Can You Overtreat Your Back Pain?
Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: August 14, 2018
If you’re dealing with spine pain, your ultimate goal is finding the fastest way to treat the pain and make it go away for good. If you don’t know the best way to treat the condition, you may try a bunch of different treatment options in hopes of finding something that works, but that could lead to another potential problem – overtreatment.
Overtreatment, as the name implies, involves undertaking unnecessary treatments for your back pain. At best they prevent you from pursuing helpful treatment options, and at worst they can actually put your back at risk of further injury. So how can you avoiding overtreating your back problem? We explain below.
Consult A Specialist
One of the most common reasons people overtreat their spine injury is because they don’t treat the actual cause of the injury. If you try to treat the wrong condition, or you treat the symptoms and not the root cause, you’ll find yourself trying a number of different options to no avail, and that can lead to more problems or frustration with your lack of improvement.
Pursue Active Treatments
Another problem people often run into is that they attempt to pursue passive treatment options. They can help provide short-term relief, but they aren’t always the best at achieving long-term relief. Some of these options include massage therapy, painkillers, rest and steroid injections. All of these have a place in the right treatment plan, but they can lead to overtreatment if you rely on too many passive treatment options without trying to tackle the problem head on. For example, while rest can allow structures to heal, exercise is what’s going to strengthen the area.
Sometimes it can be easy to fall for wonder treatments or gimmicky gadgets that promise to provide pain relief, especially if your back pain isn’t too intense. Things like wraps and creams can actually open us up to more injuries because we believe we’re more protected than we actually are. Again, it’s best to consult a doctor and get to the bottom of your pain than to just try gadgets that aren’t medically reliable.
Over-Reliance on Pain Meds
Another way people open themselves up to overtreatment is by assuming painkillers will treat the problem. As we alluded to above, they are a passive treatment options, and while they do have a role in a comprehensive treatment plan, simply trying to mask your pain can lead to dependency and painkiller overtreatment.
Jumping Into Surgery
Finally, while surgery can help to treat your spine pain, a lot of times your condition can be treated with conservative care methods. Unless it’s a serious condition like a spinal tumor or something that jeopardizes the integrity of your spinal cord, your surgeon will likely want to see how your condition responds to conservative care. Really jump into these non-operative approaches, because oftentimes they can help provide relief so you can avoid an invasive and potentially expensive surgery. Don’t opt for an operation without pursuing less-invasive methods first.
Overtreatment is a problem when it comes to back pain, but it doesn’t have to be if you trust your condition to a spine specialist. To talk to a back surgeon about your spinal condition, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.