Avoiding Spinal Surgery With Home Remedies
Most people have experienced lower back pain at some point with no specific origin. A holistic treatment approach can tackle lower back pain on multiple fronts, from eating healthier to exercising regularly. Lower back pain does not have to lead to spinal fusion surgery. Small lifestyle changes can significantly improve quality of life and reduce lower back pain.
1. Get up and moving
A lack of core strength can lead to poor posture, which can cause lower back pain. People experiencing pain in the lower back should consult with a doctor to develop an optimal exercise regimen that includes flexibility and aerobic exercises, and strength training. Core strength exercises provide support for the lower back. The flexibility of the muscles increases the range of motion. Aerobic activity increases blood flow to the affected tissues.
2. Use cold and heat
In the event of a back injury or after physical activity, cold compresses or ice packs can relieve pain by numbing the injured area and reducing swelling. After the swelling and inflammation have gone down, heat pads or a hot water bottle can relax and soothe muscles and promote blood flow to the area, speeding up the healing process.
3. An anti-inflammatory diet
Inflammation is the natural biological response to injury and infection. An anti-inflammatory diet can effectively treat lower back pain and relieve side effects of certain pain medications. To relieve lower back pain, avoid processed foods or foods with high levels of refined carbohydrates and saturated fat. Instead, eat a diet full of leafy greens, fatty fish, nuts, seeds, and colorful fruits and vegetables.
4. Find the proper sleep position
Sleep loss can worsen lower back pain symptoms, but finding the right sleeping position that does not cause pain can be difficult. Maintaining alignment of the spine is crucial to reducing back pain at night. Side sleepers should place a pillow between the knees or try the curled fetal position to relieve lower back pain. Stomach sleepers can place a pillow under the abdomen, while back sleepers can place the pillow under the knees for the most support.
When to consider surgery
As a last resort, spinal fusion surgery is a permanent solution that connects 2 or more vertebrae in the spine to reduce motion. Spinal fusion surgery may be recommended when lower back pain is not relieved by physical therapy (PT), medications, or conservative home remedies. Limiting the range of motion (ROM) in the affected area makes the vertebrae more stable, allowing the fusion to heal.
A major procedure with drastic results
Spinal fusion surgery may require anywhere from 3 months to 1 year or more for a full recovery. However, the procedure can significantly improve quality of life. After spinal fusions, lower back pain can be a thing of the past, allowing affected individuals to be more active than ever.