When your back pain is so severe that you’re considering invasive surgery, you might not see a light at the end of the tunnel. But is surgery truly the answer to your pain? The fact is, there are many other ways to deal with back issues, including physical therapy and therapeutic exercise.

At NJ Spine and Wellness, our team wants only the best for you, whether that means spine surgery or less-invasive treatment measures. Our team consists of expert orthopedic surgeons who help you decide the best treatment for your condition.

Painful back conditions

Your back is so important for just about every activity you do; this is especially true if you’re an athlete or your job is physically demanding. So, when you’re in pain, it makes simple activities difficult, such as walking or getting up the stairs. 

Some back conditions seem to spring up out of nowhere. Some come on gradually from degenerative conditions like arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the main form of degenerative arthritis, and leads to breakdown in your spinal joints. Other painful back conditions are the result of a traumatic injury to your back, such as a fall or a car accident that leads to spine damage.

Here is a sample of the many other conditions that lead to debilitating back pain:

Back pain could also be due to lifestyle factors, including pregnancy and poor posture. In more severe cases, your pain could be due to a spinal tumor or an infection within your spine. But no matter what the cause, one thing is certain — you need fast and efficient treatment to relieve your discomfort.

How you can avoid surgery

When you’re in so much pain that you can barely function, surgery might seem like the best option — but that’s just not true. Surgery is generally reserved as a last-resort treatment, because it’s a very invasive procedure.

There are actually plenty of more-conservative treatments that can get your back pain under control. One of the most common and successful conservative treatments is physical therapy. Physical therapy focuses on strengthening your body and increasing your flexibility to overcome disorders like back pain. In fact, there are many other benefits, including:

  • Decreased risk of falls
  • Improved overall balance
  • Faster recovery after an injury
  • Improved mobility
  • Reduction in pain medications

Physical therapy is a great tool for back problems, especially when paired with other lifestyle changes. One main change you can make is your posture. Poor posture puts a lot of excess pressure on your spine and muscles and causes pain. By correcting your posture, you may eliminate the cause of your pain.

Exercise is another way to avoid or delay surgery, especially if you’re overweight. Excess weight puts added pressure on your spine, which sometimes leads to pain. Exercising helps you not only lose weight, but it also triggers your body to release endorphins, natural hormones that decrease pain. 

Proper footwear is another step you can take to decrease your pain. Ill-fitting shoes lead to misalignment of your knees and hips — which then throws your spine out of whack. This simple fix may relieve your back pain.

Stress management is also important in avoiding back surgery. When you’re in pain, your mental health takes a hit, which may lead to more pain from lack of movement. You can do a lot to decrease your stress, including mediation and yoga. Yoga helps to increase your flexibility, which may also reduce your pain.

If you’re in pain but don’t want back surgery just yet, call one of our four convenient locations in New Jersey, or book a consultation with our pain management doctors online today.