About 80% of adults in India experience back pain at some point in their lifetime. It can be due to many reasons such as poor posture, sedentary lifestyle, injuries, acquired conditions and diseases, infections, tumours, etc.
The Back Pain Management Unit Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital offers comprehensive services to manage back pain varying from simple lower back pain, caused by a range of sprains and strains to acute and chronic back pain that may last for a few weeks or months. We specialize in treating back pain even after an initial injury or uprooting the underlying cause of low back pain.
To learn what is causing back pain, the doctor will ask you a few questions about your medical history or lifestyle and advise you to do a physical examination for low back pain, which includes
- CT scans
- Blood Tests
- Radionuclide bone scan
- Electromyogram (EMG)
- Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS)
Most of the simple back pain can improve with self-care and OTC medication while acute or chronic pain that lasts longer requires more specific treatment. Depending upon a patient’s condition we offer various pain management techniques and treatment:
Non-invasive, non-drug pain management
- Exercise: Physical activities such as cardio, yoga, tai chi helps in strengthening the muscles, flexibility, and restoring normal motion. A doctor will design a patient-centric exercise plan to help them recover quickly.
- Manual techniques: Such as massaging the joints, muscles, and ligaments to relieve muscle tension and improve pain.
- Behavioural modification: To optimise a patient’s response towards back pain and painful stimuli some techniques are used to reduce the pain. These include
- Relaxation techniques
- Coping techniques
- For symptomatic improvement, learning to control muscle tension, blood pressure, and heart rate
- Superficial heating or cooling of skin: This technique involves the use of cold packs and hot packs alternatively on the affected area to relieve lower back pain.
- Electrotherapy: Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is one of the most commonly used therapies that aim at reducing back pain by using a low-voltage electric stimulation, which interacts with the sensory nervous system. The process yields positive results in managing back pain. However, TENS is not recommended if you are pregnant, has a history of epilepsy or heart disease, or using a pacemaker.
Non-invasive pharmacologic pain management
If a patient does not experience any relief with non-drug pain management then a doctor may advise taking medication along with physical therapy. These medicines include:
- Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers: These are Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which helps in relieving pain instantly. OTC medications include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve)
- Muscle relaxants
- Topical pain relievers such as creams, salves or ointments
- Narcotics: Drugs containing opioids such as oxycodone or hydrocodone
- Antidepressants: Tricyclic antidepressants (such as amitriptyline)
- Injections: When OTC medicines don’t work a doctor may inject cortisone — an anti-inflammatory medication inside the patient’s body for relieving the pain and inflammation.
Invasive pain management
If the above mentioned treatments fail to provide relief over a course of time and unrelenting pain persists then a doctor might recommend surgery. The common surgeries for back pain management include:
- Functional Neurosurgery
- Microscopic /Endoscopic Disc Surgery
- Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
- Neuro-endoscopy Surgery
- Spine Fusion Surgery
For chronic back pain management, the best plan is often a mix treatments designed by the doctor according to a patient’s condition. The surgery is only an option when a patient has a medical reason for pain such as sciatica or a slipped (prolapsed) disc, and other treatments don’t work.
Find Complete Relief from Nanavati Experts
If you think you are facing similar conditions, or have suffered from them in the past, please contact the Nanavati team to schedule an appointment at : +91 22 2626 7500