Non-surgical Treatment Options

Non-Surgical Treatment Options


Below are some links to learn more about non-surgical Treatments for various spinal conditions.  Generally speaking, in the absence of a neurologic deficit (such as weakness), bowel or bladder problems, impeding paralysis, cancer, fracture, or infection, the vast majority of painful spinal conditions are best managed with non-surgical treatments.


Exercise / Education / Healthy lifestyle:  These are perhaps the most important factors that will determine how a patient with back or neck pain ultimately does.  Try to exercise regularly, avoid a sedentary lifestyle, don’t smoke, and pay attention to your posture and body mechanics.

Physical Therapy (PT):  This is one of the most treatment modalities and is appropriate for almost all patients with back and neck pain.  Physical therapists work with you to help determine where your pain is coming from, perform some manual techniques to address your pain, teach you exercises for proper muscle balance and core strengthening, and help educate you regarding paper posture and body mechanics.  This link reviews the benefits of PT, as well as many different types of exercise.

Chiropractic:  Chiropractic care often involves manual manipulation of the spine, but many people do not realize that many other types of treatment are also utilized (mobilization techniques, use of an activator, decompression table, education regarding posture and body mechanics, and more). They also attempt to determine the cause of your pain, as often pain in one area is actually caused by a problem somewhere else.  Chiropractic:  A Safe and Effective Approach to Health is an outstanding summary of the value of chiropractic for patients with spine related disorders.

Pain Management:  This is usually utilized for patients in very severe pain, or for patients who have failed to improve with PT and / or chiropractic.  Pain management might include medications, or various spinal injections.  Sometimes these injections are meant to help your pain (therapeutic)l like an epidural steroid injection; other times the injections are diagnostic, meaning a numbing medicine in injected in a certain area to help us determine the such of your pain.  Occasionally the injections do both.  Sometimes a trail of spinal cord stimulations is performed, but usually as a last resort.


For a complete listing of commonly used non-surgical treatment options, visit the ViewMedica animation library; or the spine health website.