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What are some alternative treatments for a degenerative spine?

To relieve pain caused by a degenerative spine condition, many physicians and patients alike usually want to find the most conservative treatment approach that is effective. The reason is simple — why should a patient take a medication or undergo a surgical procedure — and face the associated risks — unless it is truly necessary?

When reviewing their options, some people lean toward alternative treatments, most of which have a good track record for safety and seldom cause harmful side effects. Even so, a general guideline still holds true: Before starting any new therapy, it’s important to check with a physician, who is in the best position to explain how it may affect your specific condition and symptoms.

Alternatives to traditional treatments for neck and back pain

For mild-to-moderate neck or back pain, there are several potentially effective alternatives to pharmaceutical and surgical degenerative spine treatment. For instance, some patients report good results with:

  • Acupuncture — for back pain
  • Yoga — for back pain
  • Therapeutic massage — for neck pain

To a somewhat lesser extent, tai chi and herbal supplements may be helpful as well.

While this is encouraging, it’s still important to understand that any claims regarding the effectiveness of alternative treatments for degenerative spine treatment are based purely on anecdotal evidence. These treatments are not yet widely accepted in the mainstream medical community, mainly because no randomized clinical trials have been performed to date.

Should you try alternative treatments for neck or back pain?

If you are interested in trying acupuncture, yoga, therapeutic massage, tai chi, herbal supplements or other alternative treatments for a degenerative spine, there is really no reason not to — as long as you receive a go-ahead from your physician. The bottom line is that only you know how you feel. If you find that an alternative treatment improves your symptoms, it may be worth using (even if you are simply experiencing a placebo effect).

If you ultimately decide to explore more advanced treatments, contact USA Spine Care. We can tell you about the benefits of our minimally invasive outpatient surgery, which is a safer and effective alternative to a highly invasive open spine surgery.^ We can also provide you with a free MRI review* to determine if you are a candidate.

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