Chronic lower back pain can have a significant impact on your quality of life. Unfortunately, without the right treatment, the symptoms can sometimes worsen and plague you the rest of your life. There are several surgical and non-surgical treatment options available from which you and your doctor can choose.
Non-Surgical Treatment Options
Non-surgical treatment options are commonly used before surgical options are recommended. Which options your doctor recommends depends largely on the severity of your pain. One of the earliest recommendations you could receive is to rest for a few days. When you take a break from most physical activities, your body, particularly nerve roots, have time to heal. As a result, you could receive relief from your symptoms.
In addition to rest, you could also undergo heat and ice therapy. This involves alternating the usage of heat and ice packs throughout the day to reduce inflammation that could be responsible for your symptoms. Medications, such as over-the-counter pain relievers, can also be recommended. If your symptoms do not improve, you could possibly receive a prescription for a stronger pain reliever.
Another non-surgical option is chiropractic care. During sessions with a chiropractor, he or she will focus on increasing your range of motion in an effort to relieve the pain you are feeling.
Surgical Treatment Options
If you do not receive pain relief from the non-surgical treatment options, surgery is a possibility. What type of surgery you have depends largely on the source of your pain.
For instance, if your doctor wants to restrict the motion of your spine to alleviate the pain you are feeling, he or she might recommend spinal fusion. Spinal fusion involves permanently connecting certain vertebrae in your spine. The result is a total restriction in movement in those vertebrae. Spinal fusion has yielded inconsistent results, so it might not be your doctor's first choice.
If your lower back pain is the result of an underlying condition, such as osteoporosis, the doctor could recommend a vertebroplasty. The procedure helps to repair compression fractures. During the procedure, your doctor will inject a cement-like substance into your vertebral body that helps to stabilize it.
There are many other surgical and non-surgical options available to you. It is important to talk to your doctor about your symptoms and what is and is not working. You might have to try several treatment options before finding the relief that you need.