Around the world there are back surgeries being done on patients who are suffering from chronic pain. Although in some instances surgery is the right answer, in most cases a patient is able to control their pain without surgery. Remember that any surgery comes with an increased risk of complications, and the more complex and difficult the surgery, the more risky. Some complications include stiffness, increased pain and accidental nerve injury.
According to a study in 2013,Comparison of spinal fusion and nonoperative treatments in patients with chronic low back pain, two groups of patients were followed for 11 years, one got surgery and the other had cognitive-behavioral and exercise rehabilitation. The results showed there was no difference in the patient rated outcomes and surgery should not be favored as the ideal treatment plan.
So if surgery isn’t the most viable option, what is? Start by finding an orthopaedic physician who practices in non-surgical treatments to help you develop a treatment plan for your condition and history. They will help you get enough pain relief in the short term so that your body can heal and you can participate in physical therapy and rehabilitation for long-term relief.
Here are a few examples of non-surgical treatments your physician may recommend for you.
–Pain medication– using NSAIDs can help to decrease pain and inflammation. In some instances a muscle relaxer, steroid, or narcotic medicine may be used. Your physician can help you decide what option is right for you.
–Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy– using the patient’s own blood put into a centrifuge, the white blood cells are separated into a concentrated mixture which is then injection into the area of injury. This regenerative process allows for healing of the injury and repairing of damaged areas.
–Epidural Steroid Injections– this injection delivers a steroid mixture directly in to the painful area, which helps to decrease inflammation and reduce pain.
–Ice And Heat– often using a cold or hot pack can help relieve back pain. In some instances you can alternate between both therapies.
–Physical Therapy– working with a physical therapist can help increase movement and restore your physical function and fitness, which can lead to reduced pain, stiffness and lead to long-term relief.
–Massage– helping to improve blood flow and reduce stiffness.
–TENS Units– this provides an electrical stimulation that interrupts the pain signals that are sent to the brain and can help provide temporary pain relief.
If you are considering treatment for your chronic low back pain, talking with a physician who specializes in non-surgical treatments is the best way to start the process. The physicians at Non-Surgical Orthopaedics, P.C. are available to answer any questions you may have about treatment options.
Comparison of spinal fusion and nonoperative treatment in patients with chronic low back pain: long term follow up of three randomized controlled trials, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24200413