strengthen your back and restore movement. Therapists use exercises, stretches, electricity and other external treatments to alleviate back pain and keep your back strong to resist future pain attacks. Treatment typically begins with several visits a week to the therapist’s office. After several weeks of treatment, your therapist will likely release you but provide exercises you can do at home to keep your back strong and healthy.
Call the Chiropractor
While physical therapy is an excellent tool for combating back pain, this type of treatment focuses more on muscles and nerves. A chiropractor, however, can realign the bones in your spine and elsewhere in your body to restore proper function. When your body is properly aligned, there is less stress on your back and joints, reducing the risk of developing back pain. Regular visits to Fulk Chiropractic or a provider near you can keep your body properly aligned, helping to avoid and relieve pain if and when a misalignment occurs again.
Of course, some conditions that cause back pain are serious and may require surgical intervention. Even minimally invasive procedures carry risks, however, so it’s wise to try these treatments before considering a surgical option.