7 Ways to Treat Chronic Back Pain and Avoid Surgery

7 Ways to Treat Chronic Back Pain and Avoid Surgery

About 8% of American adults — roughly 16 million people — suffer from chronic back pain, along with the symptoms and loss of mobility that go along with it. Many people mistakenly believe that surgery and medications are the only ways to manage pain but they’re not your only options.

As a top-ranked medical practice with offices in Boonton, Pompton Plains, and Jersey City, New Jersey, Jersey Integrative Health and Wellness offers alternative options for managing chronic back pain, focusing on therapies that don’t rely on major surgery or long-term use of pain medicines. Here are seven options our team offers that could help relieve your chronic back pain.

1. Acupuncture

First used thousands of years ago, acupuncture has historically been associated with alternative or Eastern medicine. But today, acupuncture is widely used and accepted as an effective therapy for pain.

Researchers aren’t sure exactly how acupuncture works, but they believe the accurate placement of the exceptionally thin needles disrupts nerve signals associated with pain. The tiny controlled injuries may stimulate other healing responses, as well.

2. Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT)

OMT uses special movements to realign your spine and relieve pressure around nerves that can cause or contribute to many types of chronic back pain. One of the benefits of OMT is that each treatment is entirely customized by combining different techniques and tools to suit each patient’s unique anatomy and underlying cause of pain. 

3. Physical therapy

Physical therapy uses an array of exercises, stretches, and other activities aimed at improving muscle strength, balance, coordination, and musculoskeletal wellness. In addition to on-site, supervised exercises, our team assigns activities you can do at home so you can play a proactive role in your care and healing. 

Plus, we can advise important changes to your work routine that can help relieve back strain and prevent pain in the future.

4. Radiofrequency ablation

Pain signals are transmitted from the source of pain to your brain via nerve pathways, tiny electrical “highways” that connect your peripheral nerves to your central nervous system. When you feel pain, chemical messengers travel along these pathways to “inform” your brain, triggering the painful sensations we can feel.

Radiofrequency is a minimally invasive treatment that uses a tiny incision and a special device to deliver radiofrequency energy directly to the nerves involved in your symptoms. The energy gently heats the nerves, causing a type of controlled damage that prevents the nerves from transmitting pain messages.

5. Nerve blocks

Nerve blocks work on the same basis as radiofrequency ablation, blocking pain signals so you don’t feel discomfort. With a nerve block, we inject anesthetic agents into the area surrounding the nerve ending. Often, we combine these anesthetics with anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce swelling that could be compressing the nerve and making your symptoms worse.

6. Epidural steroid injections

Corticosteroids are medicines with strong anti-inflammatory properties. Because a lot of back pain involves some degree of inflammation around the nerves, muscles, and other tissues, reducing inflammation often plays a critical role in decreasing pain. 

Epidural steroid injections deliver steroid medications to the epidural space — the area surrounding your spinal column. In addition to managing painful symptoms, we can use these injections to pinpoint the source of painful symptoms.

7. Facet joint injections

You probably don’t think of your spine as having joints, but it does — dozens of them. Facet joints form where the vertebrae “meet,” enabling your spine to stay mobile and flexible.

Like other joints, wear and tear can affect your facet joints and over time, these forces and strains can cause changes in the joints. Inflammation can irritate tiny nerves attached to the joints, as well as nerves that exit your spine near the joints.

We administer facet joint injections to the area directly around these joints, reducing both inflammation and painful symptoms.

Find relief for your back pain

Chronic back pain rarely gets better on its own. The good news? You don’t need surgery or increasing doses of pain medicine to feel better. To learn how our team can help you find meaningful pain relief, book an appointment online or over the phone at Jersey Integrative Health and Wellness today.

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