How Nonsurgical Treatments Can Improve Your Spine Injury

How Nonsurgical Treatments Can Improve Your Spine Injury

Your back is composed of bones, muscles, and other structures that stabilize the body. The spine is in the center and supports the upper body, and protects the spinal cord.

Various injuries can impact your back, from spine fracture to damage caused by arthritis. Most people with spine injuries won't require surgery. If surgery is necessary, your provider will discuss the next steps.

Board-certified orthopedic and sports medicine surgeon Michael Klassen, MD, specializes in diagnosing and treating a range of orthopedic injuries, including spine injuries. If you're suffering from a spine injury, it's crucial to seek immediate treatment. The time from injury to treatment can have a significant impact on the outcome. 

Diagnosing spine injuries

To diagnose your spinal injury, Dr. Klassen will perform appropriate exams, including a physical and neurological exam. Image tests are used to determine the location of the injury. These tests include:

X-ray, MRI'S and CT Scans: Detects damage to the bones and soft tissue of the spine

After a comprehensive evaluation, your provider can make an accurate diagnosis so that treatment can begin.

Nonsurgical treatments for spine injuries

Depending on the extent and location of your injury, treatment may typically begin with nonsurgical measures that may include:

Steroid medication

Corticosteroids reduce inflammation and damage to surrounding nerve cells.

Immobilization

Immobilizing the spine plays a crucial role in keeping it stable so that you can heal. This is accomplished by using a brace and body harness, which prevents your head from moving.

Physical therapy

As you progress through your spine injury recovery, Dr. Klassen may prescribe physical therapy, which focuses on regaining strength and mobility as well as core strengthening. Physical therapy may involve retraining your gait, standing, and increasing endurance depending on your specific spine injury.

Each individual has unique goals for physical therapy. Expect to work with your physical therapist to complete an individualized rehabilitation program. Most people recovering from spinal injuries can expect to attend physical therapy several days a week.

Activity modification

When you injure your back, your provider will immediately recommend activity modification for your recovery. Taking a break from activities that may promote inflammation is a critical part of giving your back time to heal. 

The amount of time required for activity modification will vary from person to person, depending on the extent of your back injury.

Your provider will let you know when you can increase your activity and what activities are safe for you to perform. You can expect to avoid any high-impact activities, as well as avoid bending or twisting. 

Depending on your specific injury, your provider may recommend low-impact activities, such as walking. Walking improves circulation, which may help your back heal faster. 

Pain medication

Back injuries tend to cause significant pain and discomfort. Your provider is trained in the latest effective pain management approaches and can provide medication to relieve your pain while your back heals. Remember that medication won't speed up the healing process. However, it will help you stay comfortable while you recover.

Depending on the intensity of your pain, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter medication or a prescription pain reliever.

Help for spine injuries

Spine injuries require time and patience to recover from. With a dedicated orthopedic physician and team of medical professionals by your side, you can focus on your rehabilitation. To get started, call our Monterey office and speak with one of our knowledgeable team members to schedule a visit with Dr. Klassen. 

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