A short-term stretch of back pain is typical following some form of trauma. But if the pain persists for more than three months, this will be considered chronic back pain. A few things will make your life as uncomfortable as back pain since your back is quite nerve-rich. There are various conditions related to back pain, though degenerative or herniated disc disease is the most common. This is an age-related condition characterized by the deterioration of the space between one or several vertebral discs.
There are several alternatives for the treatment of a herniated disc, though they are all centered on the alleviation of the considerable pain associated with the disease. Other than surgery that is the definitive management of spine-related illnesses, you can opt for conservative pain management conditions. These work for those who cannot undergo surgical procedures for whatever reason.
Here are the pain management alternatives for spine-related issues:
Exercise is considered the foundation of treatment in spine-related conditions. Physiotherapy is the first line of pain management. The exercises you can safely engage in will be tailored to your symptoms since they do not work the same way for everyone. Some of the physiotherapy techniques for back pain include retraining your posture, pain tolerance limit testing, flexibility, stretching exercises, core strengthening, and aerobics.
You should note the activities that increase your back pain and change your lifestyle accordingly. This will not only alleviate the pain but will also avert the worsening of your underlying spine condition. The doctor might also recommend quitting smoking since nicotine will delay the healing of various structures and accentuate pain. Some diets are also highly inflammatory, and a dietitian might recommend avoiding them to reduce your pain. These include processed foods and those high in refined sugars and trans fat. Cutting these from your diet also helps you lose weight and puts minimal pressure on your back.
Some of the injection-based treatments for back pain include nerve ablations, epidural steroid injections, and nerve blocks. These are used when the cause of your pain is known. It is also at times used to rule out specific causes of your back pain. Though injections might reduce and at times stop your back pain, they are not meant for long-term use and cannot be used in isolation.
Anti-inflammatory drugs, analgesics, and muscle relaxants are the commonly used ones for the management of back pain. Narcotics such as hydrocodone and oxycodone have also proven useful for the relief of back pain when used for a short period and under a doctor’s supervision. Anti-depressants, more so tricyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline, also relieve back pain along with their effect on depression.
Even though the above management alternatives will prove beneficial for your everyday comfort, remember that they will not address the fundamental cause of the pain. If you have worsening or new bladder and bowel issues, limb weakness, balance and gait problems, and increased brisk reflexes, these are red flags. They might indicate that surgery is inevitable and should be done as soon as possible.
There are many professionals offering management techniques for back pain. You should settle on a trained and certified physician to ensure the safety and success of your treatment.