Finding the best way to treat back pain

Just as there are many causes of back pain, there are also many different treatment options for relief.

If you are dealing with chronic pain related to a spine condition, the amount of advice you receive regarding treatment can be overwhelming. You may receive varying information from your primary care doctor, specialists and your loved ones.

However, finding the right treatment that brings you lasting relief is possible. First, it may be helpful to clear up some misunderstandings that many patients have about the spine. This clarity can help you and your doctor develop a treatment plan with the best chance of returning you to the life you’ve been missing.

Back pain misconceptions

The following are some common misconceptions regarding the treatment of back pain.

  • Back pain should be treated exclusively with bed rest. This is among the most common assumptions. While it is important to rest, especially when it is too painful to move, too much inactivity can be harmful as well. Being inactive can lead to the breakdown of important supporting muscles, which can put more pressure on the spine.
  • I’ll just have to live with my aching back. This is not always the case, as many back conditions and injuries tend to respond well to physical therapy, pain medication, anti-inflammatory drugs and lifestyle changes. It’s important to be consistent with these measures and follow your doctor’s advice. Patience is important — it can take time to find the right combination of treatments.
  • I won’t experience back pain because I’m in shape. While having a strong core and good cardiovascular health can decrease your risk of developing chronic back pain, there are many causes that cannot be prevented. The natural aging process and injury are both major causes of debilitating spine conditions like bulging discs and spinal arthritis.
  • I have to get surgery for my back to stop hurting. Many patients with neck or back pain are able to live a comfortable, active life without having to resort to surgery. In all but the most severe cases, surgery only becomes an option when nonsurgical treatments have been exhausted.

When surgery becomes an option

If you are considering surgery but are anxious about the prospect of hospitalization and a long, painful recovery period, contact Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive spine surgery is an alternative to traditional open neck or back procedures because we use a small, muscle-sparing incision to access the spine. This offers an outpatient procedure where patients are encouraged to be up and walking hours after surgery and experience a shorter recovery period^ compared to traditional open spine surgery.

For a no-cost review of your CT scan or MRI* to determine if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive spine procedures, contact Laser Spine Institute today.