Alternatives to Non-Surgical Back Pain Treatment
Center : Nakornthon Absolute Spine Care
Article by : Dr. Bordin Varodomvanichkul
Back pain is a problem commonly occurs with the working age and the elderly, most common in chronic pain. It greatly undermines health and daily life. Causes of back pain can be caused by movements, incorrect posture, muscle injury, disorders of the spine such as herniated discs compressing the nerves narrowing the spinal cavity. Treatment for chronic back pain does not always require surgery, with advanced medical technology, there are various treatment methods that are ready to help treat patients to be able to use and get back to their daily life as normal as possible.
Back pain warning signs that you should see a doctor immediately
Although back pain may take time to subside. But sometimes there may be symptoms that you should see a doctor immediately, including:
- Chronic back pain for more than 3 months
- Back pain radiating down the hips, legs, to the calf or foot area.
- Acute pain that does not go away after rest, pain is so severe and unable to move or in pain having to wake up in the middle of the night.
- pain after an injury or fall.
- Pain with other symptoms, including uncontrollable bowel movements, leg weakness, numbness in the legs, feet, or around the anus, nausea, vomiting, fever, and unexplained weight loss.
Non-surgical treatment of back pain
Non-surgical treatment is a symptomatic palliative treatment for back pain. Mainly to reduce pain. There are many methods of non-surgical treatment. Operative treatment is also a form of non-surgical treatment. which consists of
1. Palliative Treatment
is treated by medications, Pain releivers such as paracetamol may be used to relieve pain every 4-6 hours, in cases of severe or chronic pain, physical therapy to reduce pain and bed rest in patients with severe back pain, such as back pain due to herniated disc in the acute phase. Should lie down on a mattress that is firm which is made from hard pressed rag or made with coconut fiber.
2. Injection into the spinal cavity
Injection of the spinal cavity or steroid injection into the spinal cavity, is an injection with a combination of corticosteroid and anesthetic. Injected into the spinal cavity that causes back pain it help reduce swelling, inflammation of the nerve that is pressed. Improves the flow of blood vessels to the nerves in the spinal column. Nerves collapse and swelling from inflammation, thereby improving the patient's back pain. The injection will also help reduce numbness and weakness caused by nerve inflammation.
Can be used for both herniated disc disease stenosis spinal degeneration or spinal nerves and hip pain syndrome radiating down the leg from other causes. This is one of the most effective reliefs of pain from nerve compression syndromes, low risk which usually can reduce pain by 60-70% for at least 6 months.
Who is suitable for spinal cavity injection ?
- People with pain until they are unable to perform normal daily life.
- People with pain that interferes with sleep
- Patients who are unsuccessful from other treatments such as oral medications and regenerative medicine.
- Patients recommended by the doctor for injection into the spinal cavity
3. Reducing back pain by using radio frequency
Using radio frequencies also known as Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) radiofrequency nerve stimulation is a method to reduce inflammation of the spinal joints and relieve pain in the neck and back by using radiofrequency heat to reposition the joints, pelvic joint or nerves that cause pain. It is a method that does not require surgery.
Treatment Steps: Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) uses heat waves targeting nerves to block the transmission of pain signals in the spinal cord before reaching the brain. It takes about 1 hour to perform the procedure and after the procedure, the patient can go home without hospital stay. But there should be a travel companion and not drive a car on that day.
4. Facet Joint Injection or Facet Nerve Injection
It reduces chronic back pain caused by inflammation of the facet joint and helps confirm the diagnosis of the cause of back pain. These procedures are non-surgical treatments for back pain that are effective low risk and is a procedure that can be treated as an outpatient.
An anesthetic, possibly mixed with steroid medication, is injected into the facet joint or facet nerve suspected to be causing pain. Suitable for people with chronic back pain caused by inflammation of the facet joint and undergoing drug treatment or physical therapy but has no improvement in the symptoms.
If you have chronic back pain and the symptoms are not severe. Your doctor will recommend other treatment options for you until the above method did not work, before surgery is recommended. Doctors therefore need to use surgery as a last resort. However, back pain should not be ignored, because pain can have many causes. Therefore, when these warning signs occur it's best to start preventing and finding the root cause and when symptoms are present, they should not be left for long enough to become chronic because it may result to a serious illness.