What are Non-Surgical Options for Spine?

Doctors generally try to delay spine surgery for as long as possible in favor of less invasive treatments if the diagnosis allows. Non-surgical treatments for patients with spinal conditions focus on reducing inflammation and pain or supporting spine health. For many spinal conditions, non-surgical therapies serve to reduce pain and allow the spine to heal.

First-line, non-surgical methods that patients may explore:

  • Medications:
    • Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)
    • Prescription pain relievers
    • Muscle relaxants
    • Corticosteroids
  • Epidural injections
  • Electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • Ultrasound therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Alternative techniques:
    • Chiropractic care
    • Therapeutic massage
    • Meditation
    • Acupuncture
  • Behavioral modification:
    • Smoking cessation
    • Ergonomic improvements
    • Low impact exercises, stretching techniques like yoga and Pilates
    • Diet / weight loss

Dealing with severe spinal pain and exploring treatment options can be a very isolating and overwhelming experience, however, you do not have to feel alone. It may be beneficial to ask your doctor or search the Internet for local support groups and online communities that focus on your specific condition. You may find others who have been through the same process and can offer their personal experience about the path toward healing and health.

Please note that this site is meant to be one of many helpful resources and is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always research thoroughly and consult with your treating physicians before beginning any treatment regimen.