You may have developed an acute discomforting back pain at one point. Fortunately for you, the pain may have disappeared without medical intervention. However, certain injuries and conditions may cause lower back pain that continues to present uncomfortable symptoms until you seek treatment.
Fortunately, this should be the least of your worries as Dr. Patrick S. McNulty is a certified orthopedic surgeon and spine specialist who offers different treatment approaches after diagnosing the cause of your back pain. Initially, your treatment will focus on non-surgical treatments and recommend surgery when other treatments do not provide relief. Here are five non-surgical treatments you can benefit from for lower back pain.
Your first line of treatment for lower back pain may include physical therapy, which involves exercises that focus on strengthening your back muscles. Physical therapy aims to decrease pain symptoms in your lower back, improve lower back function and increase your spinal flexibility while improving your range of motion. Your doctor may also formulate a program to help prevent back conditions’ recurrence. Physical therapy will restore your ability to perform daily activities with little discomfort as your symptoms continue to improve. Your doctor may combine core-strengthening exercises and aerobic and lumbar stabilizing exercises.
Chiropractic care involves treating lower back pain through manual therapy, where your doctor focuses on manipulating surrounding spinal structures. During your treatment, your doctor may apply a thrust to your affected vertebra to improve functionality, reduce irritability and restore your range of motion. Such manipulation is what your doctor calls chiropractic adjustment.
You may need an epidural steroid injection, especially if you are living with chronic low back pain` resulting from irritation and inflammation of your nerve roots. During treatment, your doctor injects a steroid injection into your epidural space in the lower back to act on the irritated nerves and reduce pressure and swelling. A steroid injection may provide temporary pain relief that can last several months before you can schedule another injection session.
You can receive a nerve block injection in your lower back to temporarily relieve acute and chronic pain. The nerve block medication can reduce inflammation, thus allowing your nerves to heal. Also, you may be living with pain, but your doctor cannot identify the exact source. Your doctor may administer a nerve-blocking medication to target the source of pain and provide relief. After an injection, you may feel less pain in your lower back.
During treatment for lower back pain with radiofrequency, your doctor may insert a small needle into the targeted nerve to deliver heat waves. The heat waves prevent pain signals from reaching your brain and thus resulting in pain relief. Radiofrequency ablation may work for you after you find relief from nerve blocks that determine your exact source of pain.
You may try heat and cold therapy and OTC pain relievers when acute back pain occurs. However, lower back pain may intensify in the following weeks and hinder your ability to perform normal activities. During treatment, you will undergo a comprehensive evaluation to identify the cause of back pain and recommend the right treatment option.
Your treatment will address the specific condition and alleviate the accompanying pain while healing the condition causing pain. Treatment can include physical therapy, steroid injections, nerve blocks, and radiofrequency ablation, among other non-surgical options.