Spine surgery is not the ultimate treatment for back pain. Here are some ways a spine surgery can be avoided:
6 Proven Ways To Avoid Spine Surgery
Living with back pain is tough. The pain may result from various reasons such as an annular tear, herniated disc, muscle spasm, nerve root irritation, injuries to the ligament, facet joint arthritis, sacroiliac joint arthritis and pain shooting from visceral organs.
In many cases, non-steroid anti-inflammatory medications have proved helpful. It is usually offered as the first line of treatment to patients experiencing mild back pain. Oral steroid medication should be administered early in patients with acute sciatica. This may lead to overall mental well-being, speedy improvement in pain, and disability. Chronic back pain can be tackled with anti-depressants such as tricyclic antidepressants.
2. Physical Therapy
These procedures have been proved very beneficial for back pain. A physical therapy, chiropractic management, and massage therapy under the guidance of an expert can effectively treat lumbar radicular and back pain.
3. Cold and Heat Therapy
Most doctors also recommend cold and heat therapy for low back pain patients. This is easily accessible and patients can follow it any time from the comfort of their home. Ice or cold packs help in reducing inflammation and tissues that have gone numb and sore. Cold packs are anesthetic for the painful area. Heat application enlarges blood vessels. It increases oxygen and healing nutrients flow to the injured area.
4. Spine Injections
Studies have revealed that lumbar epidural steroid injection (LESI) is effective in relieving acute radicular pain resulting from herniated nucleus pulposus. It also helps in the speeding recovery rate and returns to daily function. The effect of LESI may last up to 3 months.
Patients can also take inflammatory mediators. Most doctors recommend phospholipase A2. It is involved in several conditions such as disc herniation and lumbar radiculopathy. One can also get pain relief from lumbar epidural steroid injections. These help by suppressing the function of inflammatory mediators for reducing pain. A patient can lead a normal life as long as they are pain-free. A herniated disc is no problem without neurological deficits. Although LESI alone cannot reduce the need for back surgery, a combination of LESI and other treatments such as lifestyle modification and physical therapy will help.
5. Minimally Invasive Surgery
Most experienced spine surgeons recommend a minimally invasive surgery which is safer and has fewer side effects. The best treatments options include the following:
- Percutaneous nucleosome
- Automated percutaneous lumbar discectomy
- Laser discectomy
- Disc decompressor
The major advantage of the minimally invasive technique is that the patient experiences less pain, leaves no or minimal scar post-surgery.
6. Life Style Changes
In most cases, low back pain results from improper lifestyle choices. Some of the major reasons include smoking, obesity, improper lifting of heavy objects, injuries related to sport, and road accidents. Patients should be educated about various ways of recovery from low back pain and things that can prevent recurring of back pain.
Doctors strongly recommend smoking cessation and weight control individuals with back pain. Proper exercise techniques should also be followed. Patients with spinal stenosis usually face difficulty walking owing to neurological claudication. Long distance walking and the use of treadmills can exacerbate pain. Patients should focus on following a healthy diet, therapeutic aquatic exercise routine, maintain a healthy posture, and avoid smoking.
Spine Surgery – In a Nutshell
Lumbar spine surgery can provide quick relief from pain and even help with functional recovery. However, there are also several downsides related to surgery such as recurrence of pain in the long term, post laminectomy surgery syndrome, etc. Conservative treatment options such as a combination of physical therapy, medications, lifestyle modifications, and spinal injections can help alleviate the symptoms.