Nonsurgical Treatment for Back Pain and Spine Problems

Back pain is one of the most difficult types of ailments to live with, as it can affect virtually all aspects of a person's life. Often, causing pain and discomfort that extends from the back and to the legs and feet.

There are many factors that cause back pain and when it comes to treatment, it is almost always better to start with a non-surgical treatment. This is because even though back surgery can be very effective, there are always some very serious risks associated with it.

Some of the more effective non-surgical treatments are listed below, but make sure to speak with your doctor before attempting any type of treatment.

Letting the Body Do its Work

One of the most effective treatments for back pain is to simply preform tasks that helps the body heal. The power of the body is truly amazing and if treated properly, many of the effects of back pain can be reduced.

Perhaps the hardest part of helping the body to heal is staying active. All to often, people with back pain tend to spend more time immobile, such as staying in their recliner most of the day or confining themselves to bed rest. However, this is almost always a bad choice, as it will actually make the back pain worse and reduce the muscle mass in the back, which is important for proper stability of the spine.

A great place to start is with walking. Walking is generally low impact and low stress, but goes a long way to reducing pain and strengthening the muscles in the back.

Another important step is to make sure that the body maintains a healthy weight. Often, BMI is used to determine what someones weight should be and uses a formula that takes into account their height and weight. Of course, since muscle weighs more than fat, BMI is not always a good metric, but it is a good place to start.

The reason controlling your body weight is important is because extra body weight means there is more stress and strain on the back. However, proper nutrition is also important, so it is important to speak with a doctor or nutrition specialist to develop a safe plan for weight loss.

Also, it is important to be very careful when preforming any activity that puts strain on the spine. This is especially true of lifting heavy objects, but even sitting with poor posture or bending over should be avoided.

Using Medication to Control Back Pain

Generally, proper diet and exercise should be the first line of defense, but back pain can be very painful and so medication is often used.

There are many types of medications and it is a good idea to avoid serious narcotics, such as morphine, whenever possible. This is not only to reduce the risk of chemical addiction, but also if the body is too relaxed, it is possible to receive an injury when preforming regular tasks throughout the day.

Over the counter medications, such as aspirin, acetaminophen(Tylenol), Advil, and ibuprofen(Motrin) can be effective at treating back pain, but they should be taken in moderation.

No matter what medication is used, it is very important to take only the recommended dosage and follow all warnings. It is important to remember that pain medications do not actually treat the problem, but instead only treat the pain.

Common Over the Counter Medications

  • Tylenol(acetaminophen): Tylenol is one of the most well known pain medications and is relatively low risk, although if too much is taken it can cause liver damage. Tylenol only addresses pain and does not relieve inflammation. Since Tylenol does not cause bleeding, it is a good choice for those who are preparing for surgery.
  • Aspirin: Aspirin is not only a pain reliever, but it also helps reduce inflammation. It is relatively safe in moderation, but because it affects the way blood clots, it can be dangerous to people who have bleeding problems, such as an ulcer. Also, those who are about to have surgery should avoid it. Recent studies have also called the effectiveness of aspirin for arthritis patients into question, so it is a good idea to speak with your doctor before using it.
  • Ibuprofen: Ibuprofen is another popular medication, which not only helps with pain, but also inflammation. Ibuprofen is chemically different from Aspirin and Tylenol, but it shares similar side effects to Aspirin.
  • Alleve: Chemically, Alleve is different from Aspirin, but it works similarly and shares the same risks.

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