There is no single option that can be considered the best treatment for back pain. Talk to doctors and the only thing they can tell you is that the specific condition ultimately dictates the best treatment option. If one were to prescribe epidural shots or therapy or surgery without knowing the severity of the condition in question, then the patient could receive treatment that was either too excessive or too underwhelming and therefore cause even more problems.
To understand this better, let us look at three of the most commonly prescribed treatment options for back pain - rest, therapy, and surgery - and analyze the conditions where each one is deemed the best treatment for back pain.
· Rest - Rest is often prescribed for back pain in its early stages. This is true when you are in pain on a regular basis but the pain is tolerable enough that you often push through it because it is not enough to hamper your daily activities. Early-stage back pain can often be caused by tension in the back muscles or is potentially a precursor for a herniated disc. In these cases, the best treatment for back pain is to take time off of work and refrain from doing physically intensive activities like lifting heavy weights or even sitting in-front of a computer for extended periods with no stretch breaks every relax time
· Therapy - Therapy is prescribed when some mild degree of disc herniation is observed and is determined to not be severe enough to require immediate surgery. A mildly herniated disc causes back pain because it presses on the nerve roots around the spinal column. Therapy including, but not limited to chiropractic sessions, stretches the back muscles to loosen the tension and naturally push the herniated disc back into place. Because this is a delicate procedure it requires the services of a chiropractor, which is a doctor skilled in physical therapy and the use of manipulative therapies to adjust the musculoskeletal structures of the back. Your doctor may also recommend physical therapy with a licensed physical therapist that will put you through various exercises to strengthen the back muscles. There are other treatment methods that may be used when back pain is at a moderate level and though regularly felt, is not so severe as to impair walking and other physical activities. In most cases these treatment options will be accompanied by medication to help relieve the pain involved with the condition.
· Surgery - If the condition is not treatable with rest, therapy, medication, or other treatment options, herniated disc back surgery may become the last resort. It should always be remembered that surgery carries its fair share of risks, so it is not the best option to use when back pain first begins. However, it is most effective when all other procedures have failed. The specific type of surgery will depend on the nature of the herniated disc as well as the severity. In some extreme cases, the herniated disc will have to be removed and the remaining discs cemented together to provide mechanical rigidity to the spine. In milder cases, shimming or lightly scrapping the protruding disc to minimize the pressure on the surrounding nerves is already sufficient. There are other surgeries that may be used according to the condition.
Remember; there is no universal option that can be considered the best treatment for back pain. Always take let your physician take into account the true nature of your condition and follow their advice as to the prescribed treatment so you know that it is catered to your specific needs.
If you are having regular bouts with back pain you may want to browse through the over 100 articles on the subject we have on our website. Many of the articles are concerning herniated disc back surgery and recovery from it, but many others deal with back problems in general and the best treatments for back pain.