Non-Surgical Treatment Options
Luckily, most back problems can be treated without surgery. Your doctor may suggest limiting your activity and prescribe some pain medications or anti-inflammatory medicines. You may start seeing a physical therapist for exercises designed to strengthen the back or for other treatments.
Conservative, non-surgical options are the first line of treatment for back pain. These can include:
- Physical therapy, including passive therapies like heat, ice, massage, ultrasound and electrical stimulation and active therapies like stretching, weight lifting and cardiovascular exercises to restore motion and strength.
- Medications to help relieve pain and reduce inflammation
- Epidural steroid injections
- Manipulation therapy
- Braces, collars to limit motion
You can take these steps to prevent recurrent back problems:
- Exercise regularly to keep the muscles in your back strong and flexible.
- Stretch before and after exercising to help warm up your muscles.
- Avoid standing or being in one position for too long.
- Maintain your proper body weight since excess weight strains your back muscles.
- Use proper lifting and body mechanics.
- Get help if an object is heavy or an awkward size.
- Don’t twist when lifting.
- Avoid smoking. Smoking and nicotine cause the spine to degenerate faster than normal.
- Remember what your mother said, “Don’t slouch. Sit up straight.”