There are several procedures that are used in pain management. The various procedures range from conservative non-invasive treatments to surgery. The type of treatment used will depend on the level of pain and the cause. Most doctors treat back pain with the simple non-medical treatments first, before resorting to medication and other procedures. The patient's specific condition will determine the procedure that will be most suitable, but doctors will always begin with the treatment plans that are not invasive.
One of the first treatment plans used on those suffering from back pain is exercise. It is usually used when the patient has mild to moderate back pain. The exercises used are primarily non-weight exercises that are recommended by physiotherapists. It is important to not put too much pressure on the back during the exercises. Water exercises or swimming tend to be especially beneficial.
Physiotherapy is a very useful treatment method for those with back pain. The therapy often includes spinal manipulation, therapeutic exercise, and use of other techniques that use mechanical agents and aids. Counseling and patient education is also included in the treatment plan. Osteopathy and chiropractic is also used to treat back problems. Medication are also commonly used in pain management. The medication is often classified in different levels and is used to treat different pain levels.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen are considered to be first generation drugs. They are used to relieve musculoskeletal pain and are generally tolerated by most patients. Other medications that are used are the second-generation anti-inflammatory drugs such as Celebrex and Arcoxia. Opiods that are either mild or strong are also used to treat severe pain, which has not responded to other medications.
Many people today are turning to acupuncture for pain relief. This is a traditional Chinese treatment technique that involves the use of needles on particular pressure points to treat various ailments. No one knows exactly how this treatment plan works, but those who have used it claim it is very effective. Other injectables, such as the facet joint injections, are also used to relieve pain, but this is often done as a temporary measure. Other minimally invasive techniques include facet joint denervation, pulsed radiofrequency treatment, discography, epidural steroid injection, selective nerve root block, spinal cord manipulation and other new techniques that are used much less frequently.
Those who have gone through the various pain management procedures without experiencing relief will often have to go through surgery. There are different surgical procedures done depending on the location of the problem and the condition of the patient. Patients with disk problems often get the discectomy procedure, which involves removing a portion of the disc nucleus to relive the pressure.
Other patients require a laminectomy, which involves removal of the entire lamina. Most doctors do not recommend surgery to treat back pain due to the risks involved. If, however, it is necessary, they have to ensure that the patient is in a healthy enough condition to recover fully. Surgery is often reserved for people who are healthy and reliably younger, as they are more likely to have complete recovery.