Back pain is a common problem where low back pain affects at least 80% of adults in their lifetime. The pain may suddenly occur due to a muscle strain brought about by an accident or heavy lifting. Health conditions such as scoliosis, osteoporosis, and arthritis can cause back pain.
Depending on the origin of the pain, doctors may suggest surgery to handle chronic back pain. But, surgery may not always be the ideal solution. There are other treatment options, such as regenerative medicine and orthopedics, and lifestyle changes, that can be used to relieve or improve back pain. You may opt to try them before you settle on surgery.
The following are alternatives to back surgery for back pain treatment
1. Stem Cell Therapy
This form of regenerative medicine and orthopedics is very promising as an alternative treatment option for medical conditions that usually require rectifying surgery. Many people experiencing back pain, rotator cuff tears, arthritis, and other degenerative diseases and joint injuries may benefit from stem cell therapy and avoid surgery altogether.
Stem cells are distinctive cells in the human body that be changed into various cell types depending on where and how a doctor introduces them to the patient. A doctor extracts stem cells from the patient’s bone marrow and injects them into the target area.
After the procedure, the injected stem cells will keep repairing the target area for a period not exceeding 12 months. But, this does not mean the patient will experience relief after one year. Many patients will report an improvement three to six weeks after a stem cell treatment. After the treatment, the patient continues with physical therapy and the suggested treatments as the stem cells work.
2. Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections
Platelet-rich plasma is made up of plasma and platelets. Platelets are famous for their clotting abilities. However, they also have growth factors that may trigger healing, stimulate tissue regeneration, or cell reproduction in the affected area. In short, PRP is blood has more platelets than average.
PRP is created by taking the patient’s blood sample and placing it in a centrifuge that spins the sample rapidly. The spinning helps separate the other blood elements from platelets and concentrates them within the plasma.
After creating PRP from the patient’s blood sample, the resulting solution is injected into the patient’s target area, such as the lower back. In certain instances, the clinician uses ultrasound to direct the injection. The objective is the raise the concentration of particular hormones or proteins, known as growth factors, in a specific area to hasten the healing process.
3. Weight Loss
The back joints, bones, and muscles work tirelessly to support your body as you stand, sit, and move. Being overweight can bring back pain because of an increased strain of back muscles and pressure on your spine. People who experience back pain and are overweight should reduce their weight. Work with your doctor to devise ways to shed some weight.
4. Anti-Inflammatory Diet
The amount and type of food we eat can reverse and prevent a variety of health conditions, including some forms of back pain. Inflammation is one known cause of back pain, and it’s also the body’s response for protection from harm. An anti-inflammatory diet can be effective in similarly treating back pain as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or aspirin.
Food that helps fight inflammation includes:
• Seeds such as pumpkin, sunflower, and chia
• Nuts such as walnuts and almonds
• Healthy fats; canola oil, olive oil, and avocado
• Green leafy vegetables such as broccoli. Collards, kales, and spinach
• Fatty fish; mackerel, sardines, and salmon
• Brightly colored vegetables and fruits, such as tomatoes, strawberries, oranges, blueberries, sweet potatoes, beets, and carrots
Avoid foods that stimulate inflammation, including processed foods, fast food, and foods high in refined carbohydrates and saturated fat.
5. Neuromodulation Treatments
These types of treatment involve stimulating nerves using electrical current. These include treatment therapies for low back pain, such as peripheral nerve and spinal cord stimulation. Patients undergoing neuromodulation receive an apparatus that sends electricity to the target nerves. Initially, the device will be tested to establish if the treatment relieves their symptoms. If the results are favorable, a permanent neuromodulation device can be inserted under their skin.
6. Appropriate Footwear
Improper footwear can cause your hips, legs, and back to misalign. The misalignment may lead to back pain. Shoes with poor support, too tight, or high heels are prospective back pain culprits. Wearing custom orthotics in your shoes for at least six weeks can improve back pain.
Irrespective of your back pain severity and type, you can significantly reduce back pain symptoms with yoga. Taking part in a 12-wee yoga exercise can completely put you off chronic pain medication.
Although you may find it challenging to exercise while in pain, physical movement is among the best natural remedies for various types of pain. Exercise releases endorphins that help halt pain by binding to opioid receptors in your brain, which produces the same effect as opioid pain medications. Exercises that aim to strengthen the neck and back muscles can minimize pain in people with chronic neck and back pain.
Consult a Doctor on Alternatives to Back Surgery
Everyone has different back and body issues. As these alternative treatment options to back surgery don’t work for each patient, it is good to consult a professional before seeking treatment. The doctor will also advise on more treatment options that may relieve your symptoms.
Patients in Miami and the surrounding area can now consult with Dr. Alicia Carter about issues relating to back pain. Dr. Alicia Carter is a regenerative medicine and orthopedics specialist devoted to the non-surgical management of orthopedic conditions that include platelet-rich plasma and stem cell therapies. After a two-decade practice in New York City, she has her primary office in Miami. Schedule an appointment and have your back pain problem assessed. Do not settle for surgery without first considering alternative options.