The severity, source, and type of your back pain will guide your treatment plan, and conservative options are usually the first step. If these solutions don’t provide enough relief, you may be a candidate for spine surgery.
Complementary Pain Management
A range of experts can help you understand the mental and emotional aspects of back pain, develop skills and strategies to cope with it, and improve your quality of life. More holistic options like massage therapy, biofeedback, and meditation could resolve your back pain on their own, or they may complement more traditional treatments.
Using fine needles placed strategically in the skin, acupuncture stimulates the central nervous system and releases chemicals that promote healing.
A skilled chiropractor uses spinal manipulation and other manual methods to help relieve back pain and other symptoms such as numbness and tingling, loss of strength, or pain in the arms or legs. These hands-on techniques stretch and move the spine to restore mobility to joints restricted by injury or repetitive stress, such as sitting without proper back support. Our chiropractors can also teach you exercises for improving strength and flexibility and incorporating safe movements and proper posture into your daily activities.
A trained physical therapist guides you in exercises and stretches designed to strengthen your back, improve your balance and flexibility, and improve range of motion -- all benefits that can alleviate your pain and protect your spine from future injury. Physical therapists will teach you stretches and exercises to do on your own to prevent further episodes of spine pain.
Medications include over-the-counter pain relievers, prescription-grade anti-inflammatory drugs, and occasionally short courses of muscle relaxers, nerve-pain medicines, and more. Our back doctors balance medication recommendations with risks of side effects, dependency, or other unwanted reactions.
In some cases, including trauma and fractures or instability of the spine, your doctors may recommend wearing a rigid or semi-rigid back brace for a short time. This stabilizes your spine, allowing it to heal and helping prevent additional injury.
A TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator) unit can be used in your doctor’s office or at home. A portable version is small enough to hold in your hand. When you are experiencing pain, you place reusable electrodes on your back and attach them with wires to the TENS device. Then you turn on the device to deliver mild electricity (it should not hurt) through your skin for 15 to 30 minutes. This stimulates your nerves and stops pain receptors in the brain.