Leading an active lifestyle has many health benefits, but it does carry one major risk–injury. The most common injuries sustained during physical activity are to the back and neck. Many people assume they will need extensive, painful surgery to return to their pursuits. However, there are other alternatives to surgery for spine and back issues. It is critical to discuss your case with an orthopedic specialist to determine if any of these are right for you. Contact us to request an appointment or learn more.
- Massage – Massage therapy can reduce or alleviate pain, muscle weakness, and range of motion issues, as well as improve function in treated areas. It is often used to treat issues such as chronic pain, neck and back injuries, sciatic pain, arthritis, whiplash, fibromyalgia, stiff neck, sleep difficulties, depression, and anxiety. Working with a professional massage therapist can also speed rehabilitation from existing injuries, working holistically with other treatments.
- Acupuncture – Acupuncture treatments consist of the use of small needles, placed throughout the body to rebalance qi, the body’s energy force. Many conditions respond well to acupuncture, including muscle spasms, sprains and strains, fibromyalgia, joint pain, arthritis, and headaches. Acupuncture has been practiced for centuries and can be used in conjunction with other therapies.
- Bracing – As the name suggests, bracing involves the use of specialized braces to support various bone structures that may be compromised by injury or illness. It is primarily seen in the treatment of spinal and knee issues.
- Physical Therapy – Physical therapy is a cluster of treatments, all intended to replace the need for surgical intervention. The treatment often consists of stretching, massage, hot and cold therapies, manual therapy techniques for strength, flexibility and pain reduction, as well as strength training to prevent future re-injury.
- Epidural and Transforaminal Steroid Injection – Epidural steroid injections, or ESI, are injections of anti-inflammatory steroids into a very specific area of the spine called the epidural space, guided by x-ray fluoroscopy. This treatment reduces pain and inflammation, and can aid in diagnosing specific injuries. Transforaminal steroid injection differs only in the location of the injection, being more targeted to a specific nerve ending.
Sports injuries and other traumas to the body are no longer an instant prescription for surgery. Any or all of the above options can provide full and lasting recovery in many cases, as well as a quick return to the activity of your choice!