Options for Back Pain

Jan 23, 2015
Tagged with: Options for Back Pain


It is the most obvious fact that anyone struggling with a back pain for any course of time thinks that spine surgery is the one and only treatment option. But in fact, there are many different types of non-surgical treatments too that can help in reducing majority of the back problems. These non-surgical treatments are also referred as non-surgical or conservative therapies.

So, let us have a look on some of the best non-surgical approaches for treating back problems:

  • Conservative Treatment: Along with all the non-emergency spinal surgeries, a trial of non-operative treatment should be considered. Different non-operative treatment includes- varied types of physical therapy, pain medication that is generally an anti-inflammatory or the bracing which needs to be observed before any kind of surgery is considered. The trial period of these conservative treatments according to spine surgery doctors generally varies, but the timeframe could be six weeks to six months in general. If in case, the non-surgical treatments, like- medications and physical therapy fail to relieve the symptoms, the spine surgery may be recommended. These surgeries are only considered in the cases like- scoliosis, herniated disc or spinal stenosis, where the exact source of pain could be determined.
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery: The spine surgery is generally performed as an open surgery that involves opening the operative site with a long incision so that the surgeon could view and access the spinal anatomy. But due to the wide technological advancements the spine conditions could be treated with the minimally invasive techniques.

The minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) does not involve the long incisions and the open manipulation of the muscles as well as tissues surrounding the spine is avoided that ultimately leads to shorter operative time. Generally, reducing the intra-operative manipulation of soft tissues during surgery could result in less postoperative pain as well as a faster recovery.

  • Imaging during Surgery: In this surgical approach, the computer-assisted image guidance allows the surgeons for viewing the operative site in the finer clarity as compared to the traditional visualization techniques. Along with that, the implants like rods or screws could be inserted as well as positioned and that too with a greater degree of accuracy that is generally achieved with the conventional techniques.

In this technique, which involves the computer-assisted image guidance, the images that are taken pre-operatively or before surgery is being merged with the images that are obtained while the patient is in surgery. This finally results into the real-time views of the anatomical position as well as the orientation of the operative site while the patient is undergoing surgery. The preoperative computed tomography (CT) as well as intraoperative fluoroscopy (the real-time x-ray) is generally used while enabling the surgeons to operate it with a high level of precision and safety.

It is not like all the patients are the appropriate candidates for the MISS procedure. In fact, a relative certainty is required so that the same or the better results could be achieved through the MISS techniques same as that obtained with an open procedure. If any patient is not getting relief from non-surgical treatment options, then they can opt for various surgical approaches. The surgical approach mainly includes three different types of approach that includes-

  • Anterior approach: In this approach, the surgeon accesses the spine from the front of the body through the abdomen.
  • Posterior approach: In this approach, an incision is made in the back.
  • Lateral approach: In this approach, the pathway of the spine is made through the side.

Thus, these were different non-surgical as well as surgical treatment options for spine surgery.

Author: Bency George