Category: Spine Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: March 17, 2022
Medications can be a great addition to a comprehensive treatment plan, but they should not be your only option because they do not effectively treat the root cause of your pain. Because of this, and because painkillers can cause dependency or even overdose, some patients want to pursue any number of treatments other than medication. We’ve put this blog together to help shine a light on some helpful spine pain treatments that don’t involve painkillers.
Fixing Back Pain Without Opioids
It should go without saying, but keep in mind that this is general medical advice, and you will be better served by speaking to a doctor who can see you in person and provide individualized medical advice. These tips also may not work with the same effectiveness based on your underlying diagnosis, so again, it would be smart to seek out a specialist in your area if you want to know the best ways to overcome spine pain without medication. That being said, here’s a look at some of the most common non-opioid treatments for back pain.
- Physical Therapy – Physical therapy is arguably the most common treatment for a range of spinal conditions, and it’s a great avenue to pursue if you want to avoid medications. Using targeted exercise, physical therapy helps to increase flexibility, develop muscles and improve overall function. Your spine will be stronger and better able to manage stress after you’ve completed physical therapy.
- Exercise – Exercise is also great because it can act as a natural form of pain relief. When you exercise, endorphins in your brain are released. Endorphins are known as “feel good” chemicals because of how they can positively affect your mood and help to drown out pain. Exercise can also help you lose weight, which will take stress off your spine. Oftentimes a little weight loss can go a long way in helping you overcome back pain.
- Posture Changes – Your posture may be contributing to your spine pain and you may not even be aware of the issue. Subtle posture corrections can help change how pressure is dispersed on your spine, making certain positions less painful. A spine specialist can also help teach you how to perform self-assessments of your posture so that you can perform self-checks throughout the day and make adjustments as needed.
- Bracing – Although it can’t help correct every problem, spinal braces can help treat some types of alignment disorders. Bracing can help to shift the spine towards a more healthy position or protect an area from stress after an injury, like if you suffered whiplash after a car accident. It’s a helpful passive technique, but it should be paired with some other active techniques also on this list.
- A TENS Unit – A TENS unit stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, and it’s a device that provides electrical stimulation for treatment of certain spinal disorders. Electrical impulses can help to drown out a painful nerve or sensory fibers that are misfiring and causing discomfort. You can also expect to pursue other active treatments alongside the implementation of a TENS unit.
These are just a few of the most common ways doctors work to help patients find spine pain relief without opioids. If you’re looking to find a treatment plan for your back pain that’s right for you, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi and the team at the Midwest Spine & Brain Institute today.