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Just as there’s no single cause of back pain, so there can be no single approach to treating or managing it. The key, as pain management doctor Neel Mehta, MD understands, is to customize a treatment plan to address the underlying problem and to accommodate the particular needs of each patient (e.g., the severity of their pain, their tolerance to medications, their willingness to undergo invasive procedures, etc.).

Conservative Care

Most cases of back pain disappear on their own or after relatively minor adjustments. Temporary or slight pain usually responds to such conservative treatments as:

  • Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (RICE)
  • Physical therapy
  • Pain medication
  • Corticosteroids
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs 1
Nonsurgical Back Pain Treatments

Severe or chronic back pain requires more active care. Typically, a physician will recommend less invasive techniques before resorting to surgery. Such nonsurgical treatments include:

  • Epidural Steroid Injections: By delivering a steroid injection directly into the spine, doctors can reduce inflammation around the affected area. That, in turn, reduces or eliminates pain. Injections, which are a temporary method for managing symptoms, do not resolve the root cause. That being said, they can provide powerful relief, giving patients the opportunity to engage in physical therapy or pursue other long-term remedies. 2
  • Spinal Cord Stimulation: Doctors can also use mild electrical impulses to stimulate the spinal cord and alleviate pain. A small implanted device, much like a pacemaker, delivers the pulses directly to the area and provides continuous relief. 3

Dr. Mehta, who specializes in pain management and sports medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine Comprehensive Spine, helped pioneer the use of the Senza Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) system in the New York Tri-State Area.4 As one of the latest and most advanced methods for treating chronic pain, the SCS system expands the treatment options available to patients.

Schedule an Appointment with a Spine Specialist in New York City

The Center for Comprehensive Spine Care at Weill Cornell Medicine is a state-of-the-art clinical facility with 15 doctors across four spinal specialties, including neurology, pain management, rehabilitation medicine, and neurological surgery.

The expert specialists at the Center for Comprehensive Spine Care take a collaborative approach to care and treat a range of spinal conditions and injuries, from scoliosis to spinal compression fractures to schwannomas (benign tumors). To schedule an appointment with one of our providers, please call 888-922-2257 or use our contact form to send us a message.

Sources

  1. Weill Cornell Medicine Center for Comprehensive Spine Care. “Back Pain.” 
  2. Ibid. “Interventional Spine Injections.” 
  3. Ibid. “Spinal Cord Simulation 101 – What Is It and How Does It Work?” 
  4. Ibid. “Weill Cornell Pain Medicine Adopts New Treatment for Chronic Pain.”

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