A widespread problem, back pain can be troublesome and debilitating. Recent reports suggest that nearly 40 million American workers suffer from chronic back pain, severe enough to affect their ability to work. Chronic pain can occur due to a wide range of factors such as muscle or ligament strain, injury to the bones/spines and normal wear-and tear effects of aging, and other conditions like arthritis. Incorrect posture, heavy or strenuous work and abnormalities of organs can also cause severe pain.
Though, this pain condition can affect people of any age group, it is more common among adults aged 35-55 years. The condition tends to be more common in women than in men, possibly due to hormonal factors. Factors that raise the risk of developing back pain include – older age, obesity and excess weight, poor physical fitness, sedentary lifestyle, occupational activities, strenuous physical exercise or work, genetic factors and medical conditions such as arthritis and cancer. Leading pain management and rehabilitation centers in Brooklyn, NYC offer effective nonsurgical treatment options to help patients manage their symptoms effectively.
The signs and symptoms of back pain can range from a persistent dull ache to a sudden sharp pain.
Nonsurgical Treatment Options
Back pain treatment in Brooklyn based multispecialty healthcare centers involves the use of several proven non surgical modalities to reduce pain, improve mobility and range of motion. Pain management doctors comprising of physicians, orthopedists, chiropractors, physical therapists and other health care professionals work as a team to identify the root cause of the condition, and develop and implement a customized treatment plan. Diagnostic imaging studies like X-ray, MRI scans, CT scans, nerve studies and bone scans may be used to assess the soft tissues in the back.
The nonsurgical options for back pain include –
- Physical therapy – Physical therapy treatment combines physiology with exercises and applies these principles to the body when an injury is sustained. A combination of therapeutic exercises like general strengthening, stretching and aerobic exercises will be recommended to reduce pain and improve joint function .
- Epidural steroid injections – Epidural steroid injections deliver steroids into the joints, muscles, ligaments or around nerves to reduce swelling and inflammation.
- Chiropractic care – Chiropractic treatment involves the application of a specific controlled force to realign the spine. Spinal manipulation using the hands or a special instrument can reduce pain and improve flexibility of the spine.
- Heat/Ice Application – Heat therapy relaxes and soothes the muscles and heals injured tissue. Cold therapy, on the other hand reduces blood flow to the affected area, reducing inflammation, swelling and pain.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – Drugs such as ibuprofen, naproxen, acetaminophen, and muscle relaxants may be prescribed to ease chronic back pain.
- TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) – TENS utilizes low-voltage electrical current to reduce muscle stiffness and pain.
- Radiofrequency ablation – An electrical current produced by a radio wave is used to heat up a small area of nerve tissue, thereby decreasing pain signals from that specific area.
Maintaining physical fitness and practicing proper body mechanics can help prevent back pain or its recurrence. In addition, following a healthy diet and avoiding long periods of sitting or standing can also help avoid back pain in the long run.