Non-Surgical Treatment for Back Pain in Valparaiso, IN
Back pain can arise as a number of symptoms. You may experience it as a dull aching pain in a large group of muscles, or a sharp shooting pain emanating from an exact location. Sometimes the pain extends through the leg. It can limit your range of motion or even affect the correctness of your posture.
Non-surgical back pain treatment plans typically share a common set of goals:
- Reducing pain
- Restoring range of motion
- Improving posture
- Strengthening the back and surrounding muscles to prevent future injuries
The first step in any treatment plan begins with correctly identifying the root of your back pain.
Back Pain Diagnosis
Examinations begin with a physical test to review your range of motion. Any limitations in your movement will help identify the source of your pain.
In some cases your doctor may perform a body screening to internally view an obstruction. These screenings could take the form of an x-ray to pinpoint problems caused by misalignments in the skeletal system, or MRI's to seek out tissue damages such as a herniated disc.
Some office visits may also include a blood or urine screening to determine if a viral infection is the root of your back pain.
All treatment plans begin with rest, although this must be closely monitored because too much rest could increase the amount of time it takes to heal. A typical recommendation: no more than 72 hours of rest before advising you to perform non-strenuous aerobic activities such as walking to help loosen the muscles and stimulate blood flow to supply damaged tissues with oxygen.
While you're resting your doctor may suggest the use of ice packs to reduce any swelling followed by heat to relax the muscles. Your doctor may even prescribe medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) and muscle relaxers to relieve tension and swelling. Over the counter pain killers and prescription medications like anti-depressants can help with pain, but they do not assist in the healing process.
Back Pain Physical Therapy
The next step towards feeling better is physical therapy. During this phase, your physician may administer a variety of techniques to relieve your pain and improve your posture, while educating you on ways to prevent future injuries. Here are just a few of the possible treatment methods:
This can take the form of massage, spinal manipulations, or a combination of the two. The goal of this form of therapy is to relieve tension by improving blood circulation and flexibility to your muscles and connective tissues. From there, your doctor can attempt to correct problems caused by misalignments in your skeletal system by gradually working them back into the proper position through a variety techniques applied by hand or mechanical methods.
Your in-office visit is only one part of the treatment process. Your doctor may also advise you on an exercise program to effectively eliminate your pain, and prevent it from returning. The goal of this low-impact program will be to improve the strength and flexibility in your back as well as the stabilizing muscles surrounding it. Your doctor may help you practice better posture, and teach you the proper way to lift things without putting unnecessary stress on your back. Exercise programs such as yoga are also advised as a way to help you mentally cope with the stress of dealing with chronic pain .
Other Treatment Methods
There are a number of other methods for eliminating back pain. Here are just a few:
- Ultrasound therapy
- Whirlpool baths
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS) - these are mild electrical impulses transmitted by electrodes taped to your back
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) - this method is designed to help you control things like stress and depression that lead to muscle tension
- Laser therapy
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