If you have back pain and want to know how to treat it, you are not alone. Back pain is a primary reason for days missed at work and why so many people are living with chronic pain. But before you think “scalpel,” know there are other ways to relieve back pain. These non-surgical treatments can help relieve back pain.
When taken as directed, NSAIDS – non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin – can help relieve pain by reducing pain-causing inflammation.
Cold and Heat Therapy
Applying ice packs or moist heat to the affected area can work wonders to relieve temporary back pain and inflammation, especially when that pain is caused by arthritis, strains or overdoing it at the gym. Epsom salt soaks are also soothing and can relieve temporary soreness and pain.
Having a strong core is also beneficial when treating back pain that specifically is due to muscle, tendon or ligament strains. Physical therapy is a great way to strengthen these and other muscles, as well as develop flexibility and a full range of motion that can relieve back pain.
Acupuncture involves the use of extremely fine needles to help reduce pain and inflammation by promoting the body’s natural healing process. Acupuncture often is used in conjunction with other treatment methods such as physical therapy.
Epidural steroid injections are a medical intervention that can be used to relieve both chronic and acute back pain. Because the effect of these injections is not permanent, they are more commonly used for acute pain or in conjunction with other treatments.
Nerve Stimulation Devices
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation – TENS – is a common treatment for back pain that involves electrical currents applied topically to the affected area; these currents block pain signals from reaching the brain. Spinal cord stimulation uses gentle pulses for a similar effect. Radiofrequency neurotomy is yet another technique of pain management whereby pain signals are interrupted by heating a small area of nerve tissue with radiofrequency currents; this treatment is especially effective for those whose back pain is caused by nerve damage, arthritis or injury.
PRP – platelet rich plasma – therapy requires a small draw of the patient’s blood from which the platelets are extracted, then injected back into the damaged area to stimulate growth of new, healthy tissue. Similar in process to PRP therapy, stem cell therapy incorporates stem cells drawn from the patient’s fat tissue or bone marrow; these cells are injected back into the damaged or injured area to regenerate healthy cartilage.
Treating Back Pain in Greater Austin
The first step of relieving back pain is getting a proper diagnosis. Back pain isn’t only caused by accidents or wear and tear, it could be a symptom or result of any number of medical conditions – from scoliosis and kidney stones to osteoporosis and metastatic cancer. Once your doctor has identified the cause of your problem, as well as any physical, medical and emotional factors that could impact that diagnosis, he will be able to develop a plan to help you manage or overcome your pain. The only way to know for sure if to seek a doctor who is an expert at diagnosing the cause of your back pain, then developing a treatment plan that works for your whole person, not only just the affected area.
If you live in the Austin, Cedar Park, or Winter Falls areas, Balcones Pain Consultants offers a variety of treatments and procedures for a wide range of conditions – from fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome to chronic knee, back and hip pain. If you can’t seem to find relief for your back pain, or any other sort of pain, there is no need to suffer. Our expert providers can help. You have a choice to be pain free. Call Balcones Pain Consultants today at (512) 834-4141, or request an appointment online to start your journey of living pain free.