Back pain can be constant or occasional, mild or extreme, depending on the cause of it. There are various surgical procedures and non-surgical treatments for back pain. Some of the common treatments and procedures for back pain are listed below:
- Spinal fusion
Spinal fusion is the most popular surgery to treat back pain. In this surgery, the doctor joints the vertebrae together. Vertebrae are the bones of the spinal cord. This surgery helps to limit the motion between vertebrae and also, how far the nerves can stretch. However, this doesn’t mean it will limit your day-to-day activities. In rare cases, the bones may not fuse completely. Smoking is a likely cause for this to happen. If your bones don’t fuse completely, you may need another operation to fix the same.
In this surgery, to widen the space where nerves exit your spine, the surgeon cuts away bone at the side of your vertebrae. This extra room helps to relieve pressure on the nerves and hence, ease your pain as well. However, this surgery can make your spine less stable. The surgeon may perform a spinal fusion surgery at the same time as well to increase stability. However, this will increase your total recovery time.
In this surgery, the surgeon removes parts of the bones, ligaments, or bone spurs from your back. It helps to ease the pain and weakness by relieving the pressure on spinal nerves. However, if this surgery makes your spine less stable, then a spinal fusion surgery may be needed as well. Surgeons sometimes perform both the surgeries together.
A disk is a cushion that separates your vertebrae. Sometimes, this disk can slip out of place or press on a spinal nerve and cause back pain. In this surgery, the surgeon removes a part of the disk or all of it, depending on the condition of the patient. Sometimes, a discectomy can be a part of other surgeries as well.
- Interlaminar implant
Between two vertebrae in your lower back, the surgeon plants a u-shaped device in this surgery. The device helps to keep the space between vertebrae open and hence, ease the pressure on your spinal nerves. Unlike spinal fusion surgery, the implant in this surgery provides stability and allows your back to move normally. However, the area in which the device is placed, you may be able to bend back that easily.
- Disk replacement
In disk replacement, the surgeon removes the damaged spinal disk and inserts an artificial one between your vertebrae. You can continue to move your spine normally after this surgery. Recovery time for this surgery is shorter than other surgeries like spinal fusion. However, there are always chances that the new disk may fall out or slip and may require repair.
- Muscle relaxants
Muscle relaxants are medications that act as a depressant of the central nervous system. They tend to increase the mobility of your muscles and relieve pain from muscle tightness or spasms. However, in case of chronic pain, they are not much of help.
- Back Braces
To provide comfort and possibly reduce pain, some people who deal with back pain issues use back braces. Wearing an elastic corset-style brace daily in combination with physical therapy can help reduce back pain. Especially, after back surgery, a back brace may prove to be quite helpful.
- Physical therapy
Physical therapy involves consulting a physical therapist who will help you get rid of your backache through exercise and stretches. In physical therapy, patients are trained to stretch, exercise and effectively strengthen their back. As physical therapists are trained to give instructions on posture, body mechanics, conditioning exercises, stretching and strengthening, it proves to be a great non-surgical treatment to get rid of a backache. It not only helps to relieve the back pain in the long run but strengthen your back as well.
- Chiropractic care
To treat back pain by attempting to improve the functions of the nervous system and joints, the chiropractors perform spinal adjustments. Successful chiropractic treatment is the one which the spine is realigned and relieves the pressure on the spinal nerves. Chiropractic includes diathermy, electric stimulation, ultrasound therapies to treat back pain. However, manual spinal adjustments or manipulation are some mainstream treatments for back pain in the chiropractic care.
Acupuncture stimulates points on the body to correct the body’s ‘qi’ or life force. It is believed that proper ‘qi’ will decrease the discomfort and pain in the body. During a session, for about an hour, thin needles are placed on the skin. Acupuncture has proven to provide significant relief from back pain for many people.