When it comes pain management without surgery, it is of course first to seek the advice of a pain management physician, as every individual patient’s case will be unique.
Generally speaking the main objectives of managing lower back (lumbar spine) pain are:
- Reducing the pain to a point where the patient can take full advantage of physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Utilizing better posture and ergonomics to prevent further stress and injury
- And mitigating pain to restore the capability to function to an adequate level at home and work
Pain medication may be utilized as part of a treatment plan, however at our practice we are more on the conservative side when it comes to prescribing any pain medication. We err on the side of hesitation in most cases when it comes to pain medications.
Other actions to manage pain:
- The use of ice and heat on the area of pain not only reduces pain but also increases mobility. Depending on the individual patient, they may alternate between heat and ice, start with ice and then use heat 2-3 days later. Typically applying ice or heat for 20 minutes at a time is needed at a minimum.
- Resting the affected area for at least 1-2 days can improve pain (such as not doing any lifting whatsoever if you have lower back pain)
- Getting on a program of targeted exercises in conjunction with a physician and physical therapist
- Therapeautic massage, which encourages blood flow to improve flexibility of the affected muscles
- Manual manipulation can also relieve pain, which is administered by usually by a chiropractor or osteopathic doctor
All of what is discussed here constitutes a very generalized overview of the non surgical treatment methods available. This is in no way an exhaustive list, and any attempt at pain management therapy must always be performed under the care of a licensed pain management phyisician.