Are you experiencing back pain and want to know best treatment for your condition? These are the most common mistakes that patients often make in their choices for the treatment of spine pain.

  1. You don’t need to immediately see your MD for simple back pain. If you have overdone it with strenuous activities the pain is probably muscular. Back pain from strenuous activity usually occurs one to two days after increased activities. This type of back pain is typically self-limiting. However, if your back pain is recurring and severe, you do need to consult with a spine specialist.
  1. You don’t need drugs to cure back pain. The typical medical treatment for back pain is muscle relaxants and pain pills. You are not experiencing back pain because of a drug deficiency. You need to treat the cause…not the symptoms. Recent medical studies document that Tylenol and ibuprofen are no more effective for back pain than a placebo. A February 2017 article in the Annals of Internal Medicine concluded that medication should NOT be given for the initial treatment of back pain.
  1. You don’t need to start an immediate physical therapy program to treat back pain. What would you do if you sprained an ankle? Would you start to run and jump on it to make it better? The common sense approach for an acute injury is to rest it, ice it, and leave it alone. After the initial acute stage of back pain has subsided, the most effective exercises for rehabilitation include walking, swimming and gentle stretches.
  1. Your spine doesn’t need cortisone shots to get better. Epidural steroid injections seldom work on a long-term basis, and they are dangerous because of potential side-effects, including infection and death. You will walk out of the pain management office with the same bad back that brought you into the office. The only difference will be that you now have pain numbing drugs injected into your spine.
  1. Expensive MRI studies are not typically needed for the initial evaluation of neck or back pain. When back pain doesn’t improve with conservative management, MRI studies will provide advanced diagnostic information. However, the false-positive results of a MRI study may prompt your doctor to refer you to specialists that prescribe addictive drugs, shots and spine surgery.

MY ADVICE: Include a great chiropractor on your health team. Chiropractors specialize in the treatment of back pain, and they will help you determine the cause of the problem. Back pain is usually related to spinal bio-mechanics. Do the simple things first. Have spinal adjustments, use ice, use a structural support, try simple stretches, and begin your rehabilitation with easy exercises like walking or swimming. Chiropractic care is the most conservative, the most effective, and the safest way to help you eliminate back and neck pain.

Dr. Craig Brue is a chiropractic provider in SaddleBrooke, AZ. Additional health articles may be found at bruechiropractic.com.


Subscribe to stay connected to Tucson. A subscription helps you access more of the local stories that keep you connected to the community.