What is the next step if spinal injections don’t work?

Answered by Robert Dupre

If spinal injections do not provide sufficient relief for back pain, there are several alternative non-surgical treatments that can be considered. The specific treatment will depend on the individual’s condition and symptoms.

1. Physical therapy: Physical therapy is a common treatment option for back pain. A physical therapist will work with the patient to develop an exercise program that focuses on strengthening the muscles supporting the spine, improving flexibility, and correcting posture. They may also use techniques such as manual therapy, heat or cold therapy, and electrical stimulation to alleviate pain and promote healing.

2. Chiropractic care: Chiropractic treatment involves manual adjustments of the spine to improve alignment and relieve pain. Chiropractors use various techniques, such as spinal manipulation, mobilization, and soft tissue therapies, to reduce inflammation, restore joint function, and alleviate pain. Chiropractic care can be particularly beneficial for conditions such as herniated discs or spinal stenosis.

3. Acupuncture: Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese therapy that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body. It is believed to stimulate the body’s natural healing processes and promote pain relief. Acupuncture has been found to be effective in reducing back pain, and it may be used as a standalone treatment or in conjunction with other therapies.

4. Pain medication: If conservative treatments like injections have not provided adequate relief, pain medications may be prescribed. These can include over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or prescription medications like muscle relaxants or opioids. It is important to note that opioids should be used cautiously due to their potential for dependence and side effects.

5. Mind-body techniques: Techniques such as yoga, tai chi, meditation, and mindfulness-based stress reduction can help manage chronic back pain. These practices promote relaxation, improve flexibility and strength, and reduce stress, which can contribute to pain relief. Mind-body techniques can be used as standalone treatments or in combination with other therapies.

6. Spinal decompression therapy: Spinal decompression therapy is a non-surgical treatment that aims to relieve pressure on the spinal discs and nerves. It can be done using mechanical devices or manually by a trained therapist. The therapy involves gentle stretching of the spine, which creates negative pressure and allows herniated or bulging discs to retract, reducing pain and promoting healing.

It is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate non-surgical treatment option based on the individual’s specific condition and needs. They will be able to provide a comprehensive evaluation and tailor a treatment plan that addresses the underlying cause of the back pain. Additionally, they may recommend a combination of treatments to optimize results.

Personal experiences and situations may vary, so it is essential to seek professional advice and guidance when considering non-surgical treatments for back pain.