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Nonsurgical Options

The team at Twin Cities Spine Center includes some of the nation's foremost experts in spine surgery. However, we're proud to say that we help most of our patients return to active lives without surgery.

That's because we use a conservative approach to treating back and spine problems. We believe that excellent care starts with the least invasive treatment.

Our spine care experts only advise surgery when other treatments simply aren't working and surgery is likely to have significant benefits.

Diagnosing the Cause of a Spine Problem

Our approach to spine care starts with a thorough history, physical examination and careful review of any diagnostic tests. Our team will use this information to accurately diagnose what's causing your back or neck pain or your other symptoms.

That diagnosis is only the first step of your comprehensive care. Our spine specialists are committed to education and counseling. They don't, for example, merely review test results. They explain those results in a way that you can understand. They will answer your questions, large and small, about your condition. They'll also discuss all your treatment options and help you make informed decisions about your care. When needed, our team will make a referral to one of the nonsurgical providers that we know and trust to deliver the best possible care.

Back Pain Relief Without Surgery

Here's a look at some of the nonsurgical spine care treatments you might benefit from:

Oral pain medication. There are many options here. Among them: aspirin, acetaminophen (such as Tylenol), ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin), naproxen (such as Aleve) and muscle relaxants.

Physical therapy. A physical therapist can design a personalized exercise program to strengthen muscles and improve your flexibility and ability to move without pain. Your therapist may also use ice or heat treatments or electrical stimulation to treat back or neck pain.

Chiropractic care. Spinal manipulation—during which trained professionals apply a rapid, controlled force to joints—can ease chronic back pain or flare-ups.

Injections. When other remedies don't bring relief, spinal injections can both diagnose the source of pain and bring relief.

One commonly used injection is an epidural steroid injection. In this procedure, providers inject a combination of cortisone—a powerful anti-inflammatory medicine—and a numbing anesthetic near an affected nerve to relieve pain. Doctors can also inject pain medicine directly into a diseased or injured joint to block pain.

Alternative treatments. In certain cases, treatments as varied as acupuncture, yoga and massage therapy can help provide back and neck pain relief.