How to treat back pain

There are many causes of back pain and the best treatment will often depend on the specific underlying source. Minor cases of back pain, like a muscle strain, may only require basic treatment while the most severe spine conditions may require surgery. If you are dealing with back pain that has not gone away in a short period of time and it is beginning to affect your normal activities, like going to work or spending time with your family, it is important to contact your doctor. By working together you should be able to develop a plan to treat back pain effectively.

Conservative treatment options

After diagnosing the cause of your back pain through a physical exam and diagnostic imagery like an MRI, your doctor will typically recommend conservative, nonsurgical treatment first. The goal of conservative methods is to relieve pain and restore any lost range of motion so that normal activities can be resumed. Treatment often includes:

  • Periods of rest
  • Hot and cold compression therapy to ease pain and swelling
  • Use of pain medication or anti-inflammatory drugs
  • A return to exercise and normal movement as soon as it is approved by a physician
  • Physical therapy
  • Lifestyle changes like quitting smoking or choosing healthy eating habits

Many cases of back pain improve over time by consistently following recommended surgical treatments. Nonsurgical treatment is often successful for patients as many back problems — including spine conditions — can heal over time. Your physician will help you determine the best treatment plan for you.

When to consider surgery

Some patients experiencing back pain cannot find relief through conservative treatment. Even after months of attempting multiple nonsurgical treatment plans, pain and limited mobility may persist. If this is your situation and it is causing you and your doctor to explore surgery, reach out to Laser Spine Institute.

Our board-certified+ spine surgeons perform state-of-the-art, minimally invasive spine surgery that can treat back pain with a less than 1-inch incision. This allows our procedures to be performed on an outpatient basis, letting our patients enjoy a shorter recovery time^ with less risk of complication.

Contact our dedicated team today for a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you may be a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute.