Back & Neck
Expert, customized personal care
Living with back or neck pain is difficult, but the experts at San Ramon Regional Medical Center are here to help get you back to your normal lifestyle. We offer:
- Extensive experience treating a wide range of back and spine conditions using sophisticated technology
- A compassionate, personal approach to care
- Nonsurgical and surgical options, focusing on less-invasive options whenever possible
- Adult and pediatric spine care
Lower back pain affects as many as 80 percent of adults sometime during their lives. Even though back pain is common, if your pain is severe or becomes more frequent, you should talk to a doctor.
Nonsurgical treatment options
Fortunately, most back problems can be treated without surgery. Conservative, nonsurgical options are the first line of treatment for back pain and might include:
- Physical therapy, including passive therapies like heat, ice, massage, ultrasound and electrical stimulation and active therapies like stretching, weightlifting 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
If a severely pinched nerve, a compressed spinal cord or instability in the spine causes your back problem, then your doctor may suggest surgery. Surgery may be indicated if you have symptoms of nerve damage including pain radiating down the legs or arms; pain, numbness, weakness or tingling in the arms or legs; or a loss of bowel or bladder control.
Surgery for back pain is considered only when nonsurgical options have failed and when the doctor can pinpoint the source of your pain. Some chronic forms of lower-back pain sometimes cannot be treated with surgery.
Back surgery is used for these conditions:
- Herniated disk
- Disk degeneration
- Spinal stenosis (narrowing)
- Infections or tumors
- Spinal deformity
Back surgery techniques are improving. Today, your doctor may be able to use less invasive surgery techniques to treat your condition.
Back pain prevention
Take these steps to help 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 because 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, which causes the spine to degenerate faster than normal.
- Remember what your mother said: Don’t slouch. Sit up straight.