Woman with chronic back pain holding her lower back

If you struggle with chronic back pain, you’re not alone. Roughly 8% of adults deal with long-term back pain.

While some doctors will immediately tell you to get surgery, there are some ​minimally invasive treatments for acute back pain. These can help you get your life back on track without undergoing severe operations.

So, are you ready to learn about what noninvasive treatments a chronic back pain doctor in Maryland can provide? Read this guide to find out!


 

1. Physical Therapy

Getting physical exercise is one of the keys to treating chronic back pain. Physical activity is essential because it helps strengthen your back and keep your muscles strong and healthy.

If you’re experiencing back pain, physical therapy should be the first treatment you try with your chronic pain management doctor!

When you get the proper exercise, you can strengthen weakened muscles in your back. This will help support your weight and reduce your pain in the long run.

However, it’s important to note that everyone needs different exercises. Your doctor will have to evaluate your specific symptoms to determine which activities will work for the type of back pain you’re dealing with.

On top of that, once you finish physical therapy, you’ll need to continue exercising. This is what helps you maintain the work you did with your therapist!

A few types of exercise you may perform in physical therapy for back pain include:

  • Exercises to improve your posture
  • Testing your pain tolerance limits
  • Flexibility exercises
  • Aerobic exercises
  • Stretching
  • Core strengthening exercises
  • Targeted strength exercises

 

2. Mindfulness and Meditation

Many people don’t realize chronic back pain can lead to mental health issues. Some doctors claim that back pain can increase your risk for stress, depression, anxiety, psychosis, and sleep issues.

Why?

Well, for one thing, chronic back pain can wear you down. Over time, you can feel hopeless that you’ll ever get over it or stressed about the pain.

On top of that, chronic back pain causes your muscles to tense up. When you become stressed, this can worsen the situation and lead to even more back pain.

Because of that, a big part of managing your back pain means managing your mental health. This helps ensure you don’t worsen your problem or develop concurrent mental health issues.

There are tons of ways that you can practice meditation and mindfulness, including:

  • Yoga
  • Tai Chi
  • Cognitive relaxation strategies
  • Meditation

 

3. Changing Your Diet

You might be surprised to hear that your diet can affect back pain. Some diets are very inflammatory and can lead to chronic, uncomfortable pain (not just in your back).

A few foods that you might want to steer clear of if you’re dealing with back pain include:

  • Red meat
  • Highly processed foods and foods with added sugars
  • White bread, pasta, rice, and other refined carbs
  • Whole-fat dairy
  • Sugary drinks and snacks
  • Fried foods

At the same time as removing these items from your diet, there are some foods that you should be eating. These include:

  • Fish: fish are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Beans: grains, seeds, nuts, and pulses are all good additions to your diet
  • Poultry and eggs: remove the skin of the chicken
  • Red wine: A glass a day adds healthy antioxidants to your diet

On top of that, eating a healthy diet, in general, can help you maintain your weight. Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce excess pressure on your back.

Remember, you should speak with your doctor before altering your diet. They will be able to provide a more comprehensive analysis of what could be to blame for your back pain.


 

4. Make Lifestyle Modifications

If you’re dealing with chronic back pain, you must know what you can and cannot do. While people without back pain may be able to do certain activities, you might not be able to.

Listening to your body and knowing your limitations is critical to managing chronic back pain. Know when you need to take breaks to stay healthy.

You may want to avoid strenuous activities such as mowing the lawns or lugging hefty bags of groceries around if you can. Making these small lifestyle changes can help you reduce your pain.

On top of that, making these adjustments can help prevent your condition from advancing. When you make small changes to how you go about your day, you can protect your back from further damage.

Finally, ditching this habit is a good idea if you’re a smoker. Nicotine accentuates pain and can even delay healing, causing your problems to linger and preventing you from getting over your back pain.


 

5. Injection-Based Treatments

One of the best ways to treat chronic back pain is through injection-based treatments. There are a few different types of injection therapies you can use, including:

Injections can be a great way to reduce your pain for a set period. However, you may need repeat injections to remove your pain entirely.

Here’s what to know about these injections and how they can help with back pain.

Epidural Steroid Injections

These injections are delivered in your back’s epidural region. They’re used with local anesthetics and are great for treating chronic back pain.

Medial Branch Blocks

These injections target the medial branch and can help provide isolated pain relief. They can also provide you with a way to figure out where your pain is coming from.

Radiofrequency Ablations

This procedure is used in conjunction with medial branch blocks. They’re an excellent follow-up treatment to help you reduce back pain and start feeling your best.

Trigger Point Injections

These injections target trigger points in clusters of muscles. They help relieve spasms in the back that can cause chronic back pain.

Occipital Nerve Blocks

This injection is put in the occipital nerve, located at the neck’s base. It can help with back and shoulder pain.

Sacroiliac Joint Injections

This is an anti-inflammatory injection. It helps reduce pain around the sacroiliac joint.

Facet Joint Injections

This helps to relieve both neck and back pain. This injection is inserted into facet joints and can reduce inflammation but won’t provide permanent relief.

Stellate Ganglion Blocks

This injection is best for back pain targeted in the neck and upper back. This injection’s effects can last for several weeks at a time.

Lumbar Sympathetic Blocks

Lumbar sympathetic blocks are ideal for those with lower back pain. They can also help to relieve sciatica.


 

6. Try Alternative Medicine

If you’re open-minded, you may consider trying alternative medicine. Several alternative practices may provide you with relief from your back pain.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture uses thin needles to target pressure points in the body. It can help with several different ailments, and one of those may be back pain.

Massages

Massages are also great for relieving back pain. Massages work the muscles and help soothe knots and points of tension that could be causing pain.

Biofeedback Therapy

Biofeedback therapy helps you recognize physical pain through auditory or visual cues. It’s often used to help people with stress and anxiety and can be a great way to help limit chronic back pain caused by these issues.

Electrical Nerve Stimulation

Electrical nerve stimulation delivers low-voltage electric currents to the back. This can help loosen up muscles and relieve pain.

 

7. Use Pharmaceuticals

One way that people deal with chronic back pain is to use pharmaceutical medications. People may use several different drugs to help with back pain.

One type of drug is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs include things like ibuprofen and general painkillers. You can use over-the-counter versions of the medicine or can opt for higher strength, prescription medicines.

Some patients may also use muscle relaxants. Muscle relaxants can help your shoulders and back loosen up, relieving chronic back pain.

Remember that some medications used for back pain can be highly addictive. For instance, opioid medications usually are considered a last resort as they can lead to dependence.

Regardless of what type of medicine you’re considering for back pain, speaking to your doctor first is a good idea. They can tell you what treatment might work for your unique situation.


 

Treat Chronic Back Pain With Noninvasive Methods

If you want to avoid invasive treatments for chronic back pain, you can. Any of these methods are ideal for keeping your back pain at bay and staying healthy and comfortable.

Are you ready to start with chronic back pain specialists that can provide these treatments? Contact a back pain doctor in Elkridge, Maryland, by calling our team today!

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We are a comprehensive pain management practice with locations Maryland, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Virginia. Our mission is to improve your quality of life with evidence based treatments and compassionate care that makes you feel like family.

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