What Treatment is Best for the Spine?
Causes of Back Pain
Back pain is a widespread problem, with low back pain affecting an estimated 80% of adults at some point in their lives. The pain may develop suddenly as a result of:
- Muscle strain caused by heavy lifting or an accident
- Spinal stenosis
- Disc problems
- Myofascial pain syndrome
If your job requires you to sit for long periods of time and/or lift heavy objects on a regular basis, it’s important to take care of your body so that you don’t end up with chronic back problems down the road.
Dr. Gerald Alexander, a spine surgeon in Orange County and Irvine, CA, knows how frustrating it can be to live with chronic or long-term back pain. That’s why Dr. Gerald Alexander supports a variety of treatments that are proven effective in treating and relieving back pain without surgery, such as:
- Spinal manipulation
- Making lifestyle changes
Sometimes surgery is not always the necessary spinal cord injury treatment plan. Our goal is to help you find the treatment that works best for you so you can get your life back on track again.
Spinal manipulation, or chiropractic manipulation, is a non-invasive treatment that uses the hands to adjust, massage, or stimulate the spine used mainly for spinal cord injury treatment. It is a technique that uses manual therapy techniques such as high-velocity thrusts of the spine in order to relieve pressure on nerves, muscles, or joints of the body.
It’s been used for centuries and has shown some promising results in clinical studies. Spinal manipulations are performed by trained professionals such as:
- Physical therapists
- Osteopathic doctors
- Some medical doctors
They can help reduce your pain and improve your mobility. However, they do come with some risks that must be considered before undergoing the treatment.
If you’re suffering from chronic back pain, exercise is one of the first treatments you should try. It’s a great way to reduce your symptoms and improve your overall health. However, not all exercises are created equal. You have to find the right set of exercises for your specific condition and needs. And that can be difficult without help from a physical therapist or physician who specializes in spine treatment.
Your physical therapist will work with you to create an individualized plan based on what works best for you so that you’ll actually see improvement over time instead of just feeling frustrated by a lack of progress. Physical therapy for spinal cord injury may include:
- Retraining your posture
- Testing the limits of pain tolerance
- Stretching and flexibility exercises
- Core strengthening
- Aerobic exercises
Studies have long supported the fact that exercise can release endorphins. These natural brain chemicals help stop pain by binding to opioid receptors in the brain. This has a mild effect similar to opioid pain medications. Not only that but research also suggests that exercises can strengthen the back and neck muscles and can reduce pain in people with chronic back and neck pain.
Eating certain foods can cause inflammation in the body which can lead to spinal cord injury. It’s important to consult with a doctor and see if your diet is contributing to your chronic back pain before making any changes. Maintaining a healthy weight will also help lessen the pressure on your spine by reducing the amount of weight that needs to be supported by your spine.
Changing up some parts of your diet or eating more anti-inflammatory foods may help reduce inflammation and thus decrease or eliminate chronic back pain symptoms. Some types of foods that can help decrease inflammation are:
- Whole grains
Studies show that sugar and processed foods can promote inflammation and worsen your spinal cord injury. Therefore try to avoid:
- Processed foods
- Trans fats
Maintaining a healthy weight will not only make you feel better but it may also reduce the pressure on your spine and therefore decrease or eliminate any existing symptoms as well! One study found that obesity has links to high levels of low back pain and disability. However, make sure to listen to your body and know your limitations throughout this process.
Dr. Gerald Alexander, a spine surgeon in Orange County and Irvine, CA, knows that back pain is difficult to deal with, and a lot of back pain stems from spinal pain. Some other non-surgical ways to treat your spinal cord injury are:
- Injection-based treatment
- Pharmacologic treatment
- CBD oil
- Correcting posture acupuncture and proper footwear
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
- Stress management