Even when a person is in pain much of the time, they usually want to know if there is anything they can do to avoid having surgery. We can understand this perspective and, whenever possible, support the use of conservative, nonsurgical therapies to try and improve back or neck pain. Our first piece of advice for those wanting to avoid surgery is to not avoid the doctor. Spinal pain is an indication of a problem. The sooner we identify what that problem is, the better results we may get from targeted treatments. In addition to seeing a spine surgeon as soon as possible if pain is severe or persistent, back pain sufferers may also do the following.
When we’re in pain, our first inclination may be to lie low and rest as much as possible. While there is no value in over-doing it and pushing through pain, inactivity can be just as hazardous. For the spine to operate optimally, it relies on strong back and core muscles. Exercise can build these essential support structures. Additionally, exercise increases circulation, which delivers the oxygen and nutrients that the spinal discs and tissues need. Simple exercises and stretches are sufficient, with walking and water aerobics topping the list of very low-impact activities.
The nutrients that are delivered via the blood to all parts of the body, including the spine, come from the foods we consume. Fresh fruits and vegetables provide the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that the body uses for regeneration and healing. Healthy fats and lean proteins provide the energy that is needed to remain active through mild to moderate pain.
Attend Physical Therapy
The right physical activity can go a long way in reducing back or neck pain. To discern which activities are ideal, a patient may be advised to see a physical therapist for an allotted number of sessions. Physical therapy exercises have helped people with herniated discs, sciatica, and other uncomfortable conditions. This modality works by increasing flexibility around the spine and within supporting muscles and tissues, and also by building muscle in the areas of the body that support the affected spinal segment.
Early treatment for back or neck pain often revolves around symptom management and improvement as much as possible. If conservative therapies do not provide adequate relief, surgery may be a worthwhile consideration. To discover what is causing your spinal pain, contact our NYC office at 212-606-1004 and schedule a consultation with spinal specialist Dr. Todd Albert.