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Medical Approach to Treating Back Pain

Dr. Jeff J. Mollins has been practicing in downtown Brooklyn for almost 30 years.  As an expert in the diagnosis, treatment, and documentation of injuries sustained in accidents (automobile accidents, work accidents, slip and falls, and construction accidents), he is well aware that the sooner that these injuries are treated, the greater probability that the hurt patient can expect to receive wellness.  It is always recommended that any person injured in an accident see a doctor as expeditiously as possible.

Chiropractic and physical therapy is the cornerstone of back pain treatment.  A chiropractor and/or physical therapist can apply a variety of treatments, such as heat, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, muscle release techniques, massage, and spinal manipulation to your back muscles and soft tissue to reduce pain.  As your back pain improves, the doctor (or therapist) can teach you exercises that can increase your flexibility, strengthen your back and abdominal muscles, and improve your posture.  Regular use of these techniques can help prevent pain from returning.

Medications are often very useful in treating back pain that result from accidents.  Depending on the type of back pain you have, your doctor might recommend the following:

  1. Over-the counter (OTC) pain relievers. Acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve), might relieve acute back pain. Take these medications as directed by your doctor, because overuse can cause serious side effects.
  2. Muscle relaxants. If mild to moderate back pain doesn’t improve with OTC pain relievers, your doctor may also prescribe a muscle relaxant. Muscle relaxants can make you dizzy and sleepy.
  3. Topical pain relievers. These are creams, salves, or ointments you rub into your skin at the site of your pain.
  4. Narcotics. Certain drugs, such as codeine or hydrocodone, may be used for a short time with close supervision by your doctor.
  5. Antidepressants. Low doses of certain types of antidepressants (particularly tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline) have been shown to relieve some types of chronic back pain, independent of their effect on depression.
  6. Injections. If other measures don’t relieve your pain and if your pain radiates down your leg, your doctor may inject cortisone (an anti-inflammatory medication), into the space around your spinal cord (epidural space). A cortisone injection helps decrease inflammation around the nerve roots, but the pain relief usually lasts less than a few months.

Fortunately, Dr. Jeff J. Mollins works very closely with a highly skilled group of referred medical specialists (neurologists, orthopedists, pain management doctors, etc.). These doctors are not only expertly trained to treat injuries that result from accidents but are also certified by the State of New York to treat workers compensation patients. That means if you are injured on the job, you can receive treatment from all of our physicians at absolutely no cost to you. Dr. Mollins will always attempt to treat injuries in the most conservative manner possible (utilizing chiropractic treatments and physical therapy), but will never hesitate to utilize medical care as well. Our primary goal is to get our patients back to wellness as soon as possible.

Posted in: Back Pain Treatment, Blog