What is Conservative Management?
Conservative Management is the category of treatment which includes all sorts of non-surgical treatment for back pain.
Research indicates that almost 90% of patients with lower back pain suffer from a benign condition that will resolve in four to six weeks with conservative treatment.
However, researchers and medical professionals reiterate the fact that the exact definition of conservative measures is subject to its respective interpretation.
Most of the physicians agree that 90% of patients who were given conservative forms of treatment responded well to the therapies over a particular span of time.
Here we briefly discuss the various forms or measures of conservative management or treatment.
1) Activity Modification
Aimed at reducing pain to a tolerable level, this form of treatment strives to maintain sufficient activity so as not to disrupt daily life activities. Activity Modification leads the patient to establish activity goals that finally lead to an ultimate return to normal activities.
Earlier, prolonged bedrest was believed to reduce pressure on the irritated nerves and diseased intervertebral disc. However, recent research contraindicates strict bedrest of more than three days, proving it is actually harmful.
The main components of this form of conservative treatment include avoiding of heavy lifting, prolonged sitting and bending or twisting of the back.
2) Physical Therapy
Physical Therapy is put to use to deal with the initial onset when a patient first reports lower back pain. To begin with, certain low impact exercises that lay minimal stress on the back are recommended, such as swimming, bicycling and walking.
Right posture, sleeping positions and lifting techniques are an important part of the educational process associated to Physical Therapy.
3) Pharmacologic Therapy
The fundamental prescription of the pharmacologic therapy for acute low back pain is acetaminophen or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).
In case no aversions are foreseen, a two to four week course of medicines with the objective of anti-inflammation is suggested.
One of the most common approaches to initial treatment is to prescribe ibuprofen and a muscle relaxant. For a patient suffering from acute pain, short-term use of a narcotic is also considered as an option.
At times, patients with acute or chronic back pain resort to chiropractic intervention. Research proves to some extent the potential of a short course of spinal manipulation in patients with acute low back pain.
5) Nutritional Supplements
Studies have shown that the right combinations of nutritional supplements have a curative effect on the lower back pain to some extent. For instance, enzymes (chymotrypsin), D, L-phenylalanine, Vitamin B1, B6 and the like.
Herbs such as Colchicine, Willow bark, devil’s claw, ginger, eucalyptus, zinc and turmeric are also known to be effective.
Other forms of therapies for non-surgical cure of lower back pain include magnetic therapy, acupuncture, herbal medications, complimentary medicine, spinal manipulation, facet rhizotomy, epidural/nerve block injections and intradiscal electrothermy.