Chronic back pain affects thousands of people every year. Whether it’s from the result of an accident, stress on the back, pulled muscle or some unknown reason, the pain is still the same. There are many different types of treatment offered for this painful problem. Most people prefer non-surgical treatment for chronic back pain. It isn’t only the patients that prefer non-surgical treatment for chronic back pain. Most doctors don’t like to do surgery unless they absolutely have no other choice.
There are some painful back conditions where surgery may be preferred such as degenerative spondylolisthesis and severe sciatica. Even in these two cases, non-surgical treatment has helped, but the surgery provided a much faster pain relief. Surgery is also performed in certain cases where it’s necessary and the only way for the patient to be able to function normally. In the majority of cases with back problems, non-surgical treatment for chronic back pain is the recommended and preferred course by patients and their doctors.
Patients seeing their doctor for the first time for chronic back pain will be treated conservatively. The first thing they will want to do is rule out cancer, infection or an emergency problem. The first non-surgical treatment for chronic back pain most doctors recommend is to apply heat and get rest. They may give you a prescription for muscle relaxants and request you take over the counter pain relievers. In some cases, the pain relievers will lessen the pain, while the rest and heat may help the pain go away. For the pain to be labeled as chronic back pain, the patient has had it for a few months, in which case, the pain needs more than heat, rest and pain relievers. The doctors want to try everything first, however.
If you have to return to see the doctor, the next non-surgical treatment for chronic back pain is physical therapy. More doctors are recommending physical therapy for all kinds of injuries of the body. A physical therapist is trained to work with the body and know how it should and should respond to certain conditions.
The Physical therapist will apply heat and/or ice to the injured area along with massaging the back. Although, this may hurt when it’s being performed, it often makes your back feel much better later. You will be scheduled to see the therapist anywhere from once a week to a few times a week. The therapist will also give you exercises for your back for you to do at home. In many cases, physical therapy will take care of the chronic back pain after a few weeks.
If the physical therapy doesn’t work completely, another non-surgical treatment for chronic back pain is injections or pain relievers or steroids. These are often very helpful along with the therapy. These are also referred to as non-invasive treatment as opposed to surgery, which is invasive.