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Non-Surgical Back Pain Treatments

There are a wide variety of non-surgical options for back pain treatment of the lumbar spine. The more common treatment approaches include:

Pain Medication

Typical pain medications used to treat the lower back pain include acetaminophen, NSAIDs, oral steroids, narcotic drugs, muscle relaxants, and anti-depressants. Each type of medication has strengths, limitations, and risks, and the patient's particular problem in the lower back and overall health will determine which pain reliever, if any, is indicated.

Heat or Ice

Application of a cold pack or heating pad can help relieve low back pain. Some people find that alternating between the two works best.

Manual Manipulation

This treatment maybe applied by a chiropractor, osteopath or other qualified health professional. It is thought to help relieve lower back pain by reducing pressure on sensitive structures, increasing flexibility, improving blood flow and reducing muscle tension.

Therapeutic Massage

Massage therapy is thought to improve blood flow, reducing muscle stiffness, and decrease stiffness.

Exercise

A program of back exercises and physical therapy will usually include a combination of strengthening, stretching, and low-impact aerobic exercise.

Epidural Injections

An epidural injection into the spine delivers steroids that can provide lower back pain relief by decreasing inflammation in the painful area.

TENS Units

These electrical devices are used to interfere with the transmission of pain signals sent to the lower back.

Lifestyle Factors

Many lifestyle changes are also important in reducing lower back pain, such as quitting smoking, weight loss, activity modification, and improved ergonomics and posture.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy to treat back pain includes both passive and active treatments, including stretching, strengthening and low impact aerobic exercise.