For some people who deal with back pain, the thought of taking on surgery may bring on as much discomfort and concern as the pain itself! Though the kind of minimally invasive spine surgery practiced by physicians like Solomon Kamson is less invasive, with a smaller incision and a briefer recovery period, it’s important to know that back surgery is still reserved for cases where more conservative treatments have failed. Unless it is a case of acute injury, there are other forms of treatment that can be tried first. Some can even be done with minimal cost. These kinds of treatments should still be undertaken under the guidance of a doctor. It’s important that you keep track of what works — and what doesn’t — and that your physician is aware of any changes in the nature of your pain.
Altering your diet to ensure you are getting the nutrients that will be most beneficial to your spine is one low-cost way to support your back health. While it’s always important to have a balanced diet, if you are experiencing pain you may benefit from eating foods that compliment a specific kind of healing. Certain foods like pepper are known to have minor painkilling properties (and in fact, capsaisin is often used in topical painkillers). Make sure you are getting enough calcium and vitamin D in order to support your bone health.
For some people, limited use of supplements or over-the-counter medications can help ease pain. However, for others this may not be a good option. Depending on your liver and heart health, you doctor may or may not want to prescribe you a regular dose of OTC medications like NSAIDs. For these patients, selective use of supplements may provide some relief.
Heat or Cold Therapy
Heat and cold are best used for different kinds of injuries (heat for muscle soreness, cold for swelling). Some people benefit from alternating between the two. Cold packs that you put in the freezer and hot packs that you warm in the microwave are inexpensive and reusable. Keep both on hand, and make note of what works.
Many people suffer neck, shoulder, and back pain that is exacerbated by physical stress. Whether it comes from overexerting your muscles through keeping a tense posture, sitting in an unhealthy position all day, or performing physically demanding tasks, this tension can have a very real impact on your back health. Trying stress relief measures can reduce the amount of pain you experience as a result of tension, which in some cases can also help prevent further injury. Relaxing by indulging in a favorite hobby, reading a good book, or meditating are all inexpensive ways to reduce your physical tension at the end of the day.
When it comes to treating back pain, more isn’t always more — sometimes simple and inexpensive changes like these can help relieve your pain. If you are experiencing persistent, intense pain, it’s important that you see a specialist like Dr. Kamson to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.