Now more than ever, the opioid crisis is taking the limelight. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them. This contributes to the 115 people who die every day of opioid overdoses. When it comes to back pain, prescription pain medication may feel like the quickest and easiest route to pain relief. In the end, opioids only offer short-term relief and do not remedy the root cause. Luckily, there are other, safer methods to pain relief that may even permanently eliminate your back pain.
Physical therapy: many patients turn to physical therapy, because it is an effective way to manage back pain and reduce or avoid prescription opioids. Physical therapists are able to create personalized exercise plans that help patients’ ability to function and decreases pain.
Acupuncture: patients may feel relief from acupuncture, where thin needles are inserted at different points on your body to interrupt pain signals. Acupuncture is especially effective for treating chronic low back pain. It has been used for over 2,500 years to relieve pain and improve health.
Injections: epidural steroid injections use anti-inflammatory steroids to soothe nerve pain, giving you and your doctor the opportunity to correct back problems through physical therapy or other methods. Since everyone’s body responds differently, you may need one or several injections, and the injections may provide permanent or temporary pain relief. Learn more about epidurals here.
Surgery: when other treatments are not effective, surgery may be the best option for back pain relief. Back pain specialists at Coastal Spine in New Jersey offer minimally invasive treatments. Minimally invasive techniques help successfully treat back problems with less risks than traditional spine surgery.
With so many alternatives to prescription painkillers, doctors are able to tailor a treatment plan to the individual patient to reduce pain and even solve the underlying cause altogether. New Jersey back pain specialists at Coastal Spine make every attempt to not use opioids as part of a pain management regimen unless necessary. Patients can come to us knowing we believe in the importance of treating the underlying cause of pain.