Non-surgical Treatment for Back Pain

How can I treat my back pain without surgery?


The first step is to have a physician diagnose the problem. There are many possible medical causes of back pain that must be ruled out before conservative treatment--or treatment without surgery--can be tried. These causes include infection, ulcers, gastrointestinal disease, and cancer, among others.


Conservative treatment is planned for "mechanical" back pain. This is back pain caused by damage or injury to muscles or the surrounding soft tissues. There are many conservative treatments for low back pain. These include medications, exercise and physical activity, acupuncture, electrical stimulation, relaxation, and weight loss.


Spinal stabilization exercises may help with back pain. These exercises target the muscles in the low back and pelvis. Research suggests there may even be some benefit to contracting the muscle that wraps around the waist(transversus abdominals) along with a muscle in the back (multifidus). The effect of these two muscles contracting together is to form a self-brace or corset to support the low back. This decreases painful symptoms and reduces further back or sacroiliac pain.


Once your doctor has cleared you for conservative care, you can see a Physical Therapist. The therapist will evaluate your back strength, movement, and posture. Then he or she can prescribe a program of exercises to treat your specific problem.

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