When you think of the word ‘Pain’, you needn’t dig too deep to recall what that feels like. To be more specific, pain is a sensation known all too well to all humans.

I’ve often comforted a patient, colleague, or friend experiencing back pain that they describe as a ‘dull endless feeling that puts a total damper on my entire existence’.

For many of us, this type of pain has probably crept up on us over the years as we get (dare I say it) older. Or it may be the result of an unfortunate accident or a muscle sprain while moving furniture at home.

As an attempt to find some form of relief for back pain, you have probably made countless visits to the doctor or various specialists. You might even have contemplated surgery and in fact, you could be considering it now.

Fortunately, there are many alternative treatments to back surgery especially for anyone like me who hates the idea of going under anesthetic. Some of these remedies are easy to administer at home and affordable, with no doctor’s prescription necessary. Below are 4 options that you can try if you find yourself contemplating treatment alternatives to back surgery.

  1. An Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Home remedies, alternative medicine, and total lifestyle changes have proven to be highly successful in relieving back pain. An anti-inflammatory diet can be one such home remedy. Some diets are highly inflammatory, especially those high in trans fats, refined sugars, and processed foods. Consult with your doctor to see if your diet could be contributing to your chronic back pain and how you could change it. Healthline offers some guidelines on what you can remove from your diet to improve your general health and well-being here.

  1. Hands-On Therapy

Hands-On Therapy, such as spinal manipulation or Chiropractic manipulation involves using the hands to adjust, massage, or stimulate the spine. Some studies have shown that spinal manipulation may help with low back pain. This is certainly something that you can try first before committing to an operation especially because it offers benefit to many individuals, even for the long term.

  1. DBC Treatment for Back and Neck Conditions

The Document-Based Care (DBC) program was designed in Finland specifically for treating back and neck conditions conservatively, to avoid surgery where possible. Consisting of various treatment sessions that combine exercise on specialized machines and spinal manipulations for pain management, the programme has successfully treated many South Africans who suffer from back and neck pain. The good news is that many medical aids cover the cost of treatment administered by Doctors, Physiotherapists, and Biokineticists. You can read more on the treatment of back and neck pain at The Back Clinic here or contact the centers directly on email (info@thebackclinic.co.za) / phone (063)0975603. You can also view the list of all centres that offer DBC treatment across South Africa, here:

  1. Analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants

Analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, and other medications can be used to help control chronic back pain. However, most come with unwanted side effects and are not intended for prolonged use. Consult with your doctor to see what medication might be effective for you.

When it comes to treating back pain, surgery is typically reserved for patients with severe conditions or when more natural treatments don’t work. For most patients, lifestyle changes and alternative therapies can help keep back pain at bay over the long term. Many people would be surprised how minor (or what may seem like minor) changes can make a difference and halt the need for going under altogether.

Sources:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325609

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/back-pain/7-ways-to-treat-chronic-back-pain-without-surgery

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325609#physical-therapy

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