Non-Operative Treatments for Lower Back Injuries

What are Non-Operative Treatments for Lower Back Injuries?

Non-operative treatments for lower back injuries are conservative or non-surgical remedies employed for the treatment of lower back injuries.

Lower back injuries are defined as damage sustained by muscles, nerves, bones, or joints in the lumbar spine (lower back) as a result of physical trauma or overuse. Common lower back injuries include sprains and strains, fractured vertebrae, or herniated discs. The lumbar spine is most often the location of lower back injuries as it bears most of the upper body’s weight and is involved in other movements such as lifting, pulling and twisting due to its high flexibility.

Indications for Non-Operative Treatments for Lower Back Injuries

Lower back injuries can be disabling; however, most cases heal with conservative therapy or non-operative treatments. Non-operative treatments may be indicated for treating various low back conditions such as:

  • Spinal fractures
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Nerve compression
  • Stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal)
  • Tumors
  • Infection
  • Instability

Types of Non-Operative Treatments for Lower Back Injuries

Some of the types of non-surgical remedies for lower back injuries include:

  • Ice and Heat Treatment: Ice causes vasoconstriction which minimizes the flow of blood and lymph fluids to the area thereby reducing inflammation and pain. Application of an ice pack over the injured back area can help reduce inflammation and pain in the back region. Once the inflammation recedes, the application of heat can help improve the blood flow around the region to promote healing.
  • Medications: This often involves the use of analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs to help relieve pain and swelling from back strains and sprains. In some cases, oral steroids may be prescribed to ease the pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Cortisone Injections: Cortisone injections are steroids that are injected into the concerned joint space, bursa, or the region around a swollen tendon. This helps in reducing the inflammation quickly and easing pain. In some cases, imaging techniques such as ultrasound may be used by your doctor to guide the needle to the exact location while injecting the medication.
  • Physical Therapy: Physical therapy can help in strengthening the back muscles and joints and restoring their functionality after sustaining an injury. It can also help with the prevention of recurring back pain after the injury is treated. Moreover, physical therapy can help you learn proper back movements, lifting techniques, and exercises that help reduce unnecessary strain on the joint during every-day activities and preventing future discomfort or injury.
  • Acupuncture: This treatment involves the insertion of thin needles into specific parts of your body, corresponding to nerve pathways. The needles are left in for about 20 to 40 minutes. Acupuncture is believed to work by increasing blood flow or causing the release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain relievers. A modification in acupuncture is electro-acupuncture where the needles are stimulated by an electro-stimulator.
  • PRP therapy: Platelet-rich plasma or PRP is a non-surgical regenerative therapy that uses a high concentration of platelets and plasma to promote regeneration and self-healing in many orthopaedic injuries and conditions. A normal blood specimen contains only 6% platelets, while platelet-rich plasma contains 94% platelets and 5 to 10 times the concentration of growth factors found in normal blood, thus allowing greater healing properties. PRP is a relatively new method of treatment for several orthopaedic conditions such as muscle, ligament, and tendon injuries, arthritis, and fractures.
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS): This technique uses a device to send electric pulses along the nerve fibers so that the pain signals to the brain are blocked. Small electrodes are placed on the skin at or near the site of pain. Mild nerve impulses are produced which block the pain signals coming from the peripheral nerves. TENS may also stimulate the production of endorphins (chemicals produced in the brain having pain-relieving properties).
  • Radiofrequency Rhizotomy: Radiofrequency ablation (RFA), also called rhizotomy or neurotomy, is a novel non-surgical technique of treating pain. This technique employs radiofrequency waves to produce heat and the heat produced damages the nerves transmitting pain signals to the brain. This procedure is performed to treat painful facet joints in the spine that usually cause chronic low back pain and neck pain.

Prevention of Lower Back Injuries

Some of the preventive measures that can help prevent low back injuries include:

  • Maintenance of a healthy body weight
  • A healthy well-balanced diet
  • Regular stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Proper lifting technique
  • Proper sitting posture
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Rating & Review

Melinda Bess
Melinda Bess
2024-02-14
Dr. Iqbal is the best pain management doctor I have ever had and will have. She does her homework first which I think makes the difference in diagnosis. She is the total package, a very smart and beautiful doctor, wife, and mother. Hand on Bible she changed my life, and I will forever be in debt to her. I can't say thank you enough. I appreciate her staff; they are all awesome as well. I laughed and cried in her office, but her smile and staff always made me feel welcome like part of their family. I would and will drive across country to see her. The referral to a new knee surgeon to fix a bad knee replacement was the best. I got a new knee, and it has been a huge blessing as well. Thank you, Dr. Iqbal and staff you all are 5 stars, in my life.
Nikin Mehta
Nikin Mehta
2024-02-13
Brian Knopf
Brian Knopf
2024-02-13
Dr. Iqbal and her staff are fantastic! I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. I highly recommend her and her team
Brenda Jones
Brenda Jones
2024-02-02
I visited this facility in January for severe back pain I was experiencing. The whole ordeal from beginning to end was amazing. I wish I had known about this place years ago before suffering from so much pain. Dr. Mehreen Iqbal, her assistant Michealle Dooley and their staff is the best. I had a procedure done on 1/17/24 and I no longer suffer from back pain and I'm able to walk again. I highly recommend this facility, 10 Stars!!!
Ann Adkins
Ann Adkins
2024-02-01
Wonderful experience with Dr. Iqbal & her staff! She is amazing! She listens to her patients & immediately developed a plan to address my back & neck pain. I already feel SO much better and am confident that her plan for me will mean continued improvement. Her staff is wonderful too - friendly, helpful & responsive. I highly recommend Dr. Iqbal & her team!
Camille Adams
Camille Adams
2024-01-22
The staff are very kind and helpful, and Dr. Iqbal is very good at what she does. Would recommend to all my friends and family.
Noor Malik
Noor Malik
2024-01-02
My PCP recommended Dr. Mehreen and she was wonderful through out the entire injection process. She took her time explaining everything and was patient through out the process. In my opinion, she is the best pain management doc around.
Jessie Wilson
Jessie Wilson
2023-12-08
I love Dr. Iqbal and her staff, I couldn't be any luckier to have found her practice. Dr. Iqbal listens well and explains in detail any procedures. She is honest, caring, and down to earth. She and her staff are the greatest. I would recommend her to any of my friends or family.
Shimmerynight Skies
Shimmerynight Skies
2023-12-08
My mother is a patient here and the staff is super nice, fun, and sweet! I highly recommend coming here for friendly service
M
M
2023-12-04
Excellent doctor. Dr. Iqbal explained every thing in detail and laid out a very clear plant to treat the problem/pain.