The Southeastern Spine Institute

Living with persistent back pain can be as bothersome as a nagging toothache. It interferes with your ability to concentrate, affects your quality of life and stops you from participating in the activities you enjoy.

The first step in managing chronic back pain is to see a doctor who specializes in spinal medicine like the physicians at the Southeastern Spine Institute. They treat spinal conditions day in and day out, and so they are best suited to find the cause of your pain and recommend the most effective pain management treatment.

Rule Out Surgery

Before you begin any self-help procedures, exercise program or therapy, you need to rule out serious complications that could worsen if not treated properly. While the need for surgery is rare, the Charleston spine physicians at Southeastern Spine do everything they can to avoid surgery. Still, there are situations best treated that way. If you have to have a surgical procedure, you then can employ preventive measures to stave off future back pain.

Some of the conditions that may require surgery include:

  • Bone spurs
  • Disk complications
  • Tumor
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Sciatica

Less Invasive Options

Depending on the severity of your back pain and its underlying cause, minimally invasive procedures can relieve your pain. The less invasive procedures reduce the chances of scarring and muscle or ligament damage. You’ll have a faster recovery too. Conditions that may be well suited to minimally invasive options include:

  • Herniated disk
  • Spine infections
  • Unstable spine conditions
  • Degenerative disk disease
  • Compression fractures

If your spine physician determines that you’re a good candidate for minimally invasive surgery, you might undergo:

  • Injections
  • Nerve blocks
  • Vertibroplasty
  • Discography

Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes put the control of your back pain in your hands. Always the first line of defense and mandatory after back surgery, lifestyle changes can make a huge difference in your back pain levels. Whether you experience periodic painful episodes of back pain or live with chronic pain that cannot be resolved with surgery, simple lifestyle changes will alleviate a significant amount of your discomfort. Some of the basics include:

  • Hydrating — drink water; dehydration aggravates painful symptoms
  • Diet — eat foods that reduce inflammation; soy, low-sugar fruits, leafy greens and fish are recommended
  • Stress reduction — take up yoga to calm yourself and increase flexibility; meditate to relieve the stress that causes muscle spasms
  • Posture — sit and stand erect to avoid nerve compression and to increase blood flow
  • Stretching — alleviate pain by strengthening and moving the muscles, tendons and ligaments attached to your spine
  • Lose weight — reduce the load your back carries by maintaining a healthy weight
  • Exercise — lower your blood pressure and strengthen the muscles that support your back with targeted exercises designed by your spine physician or physical therapist to manage your back pain