Chronic pain is characterized by long-lasting discomfort that is often dull and can significantly impact a patient’s quality of life. Unfortunately, many patients may ignore the effects of chronic pain, leading to further complications. It may include adopting an unhealthy posture or avoiding physical activity, which can negatively affect other body parts.
Non-surgical orthopaedic treatments offer a non-invasive alternative to surgical options, which can reduce the risk of infection and speed up the healing process. Treatment plans are tailored to the individual patient’s needs, considering their current medical conditions and the severity of their disease.
For instance, if a patient has diabetes, their clotting time may be delayed, making surgery less feasible. Non-surgical options can offer faster healing and lower the risk of postoperative infections, making them a more suitable choice in some cases.
Non-Surgical Orthopaedic Treatments for Chronic Pain
Experiencing frequent muscle spasms and tension usually marks the onset of chronic pain, with the muscles becoming rigid and inflexible. The first line of action is to reduce this muscle tension and bring them back in shape. Here are the most common non-surgical orthopedic treatments for chronic pain-
- Physiotherapy and Exercise
Physical therapy and exercise help in muscle contraction and relaxation. It boosts the blood flow around the area, thus facilitating a better oxygen supply.
- Pain Management Techniques
Various pain management techniques, such as topical pain relief gels and topical anaesthesia, are used. Medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics are also recommended.
Additionally, steroids and cortisones are also recommended. In case of excessive pain, injections containing local anaesthesia are recommended that help in a nerve block, thus allowing the patient to undergo physiotherapy.
- Orthotics and Braces
Braces help cushion and support the bones, muscles and joints. They provide better positioning and speed up the healing process.
An acupuncturist uses the technique of nerve compression to relieve pain and spasms. Small balls or pulses are taped at different body parts on pressure points.
- Chiropractic Care
A chiropractor is a trained professional who relieves joint pain and helps correct the body posture. It is a popularly accepted technique and helps greatly in reducing muscle rigidity. With a good body posture, the patient can undergo physical therapy to return to their optimum performance.
- Massage Therapy
During massage therapy, a trained professional uses different tools and techniques to seek relief from muscle spasms. Hot oils and wooden tops are the most popular techniques used. Massage therapy also helps relax your mind and reduces stress, thus, helping you turn towards positivity.
- Mind-Body Therapies
Behavioural therapy and meditation help improve the mindset to inculcate a positive attitude. It motivates patients to work on themselves to improve and eliminate chronic pain. Maintaining a journal or chanting positive affirmations can help foster a positive atmosphere around you.
Effectiveness of Non-Surgical Orthopaedic Treatments
- Review of Current Research
Recently, many new kinds of research have been developed which further improve the patient’s existing condition, help in faster healing and have lesser side effects. A new branch of orthopaedics focuses on regenerative medicine and its application in orthopaedics. Some of the common treatments include stem cell therapy, PRP therapy, and prolotherapy.
- Patient Testimonials
With non-surgical treatments, the patients’ mindsets have changed drastically. Since these methods are less invasive, the patients feel safer.
Moreover, they are less costly and budget-friendly. Patients who have gone ahead with non-surgical treatment modalities, and made changes in their lifestyle, have noticed a drastic change in their health. One of the most common examples is regular exercise and yoga.
- Potential Risks and Limitations of Non-Surgical Treatments
If the non-surgical treatments are performed by non-trained professionals, such as physical therapy, chiropractic care, massage, etc., there are high chances of further damage. If incorrect body postures are maintained, it may result in a problem with some other body parts.
Moreover, in many non-surgical treatments, the healing period is longer. However, the prognosis is far better than the surgical treatment options. There is a high risk of postoperative infection during surgeries.
Personalized Treatment Plans
- Importance of Individualized Care
Every patient is different and might have suffered chronic pain for different reasons. It is important to understand why the patient faced the problem in the first place. Only then a doctor shall be able to treat the patient appropriately.
One of the most important factors to consider is any pre-existing medical condition, such as diabetes, hypertension, allergies, etc. It can play a major difference in the type of treatment plan.
- Collaboration Between Patient and Healthcare Provider
The collaboration between a patient and a healthcare provider is not limited to the existing problem. The healthcare provider must also understand the mental state of the patient. For instance, patients who refuse treatment, such as physical therapy, may associate it with an underlying mental trauma.
In this situation, it is important that the healthcare provider first helps the patient achieve a better mental state to keep them motivated throughout the treatment process.
- Integrative Approaches That Combine Multiple Non-Surgical Treatments
Since non-surgical treatments are less invasive and have almost no side effects, many doctors recommend combining multiple treatments for better results. The most commonly combined treatment plans include medication, physical, and massage therapy.
Non-surgical treatments are the best course of action for chronic pain. However, early diagnosis helps in a faster recovery. Thus, if you have been facing pain and discomfort for longer, you must consider visiting an orthopaedic soon.
Common orthopaedic treatments for chronic pain that are non-surgical include physical therapy, medications, massage and chiropractic care.