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The Risks of Non-Surgical Spine Treatment

Aug 28, 2014

Being diagnosed with a spinal cord injury is considered a serious case as it can result in loss of movement and later paralysis. Major spinal cord injuries are caused by car accidents, diving accidents or sports accidents where one may land on the head causing a spinal injury. The other common cause of a spinal injury is aging. This is where the lumbar discs wear out causing some form of herniations that later result inback pains. The middle part of the body may also twist when one is aged and this leads to a spinal cord defect.

Diagnosis of Spinal Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are diagnosed by carrying out a physical examination and establishing the patient’s medical history. Such an injury is considered to be a medical emergency and that is why getting treatment quickly is vital to one’s recovery process. After being diagnosed with a spine injury, the physician then suggests the appropriate steps to take depending on the intensity of the injury. There are mainly two ways in which spinal cord injuries are treated. They include the surgical and the non-surgical spine treatments. Surgical treatments are considered to be the most effective and have less or no risks associated with them. Non-surgical spine treatments are the most common though they present a number of risks thereafter.

Non-Surgical Spine Treatment

This treatment is considered to be less costly compared to the surgical-spine treatment. The main methods used in non-surgical spine treatment compromise of

  • Physical therapy
  • Steroid injections
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Chiropractic
  • Exercising
  • Limited rest
  • Acupuncture

Risks associated with Non-Surgical Spine Treatment

Anti-inflammatory drugs are the most common non-surgical treatments for the temporary relief of spinal conditions. Some of the known effects of these drugs include;

  • May cause one to have an acute back and neck pain.
  • Drugs like ibuprofen and Celebrex are used in this case and in most cases when the right dosage is not taken, the patient may end up with more pain than before.
  • There are cases where one takes two anti-inflammatory drugs at once and this can cause stomach irritation.
  • The drugs are also a temporary solution to the pain one may be experiencing. This means that in the end the pain does not completely go away unless one undergoes surgery to relieve the pain.
  • Long-term use of this kind of medication may also result in other health risks like infection of the liver. This reaction to drugs may necessitate a surgical spine treatment.
  • Steroid injections are the other common form of non-surgical spine treatment used. The injections help to relieve the pain although it’s not guaranteed that the pain will disappear.
  • Back and neck pains may be treated using epidural steroid injections and this helps to maximize one’s ability to function. However In the long run even after the treatment, the pain may come back and one may experience some form of numbness or tingling due to the long-term use of these injections.
  • Physical therapy is the other form of non-surgical spine treatment used. This kind of treatment helps to relax the body by applying pressure to try and release the tension built in the muscles and ligaments. The major risk associated with this form of treatment is that most people go to this form of therapies without consulting a physician. This can lead to a permanent damage of the ligaments as the therapist may assume you have no medical condition. One may also experience recurrent disc herniations even after therapy and this may require immediate surgery.

Although some of the non-surgical treatments may work for a while, ultimately the best treatment involves surgery.


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