There are a lot of people today who assume that the only option to correct the back pain they may have been living with for years is through surgery. Often this is what people believe because they haven’t been to an orthopedic specialist for years, and they aren’t aware of the various options besides spine surgery now available.
It is important to realize that there are situations when spine surgery is the only option. This can occur when there is a trauma to the spine that causes a disc to press against the spinal cord, or when it presses on the nerves and results in pain with specific movements or movement in general. It can also occur in the case of vehicle accident or fall when the spine is crushed or significantly damaged.
However, outside of these situations, many types of lower and upper back pain can be treated very effectively without the need for spine surgery. Through a variety of treatment methods from physical therapy to the use of specific medications and exercise routines the pain can be greatly reduced or even eliminated.
When you visit your orthopedic surgeon or spine specialist, you should be prepared to answer a lot of questions about your lifestyle. Sometimes what people are doing, or not doing, can actually contribute to lower and upper back pain.
Some simple lifestyle changes that can help to reduce back pain, particularly lower back pain, include:
- Losing any excess weight and maintaining a healthy BMI to reduce the pressure on the spine.
- Increasing physical exercise through low impact types of activities. This can include walking, swimming, cycling, water based exercise classes and yoga.
- Incorporating regular stretches into your daily routine. Your doctor will provide specific stretches to address your unique back needs.
- Changing your office chairs and your mattress can often help with pain in the lower back and legs and may even help you to put off spine surgery.
Eating a healthy diet and generally becoming more active throughout life is another way to support good spine health and help the body to heal after an injury.
Through regular physical therapy, it is possible to learn how to stretch your back safely and how to build up the back and core muscle groups. During therapy, you may also learn how to move, lift and even how to sit to avoid creating extra pressure on your back.
Physical therapy may be combined with medication to help reduce pain and swelling. Combined together they are often the best option for anyone to delay or eliminate the need for spine surgery to address back pain.
At Suburban Orthopaedics, our staff is here to help all of our patients to find the best possible treatment for their back pain, including spine surgery if necessary. To find out more go to www.suburbanortho.com. You can also follow them on Twitter for more updates!