Healthy Living: Help for back pain sufferers - How to avoid goin - KUSI News - San Diego, CA

Healthy Living: Help for back pain sufferers - How to avoid going under the knife

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Chronic back pain can be debilitating, with many sufferers turning to surgery for relief. But some doctors said there could be another way.

Back pain is categorized as chronic when it lasts three months or longer. And while surgery may be necessary in some cases, doctors at John's Hopkins said 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 with 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 non-surgical options include massage and acupuncture, nerve ablations where nerves are destroyed to ease pain and anti-inflammatory medication or muscle relaxants might help.

Also, give up the smokes. John's Hopkins said 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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