Effective, Long-Lasting, Nonsurgical Treatments for Back, Neck or Leg Pain in Dallas, TX
When pain affects your quality of life, it can be extremely frustrating. If you’re concerned you may need surgery to treat your condition, Texas Minimally Invasive Spine encourages you to meet with Dr. Shaad Bidiwala. He is a board-certified neurosurgeon with more than 15 years’ experience treating complex spinal and related conditions. Though we are a spine surgery practice, we routinely recommend nonsurgical treatments for our patients. In most cases, nonsurgical treatments can be just as effective as surgery.
We believe surgery for spinal conditions is always a last resort and only after all nonsurgical therapies have been ruled out or found to be ineffective.
Effective nonsurgical solutions to treat your pain
Here are the nonsurgical treatments we regularly recommend:
- Activity Restrictions – The human body has a remarkable ability to heal itself—given the chance. Many spinal conditions occur due to repetitive or prolonged stress on the spine and its joints. As a first step toward healing, it’s very important to take a break from activities that can exacerbate your condition. Dr. Shaad Bidiwala recommends no bending, twisting, or lifting more than 10-20 pounds of weight for up to 6 weeks.
- Medications - We routinely prescribe nonsteroidal and steroidal anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, and narcotic analgesics to treat a variety of spinal conditions:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDSs) – Ibuprofen (Motrin) and Naprosyn (Aleve) are effective for those suffering arthritic pain in the spine or other spinal conditions that cause muscle, joint or nerve inflammation.
- Steroidal anti-inflammatories– Steroidal anti-inflammatories have similar effects as NSAIDs, but are more potent. Chronic steroid use can have serious side effects, therefore we use steroids cautiously and briefly.
- Muscle relaxants – Muscle relaxants like cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), methocarbamol (Robaxin), or diazepam (Valium) are used to treat muscle spasms, which cause burning pain that radiates from the spine into the arms and legs.
- Narcotic analgesics – Narcotic analgesics like hydrocodone (Norco, Vicodin) and tramadol (Ultram) are always a medical last resort. While these medications are very effective for managing pain, they carry a high potential for tolerance and addiction.
- External Orthoses (Braces) - Braces like cervical collars and thoracic or lumbar braces help support those suffering from spinal instability and help them avoid surgery.
- Physical Therapy – We offer two types of physical therapy: active and passive. Active physical therapy focuses on muscle strengthening and is prescribed for anyone with persistent weakness. Passive physical therapy focuses on stretching and relaxing muscles to help relieve nerve pain due to compression.
- Injections - Injections of steroids and analgesics into the spine help relieve pain and inflammation. We offer two types of injections: epidural and facet. Epidural injections are placed near a nerve root and facet injections are placed in a facet joint. Both help relieve pain and inflammation.
Surgery for spinal conditions is always a last resort, and a course of action that we recommend only after all nonsurgical therapies have been exhausted without results, or if permanent neurological damage is immanent unless we perform surgery. Even though we are a surgical practice, we send more patients for nonsurgical treatments than we recommend for surgery, year after year, in keeping with these principles.
Nonsurgical treatments that we commonly recommend are listed below.