Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: June 13, 2017
When it comes to recovering from an injury, the majority of people would rather have it heal with conservative care compared to a surgical operation. While that’s not always the case, in most instances your surgeon will try some non-surgical approaches before moving forward with an operation (except in obvious cases where surgery would be best, like for spinal tumors).
Specific treatment for back pain depends on the exact nature of your injury, but a number of back problems benefit from similar conservative care techniques. So although you should always check with your back doctor before treating your spine problem, here’s a look at some ways to treat your back pain without surgery.
Conservative Spine Care Techniques
When it comes to helping your back injury resolve, you want to focus on activities that strengthen the area, and strength can come in many different forms. We’ll explain how all of the following conservative care techniques can help strengthen the affected area.
- Rest – Rest can be just what your back needs after an injury. Even though you’re not directly strengthening your spine through inactivity, when your back is injured, the last thing you want to do is continue to overstress the area. Rest can help your body allocate resources to recovery instead of spending energy in other ways.
- Exercise – This may seem like an odd point considering we just said rest is a good treatment option after an injury, but exercise also plays a key role in recovery. Rest is great for the first 24-48 hours, but then you need to get moving and focus on strengthening the affected area through activity. Exercise helps healthy blood get moving throughout your body, which can help deliver oxygenated blood to areas that are recovering. Don’t overdo it, but find some tolerable exercise and strive to complete it every day as your spine heals.
- Physical Therapy – PT is just like exercise, but it’s concentrated on the injured area. Physical therapy helps us strengthen the neary soft tissues and structures that support the spine. This can help ensure the area is more prepared to handle stress so you won’t re-injure the area. Listen to your doctor about what specific physical therapy exercises you should perform, or better yet, have them set you up with a PT!
- Smart Diet Choices – You can also strengthen your spine through your diet with healthy food choices and the avoidance of some harmful substances. Your diet can provide your body with key vitamins and nutrients which can help speed up the recovery process, so make sure you are eating a balanced diet full of dark green vegetables, fruits and proteins like fish and nuts. But eating healthy foods is only part of the puzzle. You’ll also want to avoid junk foods that are high in saturated fats and sugar. Lastly, you should also avoid tobacco and alcohol during injury recovery, as they can inhibit healing.
- Repeat Or Retreat – Finally, if the above tips are helping to strengthen your spine and dull your pain, keep following those good habits until you are fully recovered. However, if they don’t seem to be helping, or your pain has gotten worse, head back into your doctor’s office. There’s a chance you’ll need a different care plan, like one that involves chiropractic manipulation or spinal injections. Keep searching until you find a solution that works for you. If nothing does, at that point, surgery may be your best option.