Try alternatives before opting for back pain surgery

Try alternatives before opting for back pain surgery
Posted at 11:55 PM, Jul 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-06 21:01:04-04

(CNN) - Some people who have chronic back pain need surgery to get relief. It's a serious step that requires a significant recovery time.

But there are cases where back pain can be relieved with nonsurgical treatments.

Back pain is categorized as "chronic" when it lasts three months or longer.

And while surgery may be necessary in some cases, doctors at Johns Hopkins say there are alternatives.

Physical therapy can help with back pain. Patients learn better posture, gain flexibility and core strength, all of which helps their condition improve.

Yoga and meditation can help fight the emotional turmoil that comes from coping with chronic back pain.

Mindfulness exercises can train your mind to not focus on the physical discomfort.

Changes in your diet and other lifestyle modifications may also help relieve back pain.

Other nonsurgical options include massage and acupuncture, nerve ablations - where nerves are destroyed to ease pain- and anti-inflammatory medications or muscle relaxants might also help.

Also, give up the smokes. Johns Hopkins says nicotine has been known to make pain worse and slow-down the healing process.

These tips may help you avoid surgery and the long recovery process.

Remember to discuss any course of action with your doctor.

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