Q. Will I need medicine for my pain?
We may prescribe medication when necessary in order to reduce inflammation and pain. However, it is our goal to find the root cause of your pain so that you do not need to rely on medication.
Q. Is it better to use ice or heat to treat pain?
A combination of both heat and ice can be effective. Ice is usually used in the initial stages of your healing, and heat is applied afterwards.
Q. Does glucosamine help with back pain?
There have been studies that show Glucosamine may help reduce pain from osteoarthritis of the knee, but there is no conclusive data yet. Consult with a doctor before taking glucosamine supplements.
Q. Should I avoid exercise and stay in bed if my back is in a lot of pain?
Having long periods of bed rest is not healthy, and can actually weaken your muscles and stiffen up your joints. We may recommend physical therapy catered to your condition so that you have periods of activeness during your recovery.
Q. Will spine surgery help me if I’ve been suffering from back pain for years?
We have had patients who have been dealing with pain for years receive great results after spine surgery. However, it’s important to remember that the recovery process is a long term program that may include physical therapy, exercise, and rehabilitation in some cases.
Q. What is conservative spine treatment?
At the Spine Care Center, we specialize in effective conservative treatment for spine issues. Conservative treatments are options that do not involve surgery. We are able to provide treatment for thousands of patients every year without a need for surgery, and we always explore conservative treatments before recommending spine surgery.
Q. Is there anything I can do at home to heal my back pain?
The treatment you receive at the Spine Care Center can help relieve your pain. But in order to get long term results and a more effective recovery, there are steps you can take at home to help the process. We may recommend applying ice and heat, different exercises, and allowing your body to rest. What you do at home can have a big impact on your recovery.
Q. Are there any physical activities that I should avoid?
The activities you’re able to engage in will vary patient to patient. Depending on the type of injury you suffered, and where you are in the recovery process, you may need to gradually return to your normal activities. Walking and swimming have been shown to be effective activities for people recovering from spine injuries. Before you engage in any vigorous activities, consult with your spine care provider first.
Q. How often do I need to go to physical therapy?
Physical therapy is designed to help you progressively get better, so that you are able to function comfortably for longer and longer periods of time without needing physical therapy. Ideally, you will eventually be able to function regularly without a need for ongoing physical therapy.
Q. Will the metal screws and rods I have from spine fusion surgery ever need to be removed?
We do not always remove metal implants used during surgery. After the spine fusion is healed, you will no longer need the rods or screws. In most cases, if the implants are not painful, uncomfortable, or causing issues, they are typically not removed.
Q. Will spine fusion in my lower spine prevent me from bending over?
The joints in the lumbar spine do not move very much you bend forward. A majority of the movement will involve your hips. So your spine fusion should not stop you from bending forward if your hips are ok.
Q. What else can I do to help alleviate my pain?
A good way to relieve some of your pain is to apply ice or heat to the painful area. Cold temperature causes the blood vessels to become narrow, which is helpful in the early stages of recovery. You can use an ice bag or cold pack for around 10 to 15 minutes at a time. Heat causes the blood vessels to widen, which allows them to flush out chemicals that cause pain, and bring in oxygen and nutrients to heal the pain.
Q. Is there anything I can do to help with back pain at work?
We will be able to recommend different exercises based on the nature of your job and the type of pain you’re experiencing. The exercises and stretches may allow you to get some relief when you’re in pain at work. We may also be able to recommend changes you can make in your work area to make it more comfortable and less painful.
Q. What is the difference between minimally invasive spine surgery and traditional spine surgery?
Traditional spine surgery uses long, disruptive incisions that can damage surrounding muscle tissues. With minimally invasive spine surgery, small incisions are made, and special instruments are used to treat the affected area without damaging surrounding tissue. For more information, read our page on minimally invasive spine surgery.